When you Re married to a USC it is prudent to file the i130 and I 485 together and the 864 needs to be filed with that package. So the attorney was right in waiting. He could notvhavecknown you werecgoingvtobrun into problems. While you could have filed the i130 in advance none of us do that as it usually is a time waster. I suggest you work it out and see if any refund can be made to help you with the expenses or if the papers were already completed you can get those and not have to pay for those again. Good luck. You should be ok.
(1) $1,200 is incredibly cheap for preparing and filing an AOS one-step application ... did he draft any preliminary forms, or perform any other work before you told him that your wife didn't have a sufficient income?
(2) US CIS pre-screens filings and will usually send a request-for-evidence within 30 days of filing, if the I-864 doesn't show sufficient income.
(3) If you don't show sufficient income, or have a financial co-sponsor, CIS will deny the entire application, keeping the approximately $1,500 filing fees.
(4) Until they see sufficient income, CIS will not issue any temporary work permits.
(5) If, after reading this, you still think that the attorney didn't do 'anything' for the money you paid, you can contact the state bar association.
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I don't see what the attorney did wrong. The I-130, adjustment and affidavit of support are normally mailed in at the same time and there is no point in filing them if you do not meet the requirements or have a cosponsor who does. The attorney has no responsibility to find you a cosponsor, that is yours alone. Even if the attorney had filed the I-130 alone (which is not normal), you still would have been out of status and would have been arrested and would have to post the bond and go to court. The real problem is that you were out of status and that is not the fault of your attorney. Thus, you would most definitely lose in a lawsuit based upon the facts you have given. The fact is that when you fell out of status you violated immigration law and now that you are arrested your situation is extremely complicated. What you need now is an immigration attorney experienced in court who can file the papers in front of the judge and get you out of this. Also, unless your wife's income has changed you will still need a cosponsor. My firm handles these types of cases.
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Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general in nature, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
There is no basis for a suit. Your failure to get a sponsor for the I-864 was what was preventing the filing, and your arrest is what complicated the case.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.