November 29, 2010: Adjustment of Status while in Removal Proceedings.

Adjustment of Status while in Removal Proceedings

I am a United States Citizen. My fiancee who overstayed her B1 Visa was ordered to immigration court in December of 2008 to begin a hearing on deportation in Georgia. We got married in April 2009. After reviewing our case, the Immigration Judge set a court date for March 2011 to allow us to sort out how to pursue our case.

In December 2009, my wife’s I-130 petition was approved with a condition. The approval letter reads in part…the beneficiary may apply to become a lawful permanent resident depending on the decision of the Immigration Judge in the removal proceedings. What should we do next?
— Anonymous

First let me tell you that it sounds as if the Immigration Judge was very generous when you and your wife were granted such a long period of time to allow you to “sort out” your case. Now that the I-130 petition (the marriage petition) has been approved, you should take immediate steps to finalize your wife’s permanent residency.

The immigration court and the Depatment of Homeland Security prosecutor should be notified that the I-130 petition has been approved. Then a request to terminate proceedings can be made to allow your wife to file her adjustment of status application with USCIS. Or, the adjustment of status application can be filed directly with the immigration court which presently has juridiction over the application.

I would urge you to retain the services of an immigration attorney to review these options with you. At this juncture, there are various factors that go into deciding which way to pursue adjustment of status for your wife. These factors should be explained in detail to you, and then you will be able to make an informed decision as to which way will most likely result in an approval of your wife’s application for adjustment of status.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys