Applicant/Beneficiary – German
Location: Memphis, TN
Our client entered the United States in November 2010 from Germany under the visa waiver program. He came here to visit his U.S. citizen girlfriend (now his wife). As a Visa Waiver Entrant, he was only authorized to remain in the United States only for 90 days.
Later, in April 2011, our client and his U.S. citizen girlfriend married in the United States. His wife contacted our office, and they retained our office on July 8, 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.
Since our client resided in Memphis, Tennessee, his application had a better chance compared to states under the 9th Circuit (see Momeni v. Chertoff). However, it was quite foreseeable that the USCIS field office will exercise its discretion to deny his application because of his visa waiver entry.
Nevertheless, our office filed the I-130 Petition and I-485 Adjustment of Status Application on November 8, 2012. Our office requested the CIS to exercise favorable discretion in granting adjustment of status. 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 February 19, 2013, our client was interviewed at the Memphis, Tennessee USCIS Field Office. Despite the visa waiver issue, the USCIS officer approved his green card application on the same day. Now, our client is a green card holder.
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