This is a textbook case of what NOT to do during your I-751 petition. Our client had a checkered past with USCIS, few joint documents, and filed the I-751 right before getting a divorce! If she withdraws her I-751, she risks being out of status while the court processes her divorce, potentially accruing a 10-year bar.
If you’re in a similar situation, there’s still hope. Here’s what we did:
First, we set up consultations to prepare for her uncontested divorce, and ensured that this was the route the couple was set on taking. An uncontested divorce was the cheapest and most
efficient divorce process, as they had agreed on asset allocation, had no children, or other disputes that could not be negotiated.
Second, we prepared the I-751 waiver packet gathering the little joint-documentation she was able to provide, and carefully assembled her case to show her bonafide marriage.
Third, we prepared her for the interview appearance with one of our attorneys that was able to simultaneously convert the I-751 to a waiver, while requesting for the longest RFE response deadline possible to avoid having to refile and accrue additional fees and processing time.
On the day of the interview, we sent an attorney with her to explain her situation to the officer, and luckily the officer was moved by her story and allowed the I-751 to convert to an I-751 Waiver, pending her divorce paperwork. Once her divorce was finalized, we submitted it to the officer again, explained the situation one more time, and she was approved for her 10-year green card.
As this case illustrates, an I-751 waiver can be complicated. Aside from figuring out what, when, and how to do it the best way for your unique case, there are so many emotions to grapple with. On one end, you are dealing with the anxiety that is brought upon the uncertainty of your future in the U.S., and on the other, you are having to purposely dig up conversations, pictures, documents that inadvertently evoke strong emotions of the memories of a former lover.
As a result, we take pride in our prompt communication, friendly legal team, and accessibility that alleviates at least SOME of the anxiety. If you’ve submitted an I-751 before a divorce, your case is totally still winnable. Stay calm, don’t give up, and seek counsel if you feel like you’re in over your head.
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