What Are Your Options When You Are Denied An Immigrant Visa (I-130) To The U.S.?

Being denied an immigrant visa I-130 to the U.S. can be a devastating setback to your family’s plans for the future, but it doesn’t have to be the end. You’ll be happy to know that just because your application has been denied does not mean you must accept the denial. You have options that can be explored to have your application reconsidered. This is true whether you were located within the United States or outside of the U.S. when you filed the application.

Reasons For Denial

Sometimes I-130 applications are denied due to simple mistakes or missing paperwork. At other times, denials are due to more serious issues. In either case, you will benefit from the help of an experienced Orlando immigration attorney. An immigration attorney can evaluate the situation that led to the denial and recommend steps to correct the problem and, hopefully, have the denial reversed.

Options After An Immigrant Visa Denial

In general, you have two options once an immigrant visa has been denied: appeal the decision or file a new application.

Option 1:

Appeal the Decision. Appeals are directed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) when the application was filed from within the U.S. The process is as follows:

  1. Applicant must file a notice of appeal with its corresponding payment.


  1. The BIA sends applicant a briefing schedule. This briefing schedule gives you time to submit a legal brief describing your arguments in support of the appeal. If the legal brief is not sent on time, the appeal is dismissed and you lose your case.


  1. Once the legal brief is received by the BIA, the Board will need some time to review the case and make a decision. The total BIA process can take between 8 and 12 months or longer, depending on the complexity of the situation.


  1. Once the BIA makes a decision, the case is over. However, in certain cases, you may appeal the BIA decision to the U.S. Federal Court for the Circuit where you live. Again, you have 30 days to file such an appeal.

If you filed your I-130 from outside the U.S. the process is slightly different. In that case, you will need to ask the principal consular officer to review your case. If the officer upholds the decision to deny the application, there is no appeal available, but you can usually start over again by refiling the I-130 petition.

Option 2:

New Application. Sometimes, a better course of action is to accept the original denial, but re-file the I-130 application with additional evidence. A denial does not mean you can’t re-apply for the same family member. Depending on your circumstances, reapplying may take less time that appealing the decision.

Seek Help From Our Orlando Immigration Office As Soon As You Receive A Notice Of Denial

If your application has been denied, don’t delay in contacting our Orlando immigration law office! Appeals must be filed within 30 days of receiving notice of the decision.

As soon as you receive notice of the denial, you should bring all of your documents such as a copy of your I-130, all supporting documentation, and the denial notice to our immigration attorney, Gail Seeram. Once we have all of the information in hand Attorney Seeram can recommend a course of action.

Contact our Orlando immigration law office at 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your situation.

What Are The I-751 Removing Conditions?

Did you know that your permanent U.S. resident status is considered conditional if it was based on a marriage of less than 2 years at the time residency was granted? U.S. immigration law was set up this way to protect against immigrants who married solely to evade immigration laws. Fortunately, the conditional nature of your resident status can be removed, and permanent status granted, by filing Form I-751: Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence and by meeting certain removing conditions.

I-751 Removing Conditions and How to File For Removal

There are five I-751 removing conditions. One of the five conditions must be met in order to file for removal using Form I-751:

  1. If you are still married to the U.S. citizen spouse after 2 years, you may file for removal, but spouses must file jointly for the removal.

You may file Form I-751 seeking a waiver from the joint filing requirement under the following grounds:

  1. You are a widow/widower.
  2. You are divorced or the marriage was annulled.
  3. You are a child who cannot be included in your parents’ application.
  4. You are the victim of domestic violence and/or extreme hardship by your U.S. spouse.

You can file Form I-751 at any time after the conditional residency has been granted but before the 2 years expiration of your status.

Filing For Removal Is Not An Option, It Is A Requirement

We want to stress the importance of filing Form I-751. Removing the conditions of your conditional residency is required if you wish to obtain a Green Card. If you do not file Form I-751 before your Conditional Green Card expires, your residency can be revoked and you are at risk of being deported.

Our Orlando immigration attorney recommends filing Form I-751 90 days before the second anniversary of your status as a conditional resident. Failure to do so can result in deportation proceedings being initiated against you.

Contact Our Orlando Immigration Law Office For Assistance Filing Form I-751

If you are in the U.S. under conditional status and your 2-year expiration date is approaching, contact The Law Offices of Gail Seeram Immigration Law Firm for assistance. We can help you file Form I-751 properly and on time. If you have missed your 90-day filing date, we can help present your case to Immigration Services and/or appeal a ruling if your permanent residency has been denied.

