Recently one of our clients was approved for a green card through the diversity lottery process. He originally came to the United States in 2000 as a student. He met his wife a year later and the couple married. She petitioned for him to get his green card, but after at least 5 interviews, two motions to reopen and countless requests for evidence, he was placed in removal proceedings. He was ordered deported in absentia.
He hired The Nunez Firm two years ago asking us to reopen his deportation case and fight for his adjustment of status to permanent residency. We were successful in reopening his case. The immigration judge agreed to terminate the removal proceedings because we argued that my client still had an open case with USCIS that was awaiting adjudication.
After the removal proceedings were terminated, my client won the diversity lottery and asked me to assist in processing the green card. The processing of a diversity lottery based adjustment is generally fairly routine; however, his other case with USCIS had been pending for over 8 years already. Initially, I told him that I believed we had a less than 50% chance to win his case because there were several issues complicating his adjustment.
We filed for the adjustment of status earlier this year. After not hearing from USCIS for several months, I followed up with them asking why we had not received an interview notice. USCIS agreed to schedule an interview. At the interview, the officer seemed to stone-walling us. She had not read the file and was not prepared. She said she would have a decision to us within 30 days. I reminded her that diversity lottery adjustment cases must be adjudicated by September 30th or they become moot.
After 30 days, we did not receive a decision. I drove to LA again and asked to speak with her. She said she still had not reviewed the file, but she did not believe he was eligible for adjustment because he was out of status. I explained that despite being out of status, the case law I provided in my legal brief clearly stated that he was eligible for adjustment of status despite falling out of status because he was still a spouse of a US citizen.
She said she would review that case law and would have a decision to me within a week. I reminded her that we only had 20 days left before September 30th.
Once again, she did not issue a decision. I drove back to LA three more times over the next three weeks including a visit on September 28th to speak to a supervisor. We contacted US congressmen to get them involved as well. Finally, on September 30th, my client called me. He was very excited and announced that he just checked his case status online and the case was approved. I was shocked as well, but very happy for him.
If you are considering the adjustment of status process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you at our Irvine office and discuss your case and any possible options available to you.