What's the latest trick USCIS is using to deny marriage based green card cases?
Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St Louis, Missouri.
We complain a lot about USCIS on my videos, I hope that they don't come across as complaints or unnecessarily harsh, but USCIS is always coming up with new ways to try to deny people's green cards.
And specifically what we're talking about today is the marriage based context. And even more so, we're talking about people who've been married once before.
So these are situations where someone has filed an immigration benefit based on marriage to a prior spouse, and that case ultimately got denied.
What we're seeing is that USCIS is now going back and not just adjudicating the new case on file, but they're also looking to see if they can claim that there was fraud in the first one.
So remember, USCIS is always looking for ways to deny your case. They're not looking for ways to approve your case.
And maybe there's a memo department, a department that puts out memos on, Hey everybody, let's all try to deny cases based on this. It sort of feels that way because you sort of see a rise and a fall, a surge, if you will, in certain types of denials.
And so lately what we've been seeing are denials based on an analysis of the prior marriage. So a lot of times our clients or our potential clients will tell us, Jim, I did have a shaky marriage.
That person went to jail or we weren't married that long. Or my spouse withdrew the case because USCIS scared them. This is all about the prior marriage. But this new marriage is legitimate, Jim. It's real, it's solid, my wife is pregnant, I'm in love, we're totally in love together. But USCSIS is wanting to know about that prior marriage and they're asking me to go back and prove that prior marriage.
In fact, I saw one the other day where they were asking a couple to reprove a marriage and it's validity from 25 years ago.
I'm not making this up, it was out in California. 25 years ago.
Can you imagine if you were trying to re prove a marriage from, what is that, 1995? And you have had no contact with your spouse for say two decades.
You're going to have to go back and reprove that marriage. It's not going to be like you have to prove a marriage now, but you've got to prove that it wasn't fraud and the burden is on you. So this is a really dirty trick I think.
Obviously if there was a finding of fraud in the first instance, that's fair game, I think. But for them to go back now and to look for ways to deny this current case based on the facts of a case that they had either already approved or that had been withdrawn, that to me is not fair.
So if you find yourself in one of these situations where you're having to defend not only your current marriage, but your prior marriage, give us a call, (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected] Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home.
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