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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?

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Attorney answers 5

Best Answer
Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

Hi there and than you for your helpful answer. You re right, the I-751 is the issue here. I wanted to know/learn whether there are any reliefs available for I-751 adjustment of status. Interesting that you mentioned that for the I-751 petition review, the bonafides of the marriage will be reviewed by the judge. This is very important aspect to know beforehand and I would like to ask the types of bonafides the judges (in general) in my situation would be asking for. So what are those documentations you mentioned pertaining to the bonafides? Thank you very much for your answer.

Posted

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.

Posted

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.

Posted

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.
617.787.0000
www.romanovskylaw.com

Asker

Posted

I did not have in mind I-130 at all if I am talking about the immigration judge and the courts. Not sure how the I-130 come into play in here. I also mentioned the notice to appear, which has nothing to do with I-130 in this case. I think you got the question wrong from the beginning )))

Gregory Romanovsky

Gregory Romanovsky

Posted

Your question asks what happens when "one gets a notice to appear for failing to convince the IO that the marriage was legit". This happens only in two contexts (a denied I-130 petition or a denied I-751 petition). You seem to be confused, and I would strongly suggest seeking professional representation.

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

You said "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, " 1) No documented evidence for me, unfortunately. 2) Only testimony, but the USCIS has written fraud on the Notice to Appear because my wife sent them some materials about me; 3) I can only give them affidavits, but they are all from my own friends and I do not know if this would sound like I am telling my friends what to write.

Katherine R. Mazaheri

Katherine R. Mazaheri

Posted

I hate to give you the boiler-plate answer, but you really should locate an experienced immigration attorney to represent you in removal. You have two parts to the removal hearing. 1) you may want to contest grounds of removability, i.e. - defend against the allegations against you. 2) You will want to seek affirmative relief in the form of renewing your I-751 and waiver request before the Court. USCIS has to prove their case against you, they cannot simply allege fraud. They will have to present witnesses and other evidence, which you can contest. Their is no way around the need for witness testimony in your case. I doubt there is no document evidence which you could use, but you may need to be creative. If possible, bring your witnesses to the removal hearing rather than relying on the affidavits by themselves. The IJ will assess their credibility and if he finds them credible, it may be enough to counter any negative evidence against you. Again, the information you are seeking is highly specialized and technical legal advice, which I cannot give you without being your attorney. The proper way to defend against your removal is something only your attorney can tell you after reviewing your case and agreeing to represent you.