Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, immigration law, will & estates, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.
Did you receive an I-130 denial letter? Are you wondering what happened? You followed the instructions and provided documentation, yet still the petition was denied? Clients contact us regarding this issue often, bewildered at the rejection. Let’s talk about why your I-130 may have been denied and how you can avoid this from happening again.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rejects or denies thousands of I-130 petitions each year. The reasons for an I-130 denial vary, but in most cases they are avoidable. U.S. citizens or permanent residents file the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to help a family member immigrate to the United States. It’s the first step in the family-based immigration system for assisting that loved one obtain a green card. Consequently, if USCIS denies your I-130 visa petition, you’ll need to understand the reasoning behind this decision, before you can start over; hopefully this time with the help of an experienced immigration attorney. It is critical to understand the I-130 eligibility requirements and prepare a complete and accurate petition.
Potential Explanations for an I-130 Denial:
There are several reasons why USCIS may deny the I-130 petition. Four of the most common reasons for an I-130 denial include:
- Insufficient Information: If you didn’t provide enough information for USCIS to make a decision, they may deny your Form I-130. Most likely, USCIS will issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) before the I-130 denial. If you fail to respond to the RFE or do not provide an adequate response, USCIS may deny the visa petition at that time. Similarly, the quality of the document can create a challenge. USCIS may reject poor photocopies of evidence. Foreign language documents must be accompanied by a certified translation. If the birth or marriage certificates that you submit are poorly photocopied and difficult to read, have not been translated, or do not appear to come from an official government source, it’s likely that USCIS will deny the petition.
- Eligibility: If you are not eligible to file a petition or the beneficiary doesn’t have an eligible family relationship, the I-130 petition will be denied. Relationships must fall into either the immediate relative or family preference categories. Before filing, understand if your relationship with the intending immigrant qualifies. Generally, this is a simple requirement, but it can get more complicated with adoptive and step relationships.
- Failure to Prove Family Relationship: As mentioned previously, only specific types of relationship are eligible. Additionally, the petitioner must provide evidence of the family relationship. In some cases, this is relatively straightforward. A mother is most likely listed on a child’s birth certificate. However, a child born out of wedlock may not have the father’s name on a birth certificate. There are a variety of adoptive and step relationships that may make it more challenging to provide evidence.
- Failure to Prove the Petitioner’s Status: Only a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) may file Form I-130. Therefore, the petitioner must include proof of their status when submitting the petition. U.S. citizens can satisfy the requirement with a copy of a birth certificate (if born in the USA), Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, or American passport. Permanent residents can provide a copy of their green card. Other documents may also satisfy the requirements.
Recourse After the I-130 Denial:
After an I-130 denial, you may have options to correct the situation. However, before you move forward and try again, it’s critical to understand the reason for the denial in the first place. I-130 denials and revocations should be taken seriously. In special circumstances, they can lead to endangerment of any future petitions by the same petitioner and/or beneficiary. Two potential option for recourse include the following:
- File a New Application: This may be the simplest option depending on the reason for the I-130 denial. For example, you may want to file a new I-130 petition if your denial was the result of failing to submit the proper evidence. If you now have sufficient evidence, you may file a new visa petition for the same relative. There is no rule that prevents you from re-applying for the same person again. However, filing a new I-130 petition for the same person is not an appropriate response for all situations. An experienced immigration attorney can assist with this determination.
- File an Appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA): The circumstances for your I-130 denial may require that you appeal the decision with the BIA. There are several reasons that you may need to refute the decision with an appeal. For example, the determination by USCIS that the marriage is not genuine, or a family relationship is not valid creates a significant obstacle. It requires a comprehensive understanding of the law to combat successfully.
I believe it’s worth mentioning again that enlisting the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney is the safest and most prudent approach to filing a Form I-130 for a loved one.
I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”
As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!
Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?