I-601 and I-485 Applications Approved for Individual who Entered the United States with a False Passport under the Visa Waiver Program

Getson & Schatz, P.C. obtained an approval of Form I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility in connection with an I-485 Adjustment of Status Application following a four year delay in the processing of the application by UCSIS. We were the third immigration law firm to handle the case, following failures by two previous immigration attorneys to successfully process the applications.

Our client entered the United States using a false passport under the visa waiver program.  He subsequently married a United States Citizen with significant health problems.

The first attorney our client consulted with mistakenly did not believe our client was eligible to apply for a green card from within the United States due to the nature of his entry.  The second attorney filed an I-130 Petition and I-485 Application based upon the marriage and also filed Form I-601 Application to waive the grounds of inadmissibility of the use of the false passport to enter the United States.  The I-130 Petition was approved but the second attorney did not properly document the I-601 Application and was unable to get the application approved as the improper documentation led to a delay in adjudication by UCSIS.  The second attorney stopped effectively communicating with the client and the case was brought to our Philadelphia immigration attorneys.

Our Philadelphia immigration attorneys initially entered our appearance on behalf of our client and provided USCIS with additional documentation in support of his I-601 Application to show that his wife would suffer extreme hardship if he were not granted U.S. permanent resident status and removed from the United States.

Our client’s wife suffered a back injury while working and underwent a corrective L4-L5 laminectomy and discectomy.  The damage was so severe that it required a second laminectomy and discectomy 4 years later. While it seemed the condition had improved following the second back surgery, 10 years later the discs became displaced once again. Steroid injections were administered but these did not improve the condition. Following a third back surgery, it was determined that the disk degeneration in the back of our client’s wife was so severe that no surgery would ever heal her. This condition, cervical and lumbar degenerative disc disease, has resulted in our client’s wife’s inability to lift more than 5 pounds, drive, clean, and cook, and limits her to a few hours of walking and sitting a day.  The medical evidence demonstrated that because of this condition, and resulting depression caused by it, our client’s wife requires ongoing medical treatment in the United States and is dependent solely upon our client to care for her at home.

We further demonstrated that due to an under-funded health system in our client’s home country, extreme hardship would result if his wife went to live with him in his home country as the ongoing medical care she requires is unavailable in his home country.  We also showed that our client’s wife would suffer extreme hardship if she relocated to our client’s home country as she does not speak the language and would be subject to dangerous and discriminatory conditions in his home country including being at risk of imprisonment, kidnapping, robbery, rape and murder.

Our firm also provided evidence to demonstrate that our client’s wife would suffer extreme financial hardship if he were not permitted to remain in the United States as she is unable to work due to her back condition. An affidavit and supporting documentation submitted to USCIS in support of the I-601 Application showed that without his financial support, our client’s U.S citizen wife would be unable to care for her children, would default on the mortgage and lose her home, and would be unable to continue to pay for the specialized medical care that she requires.

In addition to affidavits from our client and his wife, additional evidence was provided to support the claims made within the affidavits. The additional evidence included appointment summaries, medical records, neurosurgical consultation reports, MRI reports, prescription records, mortgage statements, printouts about Degenerative Disc disease, and printouts on the state of the health system and country conditions in our client’s home country.

When we submitted the additional evidence to USCIS we indicated in our firm’s cover letter that due to the long delay in the adjudication of the applications, if we did not receive a decision within 30 days we would be filing a Writ of Mandamus in federal court to compel action to be taken.  When USCIS did not respond within 30 days we filed the Writ of Mandamus.  Within a few weeks of the filing of the Writ of Mandamus we received a notice from USCIS scheduling another interview for our client and his wife.

We prepared our client and his wife for the interview and attended the interview with them.  Following the interview the I-485 and I-601 applications were both approved and our client received his green card.

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