Successful Defense Against Removal (Deportation) - 237(a)(1)(H) waiver
Our firm recently successfully represented a client who was facing deportation because he got married before he immigrated to the United States. This client was sponsored by his LPR (green card) father under F-2B category - as an unmarried adult child of a permanent resident. Under this category, the child must remain single until he is admitted to the United States as an immigrant.
The problem for this client took place between the time that he was already granted an immigrant visa by the US Consulate but before he left his country. During this period, he decided to get married, believing that once he arrives in the US, he would be able to immediately sponsor his wife. So this was exactly what he did.
After he filed an I-130 visa petition for his wife, the USCIS found about the marriage before he was admitted as an immigrant. The USCIS denied the I-130 visa petition and placed him in removal proceedings, seeking to take away his green card and deport him. The client came to us for consultation. When we inquired with him as to why he got married and whether he was advised by the US Consulate that he must not get married before he entered the US. He said that the US Consulate never told him not to get married and did not require him to sign anything. Technically, what the US Consulate should have done is to have him sign a Form FS-548 (Statement of Marriageable Age Applicant), advising him that if he gets married, it would invalidate his immigrant visa under F-2B category.
In any event, after he was placed in the removal proceedings, the client, through counsel, filed a 237(a)(1)(H) waiver with the Immigration Court, asking the Court to terminate the proceedings and let him legally remain as an LPR. This is a discretionary relief that the Immigration Court could grant to someone who has a qualifying family member in the US and out of the consideration for the family unity, the Court may exercise discretion to approve the waiver request. For more info about the waiver, you can visit this practice advisory here.
Practice area(s): Immigration