Green Card Application Approved for Client in Removal Proceedings Who Had Previously Been Ordered Removed in Absentia

Our client is a native of Barbados who married a United States citizen in 2003. They have 3 United States citizen children. Our client had utilized the services of a non-lawyer to file her initial green card application. The green card application was not prepared properly and was denied. Our client had changed her address after the filing of the green card application the non-lawyer told our client he would notify the Immigration Service of the address change but never did. When the green card application was denied our client was placed into removal proceedings but she never received the notice that she had to attend a hearing in Immigration Court because the Immigration Service sent the notice to her old address. Our client was ordered removed in absentia. Several years later, our client was arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for failing to depart the United States following the removal order which she did not even know about. Our client’s family retained us for assistance and we immediately filed a motion to re-open the in absentia removal order which automatically stayed the removal. We also filed a bond motion for our client to be released from detention. We successfully re-opened the in absentia removal order on the basis that our client did not receive notice of her hearing and our client was granted a bond by the Immigration Judge. Once she was released from prison we represented her husband in the filing of Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on her behalf and filed a new I-485 adjustment of status application on her behalf. The I-130 Petition was approved and we thereafter filed a motion to terminate removal proceedings which was granted. The file was transferred to USCIS where our client was interviewed by a USCIS Officer on her I-485 adjustment of status application and the application was approved. Our client went from having a final order of removal against her to being a Permanent Resident of the United States.

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