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  • #16
    Here Mohan, I have a friend who is in immigration business and he e-mailed me some of his opinions about my case, what do you think? I'd appreciate if you also add your comments for our information... I mostly know what will happen but I am asking for others in my situation to know ... Thanks alot man...


    "The letter your attorney sent and it's ramifications, the INS office
    would likely do nothing I'm afraid, because most of the delays in retrieving
    files are due to problems in the archiving and filing systems used by
    service centers. They likely have already requested the file and would
    probably send a reminder, but if the service center is not responsive, or
    can't locate the file, the district office will just keep waiting.

    This is basically because they have no alternative. Once they get the I-485
    you're right, they'll treat it as a relatively low priority, and even if an
    immigration judge tells them to expedite the case, it really won't make much
    difference. On your side however is the fact that most INS offices don't
    have any coherent tracking system for cases, so once it gets into their
    local processing, they won't really know that it's a low priority and will
    likely end up treating it to the same processing and timelines as everyone
    else. In your case, once the ILJ approves your I-130 and you file your
    I-485, you should ask her to request expedited processing just to give you
    the best chance of getting your case handled in a reasonable time. That and
    your Congressperson's support should ensure you aren't delayed more than any other case from that point.

    There's little that you can do to get your petition transfered to the
    district office for the same reasons I gave in my last message - the problem
    is in the service center and it's archiving/filing systems and overall
    responsiveness rather than anything ele. Pressure from your Congressperson
    can help, but in the end, if the petition isn't transfered, the Judge is
    going to want to know why not, and to ask the INS what they HAVE done with
    your petition - and if she doesn't appear ready to ask these questions at
    the hearing in February, your lawyer will alsmost certainly want to prompt
    her to do so.

    One thing that I must caution you over: in my experience, and from the
    comments made to me by INS staffers, the more you push against 'the system'
    the more it tends to resist. Since there's really very lttle that you can do
    directly to get the process to run at a reasonable pace, I'd urge you NOT to
    keep pressing the issue but rather to let others do so on your behalf - in
    particular, the judge who seems to be on your side. I realize that the
    delays and issues are stressful and that they impact on your plans for the
    future, but immigration mechanisms are invariably painfully slow and almost
    entirely unresponsive to pressure.

    I don't have any statistical evidence to show whether ILJ (immigration law judge) or DO (district office) processing of AOS applications is faster, but I do know that not all ILJs will allow adjustment applications to be filed with them, and that of those who do, most will set a hearing date at which, in effect, the applicant has what would be a fairly typical AOS interview. I know of only one case in any detail where an AOS application was filed with the ILJ and a hearing date was set that was in effect 3 months faster than the DO would have given, and the applicant was actually directed to the DO for the hearing which was with an INS adjudicator. I don't know if that is typical or not, but I suspect not! One way or another, the procedure and time scale is very dependent on which ILJ you're dealing with.

    When the I-130 is approved and the ILJ gives a go-ahead to file your AOS, if you decide to file with the INS DO instead of through her, you can and should ask her to request that the INS expedite your AOS application, otherwise as you initially said, the AOS application will be treated as very low priority. The ILJ will (or should) add an 'expedite case' tag to the file when transfering the case to the DO.

    As to your expiring passport, I have to say that in reality it does have an impact on your case, though probably not in the way you suspect. Firstly, the fact your passport is about to expire won't in any way impact on your I-130 approval or subsequent adjustment of status, so you can breathe a bit easier. BUT, without a valid passport, the INS will have nothing to put your AOS approval stamp in. That's no major problem on it's own, but it does mean you won't have any material proof of AOS approval to submit with your I-751 if you subsequently need to file one, and assuming that the service center are slow in issuing your green card (which can take more than the 2 year period of validity). You'll therefore need to make sure the INS give you an officially stamped letter stating that you are AOS approved, so that you can provide that as evidence if the green card hasn't arrived. Other than that, I don't think the lacl of a valid passport will cause any direct problems, though you'd be wise to get a state photo ID as quickly as you can if you haven't already done so in order that you won't need a passport to prove your identity.

    Do ILJ's have a set timeframe for completing or handling cases? No. In fact there's not even any real guidance on the subject that they can or should follow. The guiding principle here is 'due process' and US law (in most respects) allows the case to take however long it takes in order to ensure that all parties have due process. In orther words, the judge can't hurry the case or set a limit on how long she'll wait because to do so would injure your case or the INS case (or both). If the I-130 is still not processed and approved by the time of your next hearing, it would be interesting indeed to know what the INS will say as an explanation. Your ILJ may get somewhat frustrated and give them a chewing out, but that's about the extent of her power. She could even issue a subpoena for your file but the INS can and probably would ignore it since ILJs are administrative law judges and have very limited real authority.

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    • #17
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