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You Can Still Win after a NOID

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Let me tell you about a big win 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. In today’s video, we’re talking about a recent marriage case that we had that was super complicated, that it seemed like we were going to lose, and we ended up winning the case, and I can’t wait to tell you about it. So this couple started off their life in Chicago, and they filed their own marriage-based green card case. And when they came to us, they had received a notice of intent to deny. So when USCIS doesn’t like a case, they will sometimes send a notice of intent to deny, listing all of the reasons why they think this case should not be approved and giving you usually 30 or 90 days to reply, and to try to convince USCIS that in fact, your case should be approved. And so let me read you some excerpts from this notice of intent to deny.

So again, a couple, a foreign national marries a US citizen. They file an I-130 and this is what they get. So the notice of intent to deny begins by listing the evidence that the couple had submitted. They had submitted a residential lease for two years, one year of tax returns, some insurance documentation, safe driver information, utility bills, a Chase Bank deposit account and various photographs. “The evidence presented does not establish that a bonafide marital relationship exists between you and the beneficiary. To the contrary, the evidence presented leads USCIS to the conclusion that this marriage is a marriage of convenience or a sham marriage. A marriage is deemed as a sham marriage if the bride and groom did not intend to establish a life together at the time they were married.” And that’s from a case called Matter of McKee, and that’s from 1980, shows you, when they’re talking about bride and groom, they weren’t anticipating brides and brides and grooms and grooms.

But anyway, they also list some discrepancies from the interview that took place four years before this notice of intent to deny was issued. So I should point out, this notice of intention to deny I came after we sued them. And they noted discrepancies from four years earlier. So this case had been languishing forever. “You stated that the color of your dishwasher at home is white. However, your spouse said it is black and silver. You stated that your refrigerator is silver stainless steel, however your spouse stated that it is white. You stated that you and your spouse went to Zupa in Lyons over the past weekend. However, your spouse said that you went to O’Sullivan’s Bar. And you stated during the Super Bowl, you watched it with your spouse at Dion’s. Although your spouse stated that he watched it at Dion’s house, he stated that you stayed home.”

So USCIS didn’t like this case. And so what they decided to do was send out the fraud unit and the fraud unit knocked on doors, met neighbors, talked to landlords and all this stuff, and there’s a full page of details of what the fraud unit investigated. And they came up with evidence that seemed to suggest that the beneficiary was never home, that the beneficiary actually lived with a different girlfriend and that there was problems with registering cars at different addresses. And they basically didn’t think that the couple lived here and they didn’t think that the marriage was legit. So like I said, this marriage had been going on for five years.

And so by this point, our clients had moved out of state. They had left Northern Illinois and moved to a different state. And so what I said, “Look, this case that you guys filed is crap. You filed a very thin case, and we think that it’s in real trouble as evidenced by the notice of intent to deny.” So what we had them do was withdraw that case and we filed a brand new case. And this time we filed a much stronger case. We had much more evidence. When they moved out of state from Northern Illinois, they had started a whole life together and they had real documentation, tons of documentation that we were able to gather and submit.

But I wanted to tell you that the one reason we were willing to do this and to proceed with the case was because of the US citizen. She was very strong, very confident, she made a great witness and we were feeling good that we could get the case approved if we could get another interview. So we filed a new I-130 and they got scheduled for their interview. And my colleague, Andrew, flew down to where they live. And we just got notice that the case was approved. So you can come back from a notice of intent to deny. You can win on a notice of intent to deny, but it takes a lot of work and you have to be really smart and you have to pick and choose your battles. So in this one, we actually withdrew the crappy case and filed a new much stronger case. Sometimes we just go ahead and respond to the notice of intent to deny. We won that way.

But this case was so full of mistakes that we thought that closing up that file and filing a new one made the most sense. So that’s what we did. And we’re very happy for our clients, our client, because they’ve been married so freaking long, and because USCIS took so long to approve the case, he got an actual 10 year green card. And of course he can apply for citizenship in 3 years if he and the US citizen remain married. Hope this makes sense. Hope this gives you hope if you face a notice of intent to deny. If you need help with one, give us a call, 314-961-8200. You can email us info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called The 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 time, answering as many of your immigration and law related questions as possible. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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