A Second Chance at a Marriage Petition
August 18th, 2022
The following client success story is an example of how with the appropriate legal representation, a person can have a marriage petition and a Green Card approved, even if they had a prior failed marriage residency petition and past criminal charges.
John was born in Ghana and entered the United States with an F-2 visa in 2002 when he was 14 years old. He enjoyed living in the United States and wanted to remain here for the rest of his life, but he had overstayed his visa and his options were now limited.
When John was 20 years old, he met Nancy through his mother. They began to build a relationship based on common interests, such as movies and basketball. They fell in love and got married, excited to begin their lives together. Nancy, who was a U.S. Citizen, petitioned for John to become a Lawful Permanent Resident, and everything appeared to be on track. However, things began to fall apart when Nancy lost her job and she turned to drugs and alcohol. John did his best to help Nancy through this crisis. They moved into his mother’s house so that they could worry less about financial issues and focus instead on their marriage, but the relationship fell apart and after over 3 years of marriage, Nancy and John divorced.
Meanwhile, the USCIS had denied the marriage petition because John and Nancy did not provide enough evidence in support of their marriage. John was now in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge, facing the possibility of being removed from the United States and separated from his family. The Immigration lawyers at FitzGerald Law Company knew that it was important to manage the removal proceedings in a way that would permit John to apply for residency if he became eligible. In the meantime, our attorneys filed an application for asylum due to his fear of returning to Ghana in light of his tribal membership, and he was scheduled to appear before an Immigration Judge for his final hearing in 2016.
In 2014, John’s life changed again when he met Laura, who is also from Ghana. They began dating and received the surprising news that she was pregnant with their first child. After their daughter was born, John and Laura got married. Laura was a Lawful Permanent Resident at the time, and our attorneys knew that this meant that she could petition for John. A residency petition for a spouse was filed for John, and when Laura became a U.S. Citizen, our attorneys immediately informed the Immigration Judge so that John would have the time he needed to complete the petition process. Several months later, the petition was approved by an Immigration Officer, and John was now eligible to adjust his status and become a Legal Permanent Resident.
Our immigration lawyers worked hard to prepare John for his final hearing before the Immigration Court because even though his Marriage Petition was approved, he still had to convince the Judge he should be granted a Green Card. John had a small criminal history from his youth related to operating vehicles without a license and possession of alcohol, but unfortunately he had also been charged for an Assault & Battery, a charge which was dismissed by the prosecution 4 years earlier. John testified calmly and explained that he was never abusive toward anyone and why the case had been dismissed. The Immigration Judge found him credible and granted him Legal Permanent Residency. Now, John, his wife, and their daughter can plan their lives without the concern of Removal Proceedings or deportation.
If you think we can assist you with an immigration matter, please call our office in Boston to schedule an initial meeting with one of our experienced immigration attorneys at (617) 303-2600 (ext. 0).
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