Successful Effort to Reopen and Terminate Deportation ProceedingsPublished: Friday, October 18, 2013
Our client, a sister of a US citizen, waited more than twelve years for her priority date to become current so that she could finally file her permanent residence application. However, USCIS denied the application due to the fact that our client had an outstanding order of deportation, of which she was not aware. The order of deportation became effective when our client failed to depart the United States after being granted voluntary departure more than twenty years ago. After obtaining the client's complete immigration file, we found that the immigration judge did not give our client adequate notice of the penalties for overstaying a grant of voluntary departure. We were able to use this error, along with the fact that our client had an immediately available immigrant visa based on her sister's petition, to ask the government attorney to join us in a motion to reopen the deportation proceedings and terminate the order. The joint motion was approved and our client was able to successfully re-apply for permanent residence.