This service does not eagerly approve visa petitions which are filed while the beneficiary is in a removal hearing.
Yes it is quite normal to receive a RFE. The purpose for additional evidence is to be certain that the marriage is for love and not for immigration benefits.
If the I-130 gets approved. You would still need to adjust status in the immigration court. However, with an approved I-130, there would not be too many issues with adjusting status in immigration court once the judge cancels the removal order. Yes, you will have to be patient. You will receive a response in due course.
Do consult an experienced immigration attorney for further guidance in this matter.
Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D 11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280 Houston, TX 77092 713-LAWYER-2 www.MyImmigrationLawyer.info
Yes. I-130s from marriages after removal proceedings are initiated have a higher standard. It's normal for it to take more time than usual. You may ask for continuances at your master hearings though while this I-130 is pending, assuming you'r eligible for adjustment of status after the I-130 approval.
If you're in removal proceedings you should have a lawyer. Your lawyer should be in contact with Office of Chief Counsel and push for a decision on the I-130 based on the USCIS policy memorandum requiring adjudication of I-130's (for those in removal proceedings) within 45 days. If you don't have counsel or your counsel is unaware of this policy, then it's time to lawyer up and get CIS to make their decision.
Because you were already in removal proceedings when you got married, you are required to stay out of the country for two years before being considered for residency. There is an exemption of that two year period if you can show the marriage was bona fide (and not just to obtain an immigration benefit) by a higher standard than is normally required. In the past the officer would usually simply acknowledge that we submitted sufficient evidence to meet the higher standard. Some time ago the Seattle office began issuing a request for additional evidence, possibly to make it clear that they are aware of the issue and reviewing the cases in light of the issue. So now you need to respond to the request including all the evidence you provided at the interview as well as any additional evidence you can obtain, including anything such as letters that the officer specifically requested. I submitted such a response July 19, 2012 with Seattle,and received the approval notice August 29, 2012. How long it takes depends on various factors, though, so don't be conerned yet. It should come soon. If you don't hear soon, then contact an experienced immigration lawyer to follow up.
This reply is intended only as general information and does not constitute legal advice in any particular case. This reply does not create an attorney/client relationship.