Call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730 to schedule a free consultation.

Qualifications For Securing An E-2 Investor Visa

The E-2 Investor Visa is a non-immigrant work visa that allows citizens of certain countries to legally enter the U.S. in order to own and/or run a business enterprise. Those countries must be treaty countries with the U.S. That means, the country must maintain a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. The primary requirement of securing an E-2 Visa is that the applicant have a substantial monetary investment in the business. This investment must generally be sufficient to fund the business or enterprise.

Advantages of Limitations of the E-2 Visa

There are both advantages and limitations to the E-2 Investor Visa.

  • Indefinitely renewable:

An E-2 Investor Visa is valid for up to 5 years, but can be renewed indefinitely; as long as there is a need to manage the business, renewal is possible. If the visa is not renewed, the investor must return to his/her country of origin. 

  • Spouses and dependents are covered:

Dependent spouses of the E-2 Visa holder are able to work in the U.S. and dependent

children are able to secure lawful U.S. residency as well. 

  • No green card:

The E-2 Visa does not directly lead to permanent residency or green card status.

  • Investment:

The E-2 Visa requires a substantial monetary investment in the business.

 Qualifications for Securing an E-2 Investor Visa

The qualifications for an E-2 Visa are fairly straightforward. To qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa, the applicant must:

  • Be a citizen of a treaty country.
  • Invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise, either by starting a new business or purchasing an existing business.
  • Be responsible for the primary development and/or direction of the enterprise.

In addition, our Orlando immigration attorney advises applicants to have a business plan in place and ready to include as part of the application. The business plan should indicate how the business and the visa applicant meet the requirements of the E-2 program. This supplemental information can be helpful in demonstrating your commitment to the business.

Learn More About the E-2 Investor Visa from Gail Seeram, Orlando Immigration Attorney

The E-2 Investor Visa is just one visa option for living and working in the U.S. Consultation with our experienced Orlando immigration law firm is advised to ensure the E-2 Visa is appropriate and the best option for your specific situation. Goals such as obtaining permanent residency might be better met under a different program, for example.

Orlando immigration attorney, Gail Seeram, specializes in immigration law and devotes a significant part of her practice to visas. If you are interested in obtaining an E-2 Investor Visa and need help navigating the application requirements, contact our immigration law office at 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730 to schedule a free consultation.

Immigration Courts 500,000 Cases Pending

The New Yorker reports that U.S. immigration courts are facing a backlog of over half a million cases—and each one, on average, takes almost two years to close. Roughly three hundred judges nationwide are responsible for the entire immigration caseload, and hiring is slow—filling a vacancy typically takes about two years, according to the Government Accountability Office. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he would try to streamline the hiring process, but in the meantime, judges are being shifted around the country due to the backlog.

For more information on immigration courts, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.

FREE in-office consultation – FREE Live Chat www.GailLaw.com

Copyright © 2016, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Trump Travel Ban Partially Enforced & Reviewed by U.S. Supreme Court

On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear the case relating to Trump Travel Ban executive order when it reconvenes in October 2017. In the meantime, the Court will allow the administration to implement parts of Trump’s second executive order, which bans the entry of nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from the United States and suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days.  In a narrow decision, the Court ruled that the government can only enforce the Trump travel ban against foreign nationals “who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”  This outcome is both disappointing and confusing.  Parents, spouses, children, in-laws and stepchildren qualify as “close family.” But grandparents, aunts and uncles do not.

There is no doubt this standard will create confusion and that, despite the narrowness of the Court’s decision, the administration will attempt to go further than permitted by the Court in deciding who can enter the U.S.  In granting a partial stay, the Supreme Court has determined that individuals from the six countries (all of which have Muslim populations of more than 90 percent) and all refugees can be blocked from entering the United States if they lack the requisite relationship to a person or organization

The Trump travel ban (sometimes known as a Muslim Ban) refers to an Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump on March 6, 2017. This Executive Order is the second of its kind and among other provisions, suspends the entry of foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Syria for a period of 90 days; freezes the refugee admissions program for a period of 120 days; and slashes the refugee numbers by one half. The litigation around Muslim Ban 2.0 was immediate and resulted in two federal court decisions blocking the most controversial portions of the travel ban. (more…)

I’ve Been Granted Work Authorization in The USA. Can My Spouse Work?

