Filing A Motion To Reopen For Marriage Green Card
Full Video Transcript
This Air Force officer filed an immigration application for her spouse, and the case was denied in late 2022, and now the officer’s spouse is illegal in the US. They were extremely frustrated; they booked a consultation with me, and in going through everything, I could just sense the anger and the frustration. But they were able to still speak very succinctly and clearly about everything that was going on, and they just feel like the system failed them. They wanted to see if they should sue the government, or should they do a motion to reopen. I recommended to do a motion to reopen to let the officer not close the case because the case was denied; it’s closed. But if you can reopen the case, then there is no unlawful presence. Then it gets saved, and then if they approve the case, then they suddenly get a green card. The case was approved. Let me kind of walk you through how I have the entire case here. Let’s go.
Hi everyone, my name is Joseph. I’m the managing partner here at Tsang & Associates, where we solve legal problems with creative solutions. So the legal problem was we needed to prove that in this time period, the client was physically present in the US, and that we can file a motion to reopen. They’ve been here since the 1980s; they submitted the marriage application in 2021, and then in August of 2022, their case was denied. They needed to prove that they were physically here on December 21st, 2000. So we wrote, “the respondent respectfully submits additional new evidence to warrant the reevaluation of his case that he may become a lawful permanent resident and continue to stay in the US along with his family.” And we laid out the groundwork, the law for what a motion to reopen is, to show exactly what we need to prove and the new evidence that we’re preparing for.
We provided the legal framework for what is considered new evidence. This was actually one of the hardest parts about this case because think about it, we had to prove in 2022 what happened in like 2001, 20 plus years ago, and you’re supposed to provide new evidence, not things that you could have provided.
So what is considered new evidence and in preparing this case, we had such a short amount of time. We didn’t really have a lot of time to provide and create and get new evidence. So we provided essentially a whole bunch of letters from family and friends and all sorts of different people. Couldn’t you have gotten these letters beforehand? Why did you get it later? So we had to argue a lot, saying these are new evidence; they’re newly signed, newly dated; we couldn’t get it before they were out, you know, and they prepared the case; they filed it. So now that’s how we’re providing it right, and we didn’t think it was necessary before. But we provided everything; it was already sufficient previously, but now since you denied it, we’re providing all these additional documents. On page 11, we did a consequence of denial, and that’s sort of our conclusion where we kind of just write out everything of what will happen if their case is denied and the devastation this will cause on the US citizen and thereby the United States of America. We also have the spouse herself write this very clear and detailed letter. Most of the time when an officer in the Air Force writes a letter of recommendation, it carries a lot of weight. The way she writes, the way she communicates, it was just so powerful and on point and touching.
The case was filed. We don’t exactly know what happened internally with USCIS because this case goes back to the officer who originally denied the case. They reopen the case, and the case was approved. There was no request for evidence, and the green card was just mailed to them. The clients were extremely happy, and it was such a huge turnaround from the case being denied. All the hopes crushed, not being able to sleep, being frustrated, angry, and sad, all bundled up together, losing the will to live, to eat. It was just devastating because this is their future, this is their life, and now within just a few months, the whole thing was turned around, the case was approved.
So, I think in conclusion, this case was just an issue of are you here or are you not here and what evidence can you use to support it? Maybe you just didn’t know, and you didn’t try, and you just deferred to somebody else and got a letter and put things together; you were busy. But because we deal with USCIS on a daily basis with like hundreds of applications flying back and forth, we know what they like to look for, and we try to argue the case well. And this was, I think, the defining difference between a failed case and a proved case, and we’re glad we were able to do it within the time period allotted. So happy to serve. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. Take care. Bye-bye.
In this green card case, a United States Air Force officer and her husband came to us after their green card application had been denied. They were devastated with this result and completely frustrated with what they saw as the government’s failure in their case. They weren’t sure what they needed to do and after a consultation with us where we discussed the options, we determined the motion to reopen was the way to proceed. So we’ll cover how we crafted the motion to reopen for this marriage green card case.
BACKGROUND OF THIS MARRIAGE GREEN CARD CASE
This married couple had been together for more than twenty years when they came to us to explain their green card case had been denied. They were distraught by the news and felt like this was a failure of the system. We determined that the reason for the denial was likely because it wasn’t clear the couple had been in the US 20 years earlier, back in 2000- 2001. We determined we would file a motion to reopen the case to provide the evidence needed to get this marriage green card approved.
CHALLENGES IN FILING THIS MOTION TO REOPEN MARRIAGE GREEN CARD CASE
Probably the greatest challenge in this case was that we needed to provide new evidence. In the legal framework, a motion to reopen requires that the updated filing includes new evidence, pieces of information that weren’t available when the case was first filed, or addressing why the evidence wasn’t included in the original filing. With this case hinging on the couple’s location 20+ years ago, we needed to make it clear that they were in the US and that we did it with what was considered new evidence. This was a challenge.
We also had a short time frame in which to file this case, which added to the challenge of providing new evidence and making sure that we had all the documentation to fully support the reopening of this case.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Providing New Evidence To Support The Case
To address the issue of providing new evidence that would be sufficient in proving the couple’s location in the United States, we provided letters from family and friends and all sorts of different people to confirm the details.
The question that we also had to address was “couldn’t you have gotten these letters beforehand? Why did you wait to get these?” We had to argue this point and show all of the letters were newly signed, recently dated. We had to explain why we didn’t get this before when the case was originally filed. We explained that in the original green card filing it wasn’t clear that this information was necessary and that was why we were providing it now, but hadn’t previously. Since the case was denied it was now clear that more information and these additional documents were needed. All of this went into the success of the motion to reopen marriage green card case.
Highlighting What Was At Stake: Consequence of Denial
Something that wasn’t previously in the case was an explanation of what would happen for this couple and for the United States if the case was denied. We included this consequence of denial. This is essentially our conclusion of what will happen if this couples’ case is denied and the devastation that it would cause on the US citizen and; thereby, the United States of America.
Part of this was including a letter from the spouse herself, a United States Air Force officer. Most of the time when an officer in the Air Force writes a letter of recommendation, it carries a lot of weight. For this officer, the way that she wrote about her case and communicated was so powerful, on point, and touching. It was a beneficial addition to the filing of the motion to reopen and the success of the case to include this letter along with the consequence of denial.
MARRIAGE GREEN CARD CASE RESULT
After filing the motion to reopen, the case went to the original officer who had denied it. After reviewing the case, it was approved and the green card was mailed to the couple. This really turned things around for them. They went from a state of distraught anxiety to relief that they could remain together legally in the US with the new green card approval. It was a life-changing result for them.
LAWYER COMMENTS ON THIS MOTION TO REOPEN MARRIAGE GREEN CARD CASE
In this case, the original denial was really about missing the evidence to make it clear the couple had been in the US when they said they were. Just this missing piece was really what caused this stressful situation and denial of their original filing. Our team deals with USCIS on a daily basis and this experience made it easy for us to see what the problem was and how we could address it to get the motion to reopen and the marriage green card approved.
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