In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick explains the potential problems that may arise when an immigrant who has overstayed the Visa Waiver Program later applies for adjustment of status based on their marriage to a US citizen.
In this case study, we discuss a real situation involving a client who initially came to the United States on the visa waiver program. Per the terms of the Visa Waiver Program, a foreign national may only remain in the United States for a period of 90 days or less.
Our client had remained in the United States unlawfully for a long period of time. During the period of time he remained in the United States unlawfully, he met and married a U.S. Citizen and began a life with his American spouse in the United States. The couple filed an application for adjustment of status after the marriage, thinking that they would be approved without a problem. Unfortunately this application was denied, and a subsequent motion to re-open the case was also denied. In San Diego county and other immigration field offices, immigration officers began to aggressively deny adjustment of status applications for immigrants who had overstayed the visa waiver program, even if the application was based on marriage to a U.S. Citizen spouse. The client then decided to re-file his application for permanent residence after the denial. After filing, the Border Patrol apprehended him and began the process of deporting him from the United States. Understandably this was a very difficult situation for the client and his American spouse to go through. At this point, the client retained our office to begin prosecutorial discretion to cancel his removal from the United States and to re-file his application for adjustment of status to permanent residence, based on his marriage to his American spouse.