Congratulations! We are pleased to hear about your work authorization. My Orlando Immigration Attorney serves Orlando and Central Florida cases. We can advise you on the requirements for your spouse to work in the United States.

Who Is Authorized to Work in the United States?

U.S. employers must ensure all their hires, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are authorized to work in the United States.

Lawful permanent residents are authorized to work in the U.S. since their Green Card is evidence of their employment authorization. People who have a nonimmigrant visa that authorizes them to work for a specific employer have their H-1B, L-1B, O, or P visa as evidence of employment authorization.

Asylums, Refugee, and nonimmigrants must apply for an Employment Authorization Document to be able to work (more…)

Learn About the Provisional Waiver Program and The Recent Changes

The Provisional Waiver Program allows immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for a waiver of unlawful presence before leaving the United States. The Provisional Waiver Program allows spouses or children of U.S. citizens to apply for such a waiver before their departure instead of after leaving to attend their consular interview.

Have you or a loved one accrued unlawful presence in the United States? My Orlando Immigration Lawyer serves Orlando and Central Florida cases. We can help you apply for a waiver before leaving the United States.

Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who have, after the age of 18, accrued unlawful presence in the U.S. of 180 days or more, are not allowed to return to the U.S. for three years. Immediate relatives who have accrued unlawful presence of one year or more prior to leaving the U.S. are barred from coming back for ten years.

Have you or an immediate relative accrued unlawful presence in the United States? My Orlando Immigration Lawyer serves Orlando and Central Florida cases. We can help you (more…)

U.S. Citizenship cannot be revoked over False Statements

  In the recently decided U.S. Supreme Court case, Maslenjak v. United States, 6/22/17, the justices unanimously rejected the government’s position that a naturalized U.S. citizen can be stripped of U.S. citizenship based on misstatements during the naturalization proceedings or on the citizenship application.  A government lawyer argued that failing to disclose a speeding violation could be enough to revoke citizenship even years later.

Justice Elena Kagan stated that the law required a tighter connection between the lie and the procurement of citizenship.  “We hold that the government must establish that an illegal act by the defendant played some role in her acquisition of citizenship,” she wrote. “When the illegal act is a false statement, that means demonstrating that the defendant lied about facts that would have mattered to an immigration official, because they would have justified denying naturalization or would predictably have led to other facts warranting that result.”

The case concerned Divna Maslenjak, an ethnic Serb who had refugee status and became a United States citizen in 2007.  During the application process for U.S. citizenship, (more…)

How to check processing time for an immigration filing?

Since the Trump administration, we have seen longer backlogs and numerous errors in processing immigration petitions filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Every year USCIS adjudicates approximately 6 million petitions and applications for immigration benefits, such as naturalization applications, adjustment-of-status applications, change-of-status applications, and employment authorization petitions and applications.

There are a few ways to check on processing time of a pending immigration filing:

1 – Check processing time at a field office or service center – CLICK HERE

2 – Check visa availability for a Form I-130 (family-based) or I-140 (employment-based) filed and pending – CLICK HERE

3 – Check the status of a petition filed with USCIS based on receipt number – CLICK HERE


Express Deportation Under Trump

According to the Miami Herald, federal prosecutors in criminal cases are asking district judges to issue what are known as “judicial orders of removal,” which ensure that a convicted foreign national will be deported on completion of the sentence instead of being sent to an immigrant detention center to await proceedings in immigration court and then a deportation order from an immigration judge. The new “express” deportation under Trump, implements the Attorney General’s April 11, 2017, memorandum expressing a “renewed commitment to criminal immigration enforcement,” is purported to shorten the wait time for deportation, bypass backlogs in immigration court, and save the federal government money in housing and food in immigrant detention centers. 

The usual legal process for foreign nationals convicted of a crime in federal court was a transfer to immigration authorities upon completion of their prison terms for initiation of deportation proceedings in immigration court.  Trump administration officials hope the judicial orders of removal lead to an assembly line of deportations straight from the federal penitentiary and back to the countries from where the foreigners came — a sort of “express deportation” under Trump that skips the legal process in immigration court.  Several have already been issued in Miami federal court since Trump took office in January in cases involving sentencing of foreign nationals in felony cases. (more…)