What Can I Do with Marriage Fraud NOID on I-751 or VAWA?

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Even when families grow apart, the foreign spouse still needs the green card. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service USCIS can suspect marriage fraud at many points, including when a foreigner files an I-360 VAWA case or when someone who already has a marriage-based green card applies for I-751 Removal of Conditions.  Rather than sending an immediate denial, USCIS will send a Notice of Intent to Deny NOID to let the applicant have a say back to them about what they found. If the foreign spouse did not hire an attorney before, a NOID is a big flag telling them to hire one right now. A wrong NOID reply may cause not only denial of a green card but also the start of deportation in Immigration Court. 

Can I Send More Documents in a NOID Reply?

Let’s try to look at the positive side. A NOID is an opportunity to do two things. First, it is an opportunity to address the ONE reason why USCIS has not approved the case: the validity of the marriage. It’s good news if USCIS does not doubt the abuse. If the government believes the abuse happened, the applicant can use that to their advantage. Second, it is an opportunity to submit more documents to prove that marriage was valid. Even if both persons had separate bank accounts, Blandon Law would send the statements because they show the couple’s shared address. The couple may also have had joint health care or wills where one is a beneficiary of the other. In some cases, we have sent photographs of identical tattoos and documents demonstrating that the couple adopted a pet together. 

What if We Don’t Live Together and Filed Joint I-751?

Nothing in the law says the couple still has to live together for I-751 joint Removal of Conditions to be approved, but documents must be mailed to USCIS explaining the separation. Knowing the reason for their temporary separation, a Blandon Law client even won her green card after USCIS sent a NOID because the US citizen spouse lived at another address. In that case, the US citizen spouse father was too angry with the foreign wife mother to live with her after she had an abortion. Blandon Law used therapist reports, hospital records relating to the abortion, and hospital records for the US citizen’s treatment for depression.

It is not easy to win a joint Removal of Conditions I-751 if the couple does not live together. But, if either or both refuse to divorce (perhaps for religious reasons), the applicant should also prepare to sue USCIS

Can I Win I-751 or VAWA Without Showing a Valid Marriage?

An I-751 Removal of Conditions case does not actually need to prove that the marriage was valid if it is based on extreme hardship. This is a special exception where they approve the case not based on the marriage but based on the extreme challenges the foreign spouse would suffer if returned to their home country. Blandon Law won such a case for an applicant (and her daughter) because the foreign spouse suffered severe bouts of manic depression. Her home country did not have the medical facilities for her treatment.

Similarly, it is possible for a foreigner to be allowed to stay in the United States under VAWA Cancellation of Removal. As with the special exception for I-751 mentioned above, the Immigration Judge will focus less on the validity of the marriage and more on whether the VAWA cancellation applicant will suffer extreme hardship if deported to their home country.

These are difficult cases, but Blandon Law is ready to help you make your immigration goals a reality. Call or click “For Future Clients” today for a consultation.

Disclaimer – These entries are based on real life events. Family member names, when used, are real. Client names are changed for privacy.

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