Bill was a world renowned and very accomplished sculptor and 3d artist in his country. In 2009, Bill decided to make his first visit to the United States. It was here, in the land of opportunity, that he was able to develop his craft further and had the unique opportunity to study animation, the marketing of sculptural art, and technologies in film production. Having already been working for a famous television station in his country, it was only fitting for him to expand his studies in these fields. As a professional artist with extraordinary skills, our client was eligible to file an O-1 visa and could very well obtain his permanent residency through this avenue. After seeking legal advice, Bill decided to go forward with the process of applying for an I-129 Petition for an alien with extraordinary abilities in the arts. While his application was pending, Bill decided to visit his aunt and cousins in Los Angeles. It was through his cousin that Bill would meet his future wife, Elizabeth. After various phone calls and emails, the two decided to meet, and it was indeed love at first sight for the pair. The couple found that they shared similar interests, had a similar background, traditions, and customs.
During the following months, the couple went on frequent outings together as well as with their family members. All seemed perfect. Bill was ready to pop the question and did so in a magical way in Laguna Beach, California. Elizabeth’s parents were not only supportive of Bill’s professional work; they welcomed him into their family as a son, and allowed him to live with Elizabeth in their home during their marriage. A few months after marrying, Elizabeth and Bill decided to file for Bill’s Adjustment of Status. Elizabeth was very enthusiastic about petitioning for Bill because she felt the process would be much quicker than that of the I-129 petition that was pending. Bill completely put his trust in Elizabeth and allowed her to take the reins on his adjustment of status application.
During their marriage, Bill began to see that his wife was not the person he believed her to be. She refused to work and would spend her days chatting with friends and playing computer games until the morning hours. He also began to realize that she had no regard for his financial situation and would spend the money he earned from his family and from freelancing, on luxurious items that were unnecessary expenses. A few months later, Bill heard that his father had been diagnosed with cancer and was fighting for his life. About this time, Bill was fortunate enough to have received his permanent resident card, so he was able to travel internationally without preoccupation. Devastated, Bill traveled to his country alone to support his inconsolable mother and help his family financially. Elizabeth had chosen to stay behind with her family. While he was back in his country dealing with the stress surrounding the terminal nature of his father’s condition, Bill began to receive unrealistic and threatening demands from Elizabeth.
Elizabeth began to request that he send her diamonds, demanded that he force his parent’s to move out of their home, sell his parent’s real estate, come back to the United States at once, and relinquish the money to her, otherwise she threatened to divorce him. The threats continued thereafter and developed into harassment. From that point, up until their divorce, Bill would receive over 3,000 emails, 6,000 messages via Facebook, and 1,500 text messages from Elizabeth. She made monetary demands of up to $250,000. Despite all this, Bill tried his hardest to appease his wife by attempting to speak rationally with her. This did not work in the long run, and Bill found out shortly thereafter that she had filed for divorce. After filing for divorce, Bill received an email from Elizabeth demanding that he pay her $150,000 and in return she promised she would cancel the divorce. After the divorce was finalized, the harassment grew to include false accusations made by Elizabeth targeting Bill’s work. It became too much for Bill to handle and he filed a domestic violence complaint with the police and court which culminated in a no contact order between Bill and Elizabeth issued by the judge. The accusations and threats continued, though Bill tried his best to ignore them. Bill later found out that Elizabeth and her parent’s had maliciously made false claims that his marriage with Elizabeth was fraudulent in sworn statements made to USCIS.
Bill was eventually able to find happiness with his new wife Andrea, though it was never his intention to re-marry. Andrea was in a matter of words, Bill’s good luck charm and gave him hope to believe in love again. During his marriage to Andrea, Bill had sent his application to remove the conditions on his permanent residency. Bill sought a waiver of the joint filing requirement since he was no longer married to Elizabeth and because of all that had happened between him and Elizabeth. Unfortunately for Bill, he received a Notice of Intent to Deny from USCIS, who believed that he had married Elizabeth with the intent to gain an immigration benefit, based on the sworn statements Elizabeth and her parent’s had given that their marriage was not a bona fide marriage.
Bill contacted our office in a frenzy and was again reliving the nightmare he had gone through in his marriage to Elizabeth. Though their marriage was short, our office was able to help Bill get through such a horrible nightmare. Our office reviewed the letter Bill had received and our attorneys were able to come up with a comprehensive legal procedure which would help us respond to the letter. Lead attorney Nadia Galash helped Bill draft a declaration in support of his marriage to Elizabeth, providing a detailed account of what he had experienced throughout their relationship. In addition to the emails that were sent between Bill and Elizabeth throughout their courtship, our attorneys included a copy of Elizabeth’s petition for dissolution of marriage which stated that, contrary to what Elizabeth and her family had claimed, the marriage was not a fraudulent marriage, and the couple had separated due to irreconcilable differences. Our attorneys also obtained a phone call log and income and expense declaration produced by Elizabeth in the dissolution case, which proved that their marriage was in fact bona fide.
Additionally we provided photographs of the couple during their courtship, proposal, and wedding establishing that they had a valid marriage, as well as evidence of the threats, demands, and harassment made by Elizabeth. Upon further research, Nadia Galash also advised that Bill undergo a polygraph test and psychological evaluation to affirm that he did indeed marry Elizabeth in good faith and was the victim of a tumultuous relationship causing him extreme anxiety and depression.
The argument made in support of Bill’s marriage was threefold:
1. If the marriage was indeed fraudulent why did Elizabeth seek a divorce and not an annulment. In filing for a divorce, Elizabeth had lied under penalty of perjury in her summary dissolution, if her claims that she and Bill had a fraudulent marriage were truthful.
2. If the marriage was fraudulent, why did Elizabeth’s parents sign the I-864 and I-864A Affidavit of Support under penalty of perjury and why would they allow Bill to reside in their house throughout his marriage to Elizabeth. Lastly, Bill obviously did not marry Elizabeth to gain an immigration benefit, since he could have obtained his permanent residency without having married Elizabeth, by continuing with the O-1 visa.
Lastly, our office advised that in addition to the supporting evidence included, Bill should obtain affidavits from friends and mutual friends attesting to their bona fide marriage. Our office also addressed the fact that the NOID letter had taken conversations between the couple, initially provided in the I-751 waiver, out of context.
Bill’s I-751 waiver was successfully approved by USCIS thanks to the diligent work of our client in gathering the evidence needed and our team. If you are in a similar situation, do not hesitate to contact our office for assistance. We are glad to be of assistance.