Green Card Receipt after Spouse Signs Abandonment – Success27 Jul 2016
The Murthy Law Firm successfully represented a lawful permanent resident (LPR or “green card” holder) whose immigration records wrongly reflected that she had voluntarily abandoned her green card status. Our involvement in the case began after this foreign national received a denial of her application to replace a permanent resident card (form I-90), indicating that she had filed a record of abandonment of LPR status (form I-407).
Background: Marital Problems and Abuse
Prior to the Murthy Law Firm’s involvement, this individual was granted LPR status as a derivative beneficiary of her husband’s employment-based green card application. Her husband, however, did not reveal to her that her green card, as well as his own, had arrived in the mail. Eventually, the marriage broke down due to abuse. She separated from her husband and began trying to sort out her immigration matters.
After the separation, she learned for the first time that her green card had been approved. Since she did not have the physical green card, she filed form I-90 to get a replacement green card. The I-90 is normally fairly routine and straightforward. Her I-90, however was denied, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) records reflected that she had filed a form I-407, indicating that she was abandoning her green card.
FOIA Used to Obtain Copy of I-407
When the situation was presented to the Murthy Law Firm, the attorneys knew that something was amiss. Once a green card is issued, one spouse has no authority to abandon or revoke the other spouse’s LPR status. An abandonment of LPR status must be done by the LPR voluntarily and willingly with knowledge of any applicable rights to a hearing. To that end, there are policies in place to protect LPRs, such as typically requiring an in-person interview when an I-407 is filed. Thus, upon having been hired in this case, one of the Murthy Law Firm’s first actions on behalf of our client was to make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for a copy of the I-407 the USCIS supposedly had on file. We also filed a motion to reopen the I-90 denial.
Forensics Expert Determines Signature a Forged
The FOIA request revealed that an I-407 had, in fact, been filed in our client’s name. But, our client insisted that she had not submitted the I-407. Accordingly, we hired a forensic document examiner to look at the signature on the I-407 and compare it to our client’s actual signature. The examiner confirmed that the signature on the I-407 was a forgery. As a result, the USCIS reopened the case, approved the fI-90, and issued our client a new green card.
There are cases, such as this one, that present fact patterns that simply do not add up. In order to unravel these mysteries, it is necessary to understand immigration law and procedures to find the source of the problems. We often need to dig into case documents and request file records from the government. Solutions may also require the use of experts, such as the forensic document examiner who helped in this case.
The Murthy Law Firm never reveals details of any case handled by our firm, nor the identity of any client, without first obtaining his/her express consent. We appreciate the generosity of our client in allowing us to use this case as an example to our readers. Please note that all cases are different. Even with cases that appear to be similar, past success does not guarantee a favorable result.
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