Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage…Then Comes a Notice from USCIS?

Congratulations! You met the man or woman of your dreams, got married, and are ready to live in marital bliss! You file an I-130 petition for your spouse to come to the United States and it’s been approved! Your spouse has an interview scheduled to obtain an immigrant visa and youknow it’s only a matter of time before you are together!

But then you learn that during your spouse’s visa interview at the U.S. Embassy abroad, the Consular Officer did not believe that there was a “bona fide” marriage. The visa has been denied and the case has been sent back to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for the I-130 petition to be revoked.  Eventually, the USCIS issues you a Notice of Intent to Revoke (“NOIR”) your I-130. Suddenly, all of your plans to reunite with your spouse have come to a stop and you don’t know what to do next.

First, you need to know what a NOIR is and why it has been issued. A NOIR is a letter issued by the USCIS advising you of their intention to revoke your I-130 petition after it had previouslybeen approved.  In the NOIR, USCIS should state why the I-130 is being revoked. For example, the Consular Officer may have concluded that the marriage was not bona fide because of your spouse’s inability to answer certain questions during the interview.

Now that you know what a NOIR is, what next? Respond to the NOIR! The NOIR will state exactly when your response is due. Typically you have 30 days to respond to the NOIR. If you do not respond, USCIS will simply revoke your I-130.

Do not wait until the last minute to respond. If you’re preparing a response to the NOIR and collecting evidence to support your response, 30 days can go by very quickly! 

In preparing your response, review the NOIR carefully. It should set forth the specific reasons as to why USCIS intends to revoke your petition. In your response, you should address the specific reasons that USCIS has given with factual and legal points. This is your opportunity to argue that your I-130 should not be revoked.

The failure to respond or the failure to respond effectively to a NOIR can present some serious consequences. It’s important to consult with an immigration lawyer who can refute the factual and legal reasons presented by USCIS to revoke your I-130.

Contact The Law Offices of Yordanos Woldai, PLLC at (571) 210-0858 or send an e-mail to to respond to your NOIR.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Last Friday, ELEM Magazine published their interview with me. Check out the interview here - ELEM Interview! I feel very fortunate to have been featured in the magazine.  The questions asked were great.  They forced me to think about so many things relating to my background and the different decisions I've made in my life that led me to practicing immigration law.

Read the article here

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Obama Proposed Change to Families Seeking Hardship Waiver

Great news!

Last week, President Obama proposed a new rule that would allow illegal immigrants with U.S. Citizen spouses or parents to stay in the U.S. while applying for a hardship waiver. Without a hardship waiver, an illegal immigrant may be barred from reentering the U.S. for up to ten years. Under the current rule, illegal immigrants may seek a waiver if they can show that his or her absence would cause an extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen relative. However, those seeking a hardship waiver must leave the U.S. and return to their native country while waiting for their waiver to be processed, which can take months or even years. The approval process causes families to be separated for a lengthy period of time and subjects the U.S. citizen relative to further hardship.

The proposed rule, which does not require congressional approval, would allow these immigrants to apply for a hardship waiver in the U.S., rather than return to their native country for an uncertain duration to wait for an approval of the waiver. Upon approval, the immigrant would still need to return to their home country to apply for a visa and could return to the U.S.

So what can we expect as a result of this proposed change? Ultimately, the new rule will promote family unity by reducing the amount of time families are separated. The proposed change will also lessen the hardship caused to the U.S. citizen relative. In addition, we will likely see a reduction in the number of illegal immigrants who have otherwise been unwilling to risk the hardships involved with the lengthy separations.