I-485 After Proving Applicant’s Physical Presence 20 Years Prior

I-485 After Proving Applicant's Physical Presence 20 Years Prior

  • Applicant: Mr. Castro*
  • Nationality: Mexico
  • Applying For: I-485
  • Time: I-485 Review
  • Challenges:
    • Proving applicant’s physical presence from nearly 20 years ago to qualify for adjustment of status
    • USCIS challenged the legitimacy of the labor certificate petition
    • Employer who filed the labor certificate (245i Petition) is no longer in business.
    • Had a child who needed medical care for the rest of his life



    In an ideal world, most immigration cases would be straightforward. The client comes in with a visa, they have married a U.S. citizen, they get their green card, and everyone is happy. Many law firms will only take such clients because messier situations often lead to higher amounts of work and less chance of success. However, that leaves many hardworking, loving people, without legal help. Without legal help, many immigrants would be unaware of all of the various ways that they are covered by the law, including lawful stipulations from as far back as 2001. Such was the case for our client Mr. Castro. He had been petitioned by his employer back in 2001, which later made him and his wife eligible for adjustment of status. When his U.S. citizen daughter turned 21, she decided to petition him and his wife in order to help them obtain Lawful Permanent Resident status in the U.S. She was able to do so under a little-known provision called Section 245(i) of the Provision of LIFE Act. As long as Mr. and Mrs. Castro could proof, they were present in the United States in December 2001, they will be eligible for adjustment.

    But when they came they were afraid. The youngest of Mr. Castro’s children suffers from a terrible heart condition that will require medical care for the rest of his life. They would rather not rock the boat at all rather than fail to get a green card. They were not experts in the law and were scared one little mistake could ruin the rest of their lives. They needed a law firm where they knew the attorneys were dedicated and determined to get client’s cases approved, and that was exactly what they found at Tsang & Associates.

    “We like to challenge ourselves. We like to work with all kinds of cases. I’m a mother too, so when I heard the story about the youngest child’s health and about how catastrophic failing this petition could be, I wanted to take the time to explain to them that they would absolutely succeed in their petition, and I wanted to ensure that we could get this done for them… To me, when my client comes to me and cries tears of joy that means we’re family. It means the world to me” – Gabriela Banuelos, Account Manager



    When we got Mr. Castro’s case, once we dug into their lives, it was clear that he should be eligible. Thus, we started doing the preparatory work that has led our firm to be highly successful in these cases before. Part of that work was Mr. Castro having to track down his former employer from nearly twenty years prior. When he did find him, the man (now quite elderly) couldn’t remember Mr. Castro. However, Mr. Castro was able to secure pay stubs and other documentation proving that he worked for that company during the year 2000. Those documents, along with many others, were sent with Mr. Castro and his wife when they went to their interview.

    However, when Mr. Castro and his wife went in to interview with United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), the interviewing officer did not want to look at the bountiful evidence that they had accumulated. Instead, the officer chose to issue a Request for Evidence (RFE). This was unusual, as was the fact that the officer had dates wrongly presented in the RFE and the RFE mentioned the wrong company in reference as to who petitioned Mr. Castro in the first place.

    In addition to the strangeness of the document, the RFE devastated our clients. They thought for sure that they would never get approved after they had already gotten all the documentation together just for it to be ignored by the Officer. We had to work to assure them that the RFE was not a problem. They are generally issued when it becomes difficult for an officer to internalize all of the facts in a case, and Mr. Castro’s case was a complicated one.

    In response, we had to issue a response gently correcting the figures for the Officer. It was not to insult or degrade an officer, as that would not be in the client’s best interests, but we did have to point out that in this case, the officer had shown factual inconsistencies. Beyond that, we also had to include all the evidence that we knew would actually be required by the caseworker to get our clients approved. The RFE we received was a full three pages long, but we were able to respond with pages upon pages of documentation that not only showed the officer how the law should have been interpreted in the first place but also included proof of our clients being on the right side of that law.



    Mr. Castro was approved for a green card within three weeks of responding to the RFE. Mr. Castro visited our office to show us his new documentation and to thank us. There were tears of joy shared, and now Mr. Castro is free of the weight of his immigration situation and is better able to care for his family. Additionally, he was able to go visit his mother in Mexico, a mother he hadn’t gotten to see in nearly 25 years.

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