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Immigration Courts vs Bonafides of Marriage

New York, NY |

Hi there,
I am in need of learning if the immigration judges also tend to look at joint evidences of spouses who have been divorces? For example, if one gets a notice to appear for failing to convince the IO that the marriage was legit while already divorced at that time, what type of evidences the immigration courts require from the divorced LPR during the hearings?

Would I be required to provide the judge with my joint bills, bank accounts, joint tax returns or will I be required to provide this only to the USCIS while the immigration judges would conduct their hearing with just questions about why the marriage ended and making his or her decision based on the personal story of the LPR?

Perhaps directly asking whether your clients were required to provide their (even if divorced

joint bills, tax returns, credit accounts, insurances to the judge was part of the immigration court hearing or not. There is not much info online about specifically how the immigration hearings get conducted specifically from the point of what the judge wants to see from the LPR before determining whether the immigrant should stay in the US or get deported instead?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Best answer

    Hi this is difficult to answer as many questions arise as I read your question. For one, what relief are you applying for in Immigration Court. If you are having an I-751 Petition reviewed which was filed based upon being divorced but having had a bona fide marriage, the Judge will absolutely review the documentation pertaining to whether the marriage is bona fide. On the other hand, if you are requesting voluntary departure, the Judge may not get into those details.

  2. Hello. Each judge, government prosecutor and case are different, so the evidence and strategy in a particular case will also vary. Work through the details with an attorney. Removal defense is a complicated area of the law and you wouldn't want to go through it without representation. Best of luck.

    Kindly note that this posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Remember, this site is akin to an internet blog. Do not rely on information here to make important decisions in your life. Make an appointment to meet with a licensed attorney in his or her office (or via Skype or phone) to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.

  3. Each case is different and the evidence presented in each case depends upon the various facts and circumstances in each case. You should consult an immigration attorney to discuss the specific issues in your case.

    Disclaimer: The information provided here is generalized and should not be relied upon as legal advice. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  4. If you fail to convince USCIS that the marriage is legitimate, USCIS will deny the U.S. citizen's I-130 petition on your behalf. The immigration judge has no jurisdiction over the I-130 petition - you will have to appeal the initial denial to the Board of Immigration Appeals or file a new I-130. But if you are already divorced by that time, you are, most likely, out of luck.

    Gregory Romanovsky, Esq.

  5. It sounds to me like you are asking about removal of conditions of residence. You haven't provided enough information about your situation. I am assuming you are asking about removal of conditions, and that you are a conditional LPR who's marriage ended prior to filing the form I-751. USCIS generally adjudicates these applications and waivers, which are filed together on the form I-751. If USCIS denies your I-751 you are placed in a removal proceeding, but permitted to renew your application and waiver before the Immigration Judge.

    In such a circumstance the legal issue is still the same, whether you qualify for a waiver of the joint filing requirement. Their are a few different waivers available, but generally the "good faith" waiver is the most common. You will need to establish that the marriage was entered into validly and in good faith. The evidence of this is not the same as evidence to establish the validity or bona-fides of your marriage in an I-130 petition. However, many times the evidence will overlap. If this is in fact your situation you will need to prove both that you entered into a marriage in good faith (or whatever justification you have for the waiver of the joint filing requirement) and also must establish the bona-fides of your marriage as you would in a typical I-751 application. You will definitely want to speak with an immigration attorney to make sure the evidence submitted is sufficient and will meet the necessary criteria.

    You will need to provide evidence to the Immigration Judge, statements (or testimony) is also evidence, but subject to the IJ's determination of your believability. Testimony alone could very well be enough in some cases, but it is best not to rely solely upon that testimony if at all possible. Any evidence which helps to establish the necessary facts is appropriate and I wouldn't limit yourself in any way whatsoever. Generally you would provide all the evidence which is normally submitted to USCIS plus additional evidence to convince the IJ of your eligibility for the relief sought.

    Removal is complicated, you should find a good immigration attorney to help. Good luck.

    This answer should not prevent you from speaking to a lawyer and disclosing all facts about your case. Additionally, it should not prevent you from filing to see if you are eligible. Please seek an attorney for an initial consultation to review all the specific facts of your case.

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