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Post image for With N-648 and Despite DUI Convictions, Citizenship / Naturalization N-400 Approved for Argentinian Client convictions in Cleveland Ohio

CASE: N-400 (Citizenship / Naturalization)

APPLICANT: Argentinian

LOCATION: Ohio

Our client contacted us in April 2014 to seek legal representation for his naturalization and citizenship N-400 application. He came to the United States from Argentina and obtained his green card in March 1995. He retained our office for his naturalization and citizenship N-400 application. He was concerned about his multiple DUI convictions and traffic violations. Moreover, our client has health concerns and wanted to include an N-648 medical exemption application (medical certification for disability exceptions).

The naturalization and citizenship N-400 application was filed on July 22, 2015 with all supporting documents. Our office prepared him before his naturalization interview, and also accompanied him on September 29, 2015 at the Cleveland CIS office. Though he has a lot of DUIs in the past, most were before 2008. We argued that he had the requisite good moral character for the statutory 5-year period preceding the N-400 application.

Our client’s history test was waived since his N-648 was granted by the office. Our client passed his English test and did his N-400 interview. The USCIS officer asked our client to submit a certified copy of a criminal record that was previously expunged. We filed the RFE response to the Cleveland USCIS Field Office on October 8, 2015.

Eventually, his naturalization application was approved on October 30, 2015. His oath taking is scheduled in which he will become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office for free consultations with Attorney JP Sarmiento at jp@sarmientoimmigration.com or (216) 573-3712.

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Post image for Waiver of Joint Filing Requirement Due to Divorce, I-751 Approval for Argentinian Client in Columbus Ohio

CASE: I-751 / Waiver of the Joint Waiver Requirement
APPLICANT: Argentinian
LOCATION: Columbus, OH

Our client contacted our office in late September of 2013 regarding his potential I-751 filing. He is from Argentina and was married to a U.S. citizen in March 2011.

Through this marriage, he obtained a 2-year conditional green card in October of 2011. Therefore, his conditional residency terminated in October 2013.

Unfortunately, during their marriage, our client and his ex-wife went through some struggles. They lived separately for a while and their divorce was finalized in October 2013. Our client could thus not file the I-751 application jointly with his ex-wife.

After consultation, we advised him that we can help him file the I-751 application with a waiver of the joint filing requirement. We requested a waiver because our client entered into the marriage in good faith, but the marriage was terminated through divorce or annulment before they can file a joint petition.

On October 28, 2013, our office filed the I-751 application with various supporting documents (over 10 exhibits and an affidavit over 2 pages) to demonstrate our client’s bona fide marriage with his ex-wife.  Eventually, on April 16, 2014, the USCIS approved our request for removal of conditions on his permanent resident status without even an interview. Now, he has her ten-year green card.

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Post image for Marriage to US Citizen Green Card Approval for Argentinian Client in New York, NY

CASE: Marriage to US Citizen Green Card

CLIENT: Argentinian

LOCATION: New York, NY

Our client came to the United States from Argentina with a B-2 Visitor Visa in March 2013. Later, he married his current wife, who was a green card holder at the time of filing, in September 2013. His I-94 was not expired at the time of his green card filing as well.

Our client retained our office in early September 2013 for his I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application. Although the Petitioner was a green card holder, we could file the I-130 / I-485 simultaneously at that time because the priority date for the F2A category was current in August and September 2013. Our office prepared and filed an I-130 petition and I-485 adjustment of status application, together with all necessary supporting documents, on September 10, 2013. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, fingerprint appointment, and work permits all came on time.

While his green card application was pending, our client’s wife became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in November 2013. Thus, our client’s case can be upgraded from the F2A category to Immediate Relative, which has available immigrant visa numbers all the time.

Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients through conference calls. On January 24, 2014, our client was interviewed at the New York, New York USCIS office. Eventually on February 6, 2014, his green card application was approved.

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Post image for 601 Hardship Waiver Approval for Argentinian Client in Washington, D.C.

CASE:  I-601 Hardship Waiver of Inadmissibility

APPLICANT / BENEFICIARY: Argentinian

LOCATION: Washington, D.C.

Our client came to the United States from Argentina as an F-1 student, and later got a job after graduation, eventually getting an H-1B visa.

He later married a U.S. citizen wife and his wife filed an I-130 petition for him. He concurrently filed an I-485 adjustment of status application in 2012.

The I-130 petition was approved; however, the USCIS issued a Notice to Intent to Deny on December 8, 2012 and requested our client to submit an I-601 waiver application because he was found inadmissible due to his previous criminal conviction.

