This is a story about resilience.
During the darkest days of our client’s immigration journey, we encouraged her to keep the faith because her breakthrough was in sight.
Here’s what happened…
Client was a J-1 visa holder. She spent three summers in the US on her J-1 program.
Her third J-1 visa was marked “Two Year rule does apply.”
After going back to Jamaica for only a couple of months, she decided to return to the US for a visit.
During this visit, she met and fell in love with her soon-to-be US citizen husband.
Without understanding our laws, they filed an Adjustment of Status marriage case on their own.
During the Green Card interview, the USCIS officer asked whether she had obtained a waiver of the “two-year residency rule.”
This rule required her to spend two years in Jamaica before returning to the US.
Unfortunately, she did not file the J-1 waiver.
Clients then hired our firm to prepare the J-1 waiver.
Our J-1 waiver request was approved.
USCIS also approved the I-130 petition but denied her previously-filed I-485 application.
We then filed a Motion to Reopen her I-485 case arguing that USCIS should consider the new fact of an approved J-1 waiver.
While our Motion to Reopen was still pending, the clients had a very bad argument.
The police arrested her, and she was charged with a domestic violence crime.
An order of protection was also issued against her, and she could not return home.
Domestic violence is a very serious problem for noncitizens.
It could lead to removal proceedings if the noncitizen is convicted.
Our client was now facing the prospect of a deportable conviction and not obtaining residency through her spouse.
She was also unemployed during this time and faced significant financial burdens.
She became very depressed and wanted to give up.
This was a devastating time for her.
However, because she understood all that was at stake, she made the sacrifice to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent her.
Her criminal case was dragged out for over a year.
Client later reconciled with her husband, and the domestic violence charges were dismissed.
We then prepared a new I-485 Adjustment of Status case because USCIS had erroneously denied her Motion to Reopen.
We told her that although the domestic violence charges were dismissed, USCIS still has the discretion to deny her case.
Thus, our case focused heavily on proving to USCIS that she has good character despite her new criminal record.
After we filed the case, USCIS interviewed them a second time.
A few days after the interview, the case was approved! She received her ten-year Green Card.
Our client’s Green Card journey was much longer than she anticipated. It started in August 2017 and ended in June 2022.
Nevertheless, despite the bumps in the road, she ultimately obtained the victory with help from our smart immigration lawyers.
P.S. Every case is different. Past successes do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Consult a licensed immigration lawyer to discuss your unique situation.