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Spouse Overseas, USCIS Sitting on I-130

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My spouse is overseas and her I-130 is delayed at USCIS. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, and Washington DC.

Today, we’re talking about lawsuits, and specifically we’re talking about lawsuits where a case is stuck at USCIS and hasn’t even reached the State Department yet. This is something that we’re seeing more and more of, these I-130s away. That’s what we call them in our office. We say, “I-130 here,” if it’s an adjustment of status case, “I-130 away.” At hacking Immigration Law, an I-130 away means that the foreign national’s overseas. On our I-130 aways, we’re starting to see longer and longer delays at USCIS. These are cases that used to take three or four months. Now we’re seeing them take a year and three or four months, or two years and three or four months. It’s absolutely ridiculous that these cases are stuck at that introductory stage at USCIS.

The only question on an I-130 is, “Is this a valid marriage?” That’s it. That’s all that there is. These are the questions that have to be answered in order for an I-130 to be approved. Was the for national free to marry? Was the US citizen free to marry? Did they provide a marriage certificate that comports with, that matches the visa reciprocity table for marriage certificates from that jurisdiction? That’s really it. If you’re free to marry, the only thing USCIS is deciding is whether the two people had the legal capacity to be married and whether we feel the marriage is valid. Now, the Trump team put in a bunch of overly unnecessary checks to see if the marriages are fake, and that’s what’s really caused the delay.

USCIS can talk about the pay pandemic. USCIS can talk about a swell and increase in cases, but it’s all BS. The fact of the matter is that it’s because of these protocols that USCIS put into place under Trump that have really slowed things down, and that’s what the Biden team needs to fix. They need to get rid of those protocols. They need to take things back to the… The normal standard is, “Is this a valid marriage? Do I believe that this is a valid marriage?” But the problem with big bureaucracies like USCIS is, once you give them that power, it’s very hard to take it back, and we’re seeing that with the lack of inaction on the part of the Biden administration to streamline this process.

The good news is that, with these I-130 aways, we’ve had really good success in suing USCIS. We sue USCIS and we ask a federal judge to compel them to at least get that I-130 done and over to the State Department. Now, we used to try to keep the lawsuit alive and deal with the State Department, but the courts have pretty much shut us down on there. So now we sue them on the I-130 aways, we get a quick decision, and then the case gets sent over to the National Visa Center. Sometimes people hire us to take over at that point because they’re so happy that the I-130 has finally been approved, but we don’t keep the lawsuit going. We just sue USCIS. We don’t even sue the State Department. We only sue USCIS to get that case moving out of the agency, and out of that agency and over to the State Department.

So far and lately, those are one of the lawsuits that work really, really well, when an I-130 away case is stuck. If your case is stuck, whether it’s here or away, or it’s a citizenship case or whatever, give us a call, 314-961-8200. You can email us, info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group which is called Immigrant Home. If you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social, that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and that you join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually at noon Central where we try to answer as many of your immigration law related questions as possible, usually between 12:00 and 1:00 Central Time. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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