In 2007, our client was convicted of a minor drug possession case in the United States. This conviction made him ineligible for adjustment of status.  As a result of this conviction, he was found to be inadmissible pursuant to Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) of the INA.  (Criminal ground of inadmissibility).

After the Notice of Intent to Deny was issued, our client contacted our office in December 2012 to pursue his I-601 waiver. Based on his story and surrounding circumstances (hardship to his U.S. citizen wife if he is deported), our office determined that he had a good chance of winning.  Eventually, he retained our office on December 12, 2012.

Section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a waiver of INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) if the crime relates to a single offense of possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana and the Applicant has a U.S. Citizen spouse who would suffer extreme hardship if he or she was denied admission into the United States. In Matter of Martinez-Espinoza, 25 I & N Dec. 118 (BIA 2009), the BIA held that a 212(h) waiver may be sought for a drug paraphernalia conviction that relates to a single offense of simple possession of marijuana. INA § 212(h) provides for a discretionary waiver of the criminal inadmissibility ground. To qualify for the waiver, the alien must establish that his or her U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission. INA § 212(h).

There is a seminal BIA case that deals with this waiver.  In Matter of Cervantes, 22 I & N Dec. 560 (BIA 1999), the BIA identified factors to be considered in determining whether a qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were denied admission.  Those factors include: the presence of LPR or USC family ties both within and outside the United States; the conditions in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties to that country; the financial impact of departure from the United States; and significant conditions of health, particularly when tied to the unavailability of suitable medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate.

Our client’s I-601 application had a good chance since our client’s U.S. Citizen wife suffers from the misalignment of her foot and related surgeries due to a past incident. In the I-601 brief and supporting documents, our office included extensive medical reports from his wife.  We argued that if he was removed from the United States, extreme hardship to his wife is clearly foreseeable and evident.  His wife needs consistent and continuous physical therapy to help deal with her pain and she would not be able to take care of her own needs and the bulk of their family chores, most importantly taking care of their infant child. Also, it would be extremely difficult for her to get the same level of physical therapy and satisfactory access to medical services in Argentina in case she joins our client there.

In our brief, we also argued that our client and his wife have maintained strong family ties in the United States, that his wife will have difficulty in finding the same level of employment in Argentina, that our client has good employment in the United States, and that his U.S. citizen child and his wife will face extreme financial and emotional difficulties if he is removed.

On December 18, 2012, we filed the I-601 waiver application which included the brief in support, his wife’s medical records, and other documents that demonstrated hardship to his wife if he is removed from the United States.

On May 15, 2013, his I-601 waiver was approved. Now, his I-485 green card application will be considered again and will likely be approved.

FREE CONSULTATIONS

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For other I-601 waiver success stories, please click here.

For other success stories, please click here.

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Case: I-130/I-485
Issue: Visa Waiver Overstay
Applicant/Beneficiary – Argentinean
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Our client entered the United States in 2001 from Argentina under the visa waiver program.  When he entered the United States, he was a minor and came with his parents.  As a Visa Waiver Entrant, he was only authorized to remain in the United States for 90 days. However, he has remained in the United States ever since.

Several years later, he married his U.S. citizen wife on March 25, 2011. One main issue in his green card application through marriage was the fact that he came to the United States under the visa waiver program.   As our office wrote in our previous success story with a similar issue,  under the visa waiver program, citizens of certain countries can enter the U.S. for 90 days without a visa with the condition that the visitor waives his or her right to contest removal (other than on the basis of asylum).  The “no-contest” provision of the Visa Waiver Program is fundamental; if someone could enter under the VWP and then contest removability, it would defeat the whole purpose of the Program which is to make it easy for certain nationals to come to the United States to visit and then leave without all the red-tape involved in visa issuance.

Our office filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on July 21, 2010.  Our office requested the CIS to exercise favorable discretion in granting adjustment of status despite the filing date falling beyond the expiration of the visa waiver. Everything went smoothly and the receipt notices, the fingerprint appointment, and the work permit all came on time. There was no Request for Evidence.  Prior to the interview, we thoroughly prepared our clients. On October 14, 2011, our client was interviewed at the Columbus, Ohio USCIS Field Office.  We accompanied them at the interview as well.  Despite the visa waiver / overstay issue, the USCIS officer approved his green card application on the same day.  Now, our client is a green card holder.

FREE CONSULTATIONS

If you have any questions, please fill out the free consultation form below, and we will respond as soon as possible privately. 

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For other visa waiver success stories, please click here.

For other success stories, please click here.

Also feel free to contact our office anytime for free consultations.

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