Dear Realtor,

I recently had a Colombian gentlemen come to my office who already had a deportation order in place. Many years ago he had an asylum claim related to persecution from the Colombian guerilla group known as FARC. (If you have watched the news this week you may already know that just two days ago, FARC and the Colombian Government finalized a peace deal which will end a 52 year war in Colombia.) The Colombian gentlemen had later been given the opportunity of a voluntary departure but he did not leave the United States when he should have. Now, he was inquiring about how his upcoming marriage to a U.S. citizen would factor into his deportation order and current illegal status.

A marriage which begins after a deportation case is initiated is always scrutinized much more heavily than when there is no deportation case involved. It will be more likely that the couple would be separated at a longer than normal immigration interview and asked questions that are specifically designed to determine if the couple’s answers match each other and if the marriage is fraudulent. More evidence of joint documents, (bank, lease, etc.) would also be required.

The Petition for Alien Relative (I-130) is normally filed at the same time as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (I-485). In the case of someone facing deportation, however, the Petition for Alien Relative must be filed and approved before the I-485 can be submitted. An immigration attorney must also make a motion to reopen the deportation case in the immigration court once there is an approval of the Petition for Alien Relative by the USCIS. A deportation order is a very serious thing and it is extremely important to seek the help of an experienced immigration attorney for this type of situation.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on this or other legal issues.

Sincerely,

Don Gonzalez, Esq.