Married Couple’s Long Immigration Battle Comes to an End
August 2, 2012Shahid Haque
Almost three years ago, a newly married couple came into my office, eager to begin the process to obtain a visa so they could start a life together in this country. I helped the husband, who is a U.S. citizen, submit a petition for a marriage visa for his wife. However, this process ended up being far more lengthy and complicated than anyone anticipated.An employer had previously sponsored the foreign spouse for an employment-based green card. However, the employer’s attorneys were handling all of the details, and she was not kept in the loop on the status of that case. This employment petition was ultimately denied, and she was referred to Immigration Court proceedings. However, the Immigration Court notices were sent to the employer’s attorneys — not to her. No one informed her about the court hearing, and she had no idea any hearing had been scheduled.Therefore, when a hearing was scheduled and she failed to attend, she was ordered deported in her absence. Earlier this week, we wrote about a different case in which a client was wrongly ordered deported when he did not receive notice of a hearing. In that post, we explained how Immigration Court notices are sent by simple first class mail with no delivery confirmation or tracking, and therefore people in removal proceedings quite often do not receive proper notice.When we learned about her order of deportation, we investigated and discovered what had occurred. Then, we quickly filed a motion with the Immigration Court to prove that she never received notice, and that her failure to appear in court should be excused. The court ultimately granted this motion, preventing her from being immediately deported.However, at this point we needed to resolve her Immigration Court proceedings before they could process her application for a green card. The Immigration Court process is slow moving, but last year we were successful in getting the deportation proceedings against our client terminated.Today, we finally had an interview and the marriage visa petition was approved! Within a matter of weeks, the green card will arrive in the mail, and this couple can finally put this ordeal behind them. While the process did not work out quite as they planned, we were finally able to bring their story to a happy ending.