Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Request for Initial Evidence...

Today was not an easy day for Anna and I. It all started out well as we prepared Anna and the children for their appointment with the USCIS. I had taken a vacation day to prepare for their appointments with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). We originally had hoped that it was the appointment for their interview to obtain their green cards, but we were wrong. After we arrived for the appointment we discovered that the appointment was only to get their fingerprints and photos taken for their green cards.

It did not take very long and we were finished in about 35 minutes. We tried to take some pictures of Anna and the Children there for the blog but we were told we were not allowed to take pictures in front of the USCIS Office. We were able to sneak off with one photo of Ivan in front of the local office though.


Things quickly went south for us after we returned home to discover 3 letters in the mailbox addressed from the US Department of Homeland Security (USCIS). Upon opening the letters we discovered a yellow paper in each envelope titled "Request for Initial Evidence (I-485)".

The letter stated the following:

This office is unable to complete the processing of your Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, (Form I-485) without initial information. Submit ALL the information requested below at one time. Failure to do so will result in a denial. You must Submit the information within 87 (eighty-seven) days to the following Address: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, PO Box 648004, Lee's Summit, MO 64002. Include this letter with your response.
The Service will process your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (if submitted) within 90 days of the receipt of your missing initial evidence. This is pursuant to Title 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 103.2(b)(10)(ii).
All copies must be clear and legible. If you submit a document in any language other than English, it must be submitted with a full English translation. The translator must certify that the translation is complete and accurate, and that he or she is competent to translate. You must submit both the foreign language document and the English Translation.
If you have any question about immigration procedures, or need clarification, please call our National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833). This toll-free call center has additional information and, during their specified office hours, can connect you to live assistance in English and Spanish.

At the end of the letter it listed 3 things that they needed to complete processing of the Adjustment of status.
They are listed as follows:

(1)
Submit a complete Federal Income Tax Return submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from the petitioner/sponsor on Form I-864, Affidavit of Support for the most recent tax year.
If you were not required to file a Federal income tax return under U.S. tax law, attach a written explanation if applicable, evidence of the exemption and why you are subject to it.
For more specific information, see Form I-864 instructions, page 8, 'Federal Income Tax Information' For the most current version of Form I-864 including the instructions, go to 'Immigration Forms' at http://www.uscis.gov or call (800)870-3676.

I already submitted this information to them but I will be happy to send it again.

(2)
You have submitted an English translation of a foreign birth certificate; please submit a copy of the applicants foreign birth certificate issued by the appropriate civil authority.
See the Department of States Foreign Affairs Manual found online at http://www.state.gov/ for more information on acceptable birth records for people born outside the United States.
For more specific information, see Form I-485 instructions, page 3, "2. Birth certificate." For the most current version of Form I-485 including the instructions, go to "Immigration Forms" at http://www.uscis.gov or call (800)870-3676.
This is easy. I guess if I would have read the instructions more carefully, I would have known to send a copy of the original birth certificates along with the translated documents. This should not be a problem.

But our biggest problem is with the third item on the list.

(3)
Based on the documents submitted with Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, for the petitioner/sponsor, the income did not meet 125% (100% if military) of the federal poverty line for the petitioner/sponsor's household size.
Submit Evidence of assets that meet the standards listed below or obtain a joint sponsor.
Assets standards must equal the stated difference between the sponsor's household income and 125% (100% if military) of the federal poverty line.
  • Assets must equal the difference for applicant's filing as orphans or a spouse or child of an active duty military member.
  • Assets must equal three times the difference for a spouse or child of a United States Citizen.
  • Assets must equal five time the difference for all others.
Such evidence includes:
  • Bank Statements covering the last 12 months or a statement from an officer of the bank or other financial institution in which the sponsor has deposits, including deposit/withdrawal history for the last 12 months, and current balance;
  • Evidence of ownership and value of stocks, bonds, and certificates of deposit;
  • Evidence of ownership and value/equity of other personal property and dates acquired;
  • Evidence of ownership, a recent licensed appraisal or county tax assessment and any mortgage/lien or lien release of any real estate.
If you decide to obtain a joint sponsor they will need to file form I-864 with a revision date of 03/22/13, provide copies of the most recent Federal Income Tax Returns, all supporting tax documents (W-2s, 1099s, and tax schedules) and evidence of their status as a United States citizen, United States National, or Lawful Permanent Resident.
For more specific information, see Form I-864 instructions, page 8, "Use of Assets to Supplement Income". For the most current version of Form I-864 including the instructions, go to "Immigration Forms" at http://www.uscis.gov or call (800)870-3676.
It is rather wordy but to summarize it seems the Federal Government does not think my income is sufficient enough to support our family of 6, so they will not give Anna her green card until either my income increases, I come up with a significant number of assets to make up the difference or I find someone to cosponsor/cosign for us.

Keep in mind this is the same income I reported to them before they approved the petition required for her to obtain the K-1 Fiance visa.

If I am unable to do either of these things, Anna will be required to return back to Russia or she will be an illegal alien aka, undocumented immigrant.

I cannot understand why my income was sufficient enough for her to come over here and marry me, but it is not sufficient enough for her to stay here with me as my wife. My income has neither risen or decreased since we first filed the I-129f Petition for Alien Fiance and now they are trying to deny her Green Card because I have insufficient income according to them. Why did they let her come here to marry me if they planned to reject our application for change of status based on the same income.

I even called the USCIS Customer Service line to ask if we could use some of Anna's monetary assets but apparently we cannot include her assets because she is not a "United States citizen, United States National, or Lawful Permanent Resident". And the way things are going, she may never be. They were happy to take $2,340.00 from us though for this "Service".

I think it may be time to contact Senator Risch' office again because I don't think this is right and after another frustrating experience with the USCIS "Customer Service" (If you can call it that), I think it is time to break out the big guns so to speak.