Overcoming a Notice of Intent to Deny for Couple with Six Years of Marriage
Applicant. Mr. Long (U.S. citizen)
Beneficiary’s country/region. Cambodia
Case Type. I-130 Immigrant Spouse (IR-1)
Duration. 1 month
– I-130 petition had been denied by the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia.
– High rate of sham marriages among Cambodian nationals applying for marriage immigration.
– The denial notice lists more than 10 reasons for denial, including a sense of physical and mental distance between the applicant and the beneficiary at the time of the interview.
– Lack of strong written proof of the authenticity of the guest’s marriage.
– No joint accounts and no joint property of the spouses.
– The couple does not have children together.
– The husband (applicant) visited his wife only once a year during the six years of marriage.
– We have only one month to collect the files and prepare a reply that will prove the authenticity of the guest couple’s marriage.
Mr. Long, a U.S. citizen and his wife, a Cambodian citizen, filed an I-130 & I-485 application to live with his wife in the U.S. on a long-term basis. Mr. Long was not familiar with the USCIS rules and requirements and initially submitted only a copy of his marriage certificate and a few recent photos as proof of his true marriage. During the interview, the couple did not seem to have a tacit understanding of each other: they barely made eye contact and gave very different answers about how they met/how long they had known each other. In such cases, the immigration officer usually has reason to suspect that the beneficiary intends to abuse the immigration system to obtain U.S. status. More problematic is that such cases are subject to further investigation, including site visits.
After the interview, Mr. Long received a Notice of Intent to Revoke (NOID) for his I-130 petition. If he could not submit evidence to prove that his marriage was genuine within 30 days, Mr. Long would lose the best opportunity to reunite with his wife. In the midst of this dilemma, Mr. Long turned to Joseph Zang of Tsang & Associates for help.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Not wanting to see Mr. and Mrs. Long separated by an unprepared interview, we quickly and efficiently addressed each of the issues listed in the notice of intent to withdraw. Because of the distance between Mr. and Mrs. Long, there was not much documentation to prove that both parties were emotionally or financially invested in each other. Both Mr. and Mrs. Long are naturally introverted people, and being in the middle of such a nerve-wracking process as an interview, both parties were hesitant and cold during the interview. The most difficult point was how to find direct evidence of Mr. and Mrs. Long’s true marriage.
To find substantial evidence of the authenticity of the marriage, we brainstormed and discovered that Mr. Long also had a Facebook account that he had not used for several years. This account contained many sweet silhouettes of Mr. and Mrs. Long during their rare time together. We consolidated these old photos – real photos of the applicant and beneficiary’s six-year marriage – in chronological order and submitted them to USCIS. In addition, we discovered that Mr. Long had not adequately prepared for this interview, and we helped him gather additional evidence – thousands of text messages and video recordings between the couple, sworn testimony from friends and relatives, and explanations as to why Mr. Long had only visited his wife a few times during their six-year marriage. Although by no means an easy task, we conducted additional research to ensure that Mr. Long’s reunion would be seamless, to illustrate that Mr. Long and his wife are from Cambodia, a country with cultural backgrounds and conservative personalities that differ between East and West, and that the authenticity of Mr. Long’s relationship cannot be judged in its entirety by the way Western couples present themselves.
Mr. Long’s simple dream of being reunited with his wife would have been out of reach had Tsang & Associates not been able to think outside the box and use the evidence to resolve the crisis. Once the I-130 was revoked, his wife would have to return to Cambodia, separated from the couple and unable to spend time with the person he loved most. Mr. Long had felt the pressure of fearing that his application would be denied and that his mother, who suffered from memory loss, would feel desperate not to see her only son start a family. Upon receiving the news of the approval, Mr. and Mrs. Long were very grateful for our help, which helped to resolve the crisis and build a bridge to help them to hold on to each other for the rest of their lives.
*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.
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