Written by attorney Nicklaus James Misiti

Law Offices of Nicklaus Misiti obtains Adam Walsh Act victory in Federal Court

Recently Law Offices of Nicklaus Misiti won a key victory in Federal Court to secure approval of an Adam Walsh Act waiver and a client’s green card application for their spouse.

The Adam Walsh Act (“AWA") is a law that bars sex offenders from petitioning for their foreign spouse’s green card. In order to successfully petition for a foreign spouse the petitioner must obtain a waiver showing they are not a threat to their spouse.

Anyone familiar with the process for AWA petitions knows they can be extremely frustrating. Often US Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS") issues unlawful denials or delays cases with Requests for Evidence (“RFE"). In some cases they simply do not respond until forced to through litigation.

Nicklaus Misiti’s client fell under the AWA and required a waiver. His client had previously hired another firm to file their application and that application resulted in an RFE, Notice of Intent to Deny (“NOID"), and eventual denial. After waiting 2 years for their eventual denial the client began to lose hope.

The application was refiled and this time Nicklaus Misiti prepared the AWA waiver request.

USCIS received the application and did nothing with it for over a year. Tired of waiting for USCIS to do their job Nicklaus Misiti decided to file Federal Litigation in the Eastern District of New York (“EDNY") seeking to compel USCIS to process the application and threatening a Federal lawsuit if they continued to unlawfully deny it.

Within 1 month of the filing Attorney Misiti’s client was scheduled for an interview. At the interview the immigration officer asked only a few questions and seemed more concerned with the Federal lawsuit and how she could avoid it. The officer did not ask a single question about the AWA or the client’s prior criminal history. One week after the interview Nicklaus Misiti received notice from the government that the case was approved and his client could finally move forward with his life.

If you have an AWA issue it is important you work with an experienced attorney knowledgeable in the topic. AWA cases are extremely complex and difficult to get approved. Any mistake can lead to a denial or significant delay in their processing.

Law Offices of Nicklaus Misiti has helped a number of AWA clients win their cases. His firm handles AWA cases at any stage in the process. He has prepared numerous petitions from the start, or after and RFE or NOID is received or on appeal. In other cases he has taken the case to Federal Court to sue over an unlawful delay or denial. Since immigration is Federal Law Offices of Nicklaus Misiti can handle AWA petitions in any state, not just New York where he is admitted. If the AWA petition requires a federal lawsuit Nicklaus Misiti may need to be admitted in your jurisdiction. Generally this requires filing a petition and filing fee or seeking to be admitted “pro hac vice."

Additional resources provided by the author

To schedule a consultation/case evaluation you can contact Law Office of Nicklaus Misiti at 212 537 4407 or via their website at

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