02 Jul Relief from Removal Proceedings Granted by Philadelphia Immigration Judge to Individual who Married During Proceedings
Foreign nationals who marry U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents while in removal proceedings must show by clear and convincing evidence that the marriage was entered into in good faith. INA § 245(e)(3). We represented an individual in removal proceedings before the Philadelphia, PA EOIR who married his US Citizen spouse after issuance of the Notice to Appear. We prepared and filed an I-130 Petition and requested a bona fide marriage exemption which must be requested in writing and submitted with Form I-130. 8 C.F.R. §204.2(a)(1)(iii)(A). Our request stated the reason for seeking the exemption and was supported by documentary evidence establishing eligibility for the exemption. We thoroughly documented the relationship which was key to the removal proceedings and to obtaining approval of the visa petition. The documents we included with the I-130 petition included wedding photos; pictures of the couple in a variety of settings and times; joint utility bills; leases; car insurance and other insurance; bills and policies with both names; driver’s licenses with the same address; health insurance cards; joint phone bills for land lines and cellular phones; joint income tax returns; joint bank statements; birth certificates for children; letters from friends and family members; and other evidence to show the couple shares assets and liabilities. The removal proceedings were continued pending a decision on the I-130 Petition by USCIS. We attended a marriage interview with our clients at the Philadelphia Immigration Office and the I-130 Petition was approved by USCIS. Following approval of the I-130 Petition we attended a Master Calendar Hearing and the Immigration Judge scheduled an Individual Hearing for our client to submit evidence in support of the green card application. The Immigration Judge granted relief from removal at the Individual Hearing and our client now has a green card.