Skip to main content

Should my boyfriend request voluntary departure? And will he be able to come to the U.S. again if we get married abroad?

Los Angeles, CA |

My boyfriend came to the U.S. with me in Aug '10 with a 6 month B1/B2 visa that expired in Feb '11, and filed for asylum in Nov '10. He was referred to immigration court and his Master Hearing is next week.

He's become so stressed and frustrated with his case that he's decided to give up. His family is finally relocating and he wants us to go with them. We're planning on getting married and staying with his family for a few years. They're very traditional so we cannot get married without his parents meeting me and their blessings.

Can he ask for voluntary departure at his Master Hearing? If so, will he be able to stay in the U.S. until December (that's when his family will move)? Can I file the I-130 and I-485 from abroad? Will he be able to enter the U.S. again?

Thanks in advance!

We've had around 10 consultations and countless phone calls with lawyers from the "Free Legal Service Providers" list given to us, but none of those lawyers actually handle cases for free. They're all charging $2K-$6K, which we don't have.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Voluntary departure is certainly an option, but you will want to talk with over with the attorney representing him with the asylum case. It is not a decision to be made out of frustration. Even if the two of you plan to leave the US for a few years, it would likely mean he would not be able to return with you when you returned to visit family. If a grant of asylum seems likely, or his parents could meet you and you could terminate the proceedings and he could adjust through marriage, these would all be options that would give you both many more options during the years to come.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

3 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much for your quick response! We don't have a lawyer, unfortunately. I've just been reading the Immigration and Nationality Act and any other info I can find. Would he not be able to return because of some sort of bar to admission (he hasn't accrued any illegal days) or because it would take a while to file for an immigrant visa for him?

Rebecca T White

Rebecca T White

Posted

If he filed prior to accrueing any unlawful status, accepted voluntary departure, and departed in time, he wouldn't have a bar and consular processing would be an option for him. But that would take around a year's time, and be complicated by your being out of the country during that time (the affidavit of support is likely to be an issue). He can go forward with the asylum in court and request voluntary departure as an alternative, in case the judge denies it and he doesn't want to appeal

Asker

Posted

Thank you! You've been very helpful. I wish you had an office in Los Angeles!

Posted

If he asks for voluntary departure early he can request up to 120 days. You should meet with an immigration attorney though because there might be other options. Even some options to plan for voluntary departure so that he can leave in december.

To answer some of your questions directly, you would not file a I-485 abroad, there are other forms to file.

This answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on as each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you! Does your firm do free consultations? Or do you know of any lawyers in Los Angeles that handle these types of cases pro bono? We've had no luck with the list of "Free Legal Service Providers" given to us.

Robert Edward Myers

Robert Edward Myers

Posted

I do brief free phone consultations. There are attorneys that do pro bono cases but usually in extraordinary cases.

Posted

Lots of questions but impossible to tell. If you want good legal help you must pay for it. Your b/f can request whatever he wants and the Judge may say yes and may say no, its completely a discretionary situation. Filing papers without proper help is a complete waste of money.

Mark as helpful

Immigration topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics