Facing deportation

Old Apr 7th 2007, 3:50 pm
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Default Facing deportation

Hi,

I was referred here by visajourney.com, and though I would post our dire situation here and ask for help also.

I wished that I was even remotely responsible many months ago. My wife and I have been married since 2003 (I've been a naturalized citizen for the last 20+ years), and she was on a conditional PR (and have been in the country for the last 4 years.)

Unfortunately, we are 6 months late in filing the I-751, and am faced with what seems like a huge emergency.

Here are the most worrisome facts that we're faced with:

* Her conditional PR card has been expired for 6 months
* We've never made her a SS#
* No shared financial statements (partly due to lack of #SS, also because I was paying for most everything) except shared address
* Haven't had a wedding ceremony
* Tax returns have not been filed for the last 3 years


Now what we do have:

* Shared address for the last 3-4 years (Her checking/saving account and mine are to the same address)
* We have paid for each other's expenses each other's debit cards
* Have trustworthy colleagues & clients who can sign affidavits
* Have plenty of photographs, videos, and other personal items
* Have hired a CPA to help us file the tax returns, which will be filed jointly asap


We're just deathly afraid that we have become a case in what NOT to do in a marriage-base visa, and have made too many mistakes. Of course we'd love a second chance to get her a SS# and get everything in a joint status, as we're thinking of buying a house later this year, but if she enters the removal process it will all be moot.

What are our chances? Should we hire an immigration lawyer? How realistic is to get a one year extension to get things in order even with a lawyer's help?

I almost wish they came by at odd hours to check on us (I've heard stories of immigration officers coming by at odd hours) or even a surveillance camera at this point to prove our marriage...

Would most welcome any advise or comments -- thank you so much....
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by newyork37 View Post
Should we hire an immigration lawyer?
YES, and IMMEDIATELY.

Best Wishes,
Rene
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 4:25 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
YES, and IMMEDIATELY.

Best Wishes,
Rene
Thanks Rene -- is there anyway helpful guide or list of experienced lawyer, or is it getting a list locally (we live in Manhattan) and calling and asking questions regarding our case?
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by newyork37 View Post
Thanks Rene -- is there anyway helpful guide or list of experienced lawyer, or is it getting a list locally (we live in Manhattan) and calling and asking questions regarding our case?
http://www.ailalawyer.com/
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

How realistic is to get a one year extension to get things in order even with a lawyer's help?
You have nothing to extend.

I would expect that a lawyer would tell you to file again, start from scatch, the sooner the better. That way you at least get her back in status.
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
You have nothing to extend.

I would expect that a lawyer would tell you to file again, start from scatch, the sooner the better. That way you at least get her back in status.
Thanks very much David,

Is it actually possible to start from scratch? If so, I would assume that she has to leave the country, and if so, would that mean a certain # years ban on re-entering US?
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
You have nothing to extend.

I would expect that a lawyer would tell you to file again, start from scatch, the sooner the better. That way you at least get her back in status.
I suspect you may well be right. Let's hope they've kept copies of all the stuff they previously filed. They do seem terribly disorganised. You'd think the wife, seeing she wasn't working, would have had time to keep on top of this simple process...
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by newyork37 View Post
Thanks very much David,

Is it actually possible to start from scratch? If so, I would assume that she has to leave the country, and if so, would that mean a certain # years ban on re-entering US?
NO!!! Whatever you do, she must *not* leave the country!
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by newyork37 View Post
Thanks very much David,

Is it actually possible to start from scratch? If so, I would assume that she has to leave the country, and if so, would that mean a certain # years ban on re-entering US?
Assuming she entered legally she can still adjust in the US, being out of status is forgiven when adjusting through marriage to a USC.
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 5:06 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Assuming she entered legally she can still adjust in the US, being out of status is forgiven when adjusting through marriage to a USC.
Not if she leaves the US though...
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 5:17 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
Not if she leaves the US though...
Whew -- the last thing we want to do is for her to be out of the country and can't return.

Glad to know that she can adjust her status while being in US, given legal and other help!

We can handle starting the process from scratch - just could not fathom us uprooting and having to start our lives all over again elsewhere.

We came to US together and through 100% legal status, and have not had any problems since then. Like another poster said, after all the hard work and the pain of going through the process, we let the simplest thing go unchecked.
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
Thanks so much Elvira -- I've placed a few calls in the Manhattan area.
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by newyork37 View Post
Thanks so much Elvira -- I've placed a few calls in the Manhattan area.
They might be expensive though - might be cheaper to go a little further afield. Most of this stuff can be handled by mail/e-mail/phone, so you may not actually have to meet more than once.

Make sure you get a quote.
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
They might be expensive though - might be cheaper to go a little further afield. Most of this stuff can be handled by mail/e-mail/phone, so you may not actually have to meet more than once.

Make sure you get a quote.
Will do -- obviously being the first time being in this situation, not sure how much of the "get the best representation money can buy" holds true here.

I will also look for the school / years of experience -- and look in the surrounding area. Like finding a good physician, it all seems very difficult to get a good gauge on which firm to trust.
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Old Apr 7th 2007, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Facing deportation

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
I suspect you may well be right. Let's hope they've kept copies of all the stuff they previously filed. They do seem terribly disorganised. You'd think the wife, seeing she wasn't working, would have had time to keep on top of this simple process...
This I have to take full responsibilities for -- she still doesn't speak English very well and have trusted me to get the process forward. I had the dumbest notion that somehow we'd be notified for an interview, and an even dumber notion that we should have been absolutely vigilant in getting documentations in order.

We've gone through the steps before this w/o much of an issue - this simple, simple step has just not been kept on top of.

As much of a screw-up I have been on this, we do have all the paperwork as backups, including her original status, financial documentations, etc. to get her the conditional GC in the first place.

If she can stay in the US while we restart the process, that's a thousand times better than her being deported and me picking up everything and leaving US as well.

Last edited by newyork37; Apr 7th 2007 at 5:34 pm.
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