Family Based Immigration: Making THIS Mistake Can Get Your Deported

Family Based Immigration: Making THIS Mistake Can Get Your Deported

This article discusses a critical topic and an issue that has often come up. This issue has raised itself many times in the past, so as an immigration attorney, it is essential to talk about this situation and go over a few things that you could find helpful. 


As you read this summary or watch the video, it’s important to note that our immigration law firm is located in New Jersey. However, we work with clients in all 50 states. So if you need help with immigration services, please get in touch with our office.

How a simple mistake could get you deported

An important takeaway from this article is making a mistake that could jeopardize your green card, and making this mistake can get you deported. Having all the information possible to help you receive your green card is also essential.

  Here’s an example and story of a simple mistake that can get you deported. Our immigration law firm had a client who had applied for Naturalization. She had applied for her green card through consular processing, and her father petitioned for her through her home country.

Consular processing is the application process for a U.S. green card when applying from outside of the United States.

She got a green card and came to the United States. Five years after being in the United States, she applied for Naturalization or United States Citizenship. Naturalization took a long time, and the law required a response within 120 days. Our client was concerned about why her Naturalization had not been approved because it has been at least two years.

Our immigration law firm did our due diligence and found out that when her father applied for her green card, he applied for her as single, which is F1, meaning a United States citizen applying for a single or married child. However, just before she left her country, she got married, which now placed her as an F3. So, as she came to the United States through customs, no one knew she was married, and our client didn’t even know that would be a problem.

On her Naturalization application, she indicated that she was married, and now this was clear to USCIS that she was married before coming to the United States, which automatically put her in a different category. Unfortunately, this was overlooked when applying for her green card; she should not have gotten one. 

To help her case, we had to appeal the denial of Naturalization and file a brief. Our client was fortunate that her green card was not revoked. She was also not given an NTA, which is a notice to appear in Immigration Court, because she got her green card unlawfully.

Typically a person will be served with a notice to appear in Immigration Court, and deportation proceedings begin. Just because she got married without realizing it was a problem and initially filed with a different category. Another immigration attorney had the same issue; unfortunately, her client is now in Immigration Court and could be deported. Our client was lucky that they were just denied their Naturalization.

However, now that this client has gone from an F1 to an F3, it changes the category and priority date, which means an extended wait time. It also means to USCIS that you were dishonest on your application when filing for your green card. Therefore, even though it was an honest mistake, it could get your Naturalization application denied and risk deportation.

Family-based immigration: not choosing the correct category risks deportation

Choosing the correct category is so important because making this mistake can jeopardize your ability to stay in the United States and your ability to Naturalize and become a United States citizen. Unfortunately, this mistake often only gets noticed once you apply for Naturalization. You must receive your green card lawfully because even a simple mistake will put you in danger of getting an NTA notice to appear, and you could get deported.

Why immigration categories are so crucial

You may know that immediate relatives are United States citizens filing for their spouse, a child under the age of 21, or a child who is 21 or older and filing for their parents. USCIS will work on these cases immediately, as they are considered a preference category. Here is a breakdown of the preference categories. 

  • F1 are under 21, unmarried sons and daughters of United States citizens.
  • F2a is spouse and children under 21 of permanent residence 
  • F3 is married sons and daughters of United States citizens
  • F4 is brothers and sisters of adult United States citizens aged 21 and over. 

Understanding the Visa Bulletin

The Visa Bulletin shows you when you may proceed with your green card application based on when you initially filed. Once you have submitted your application or form, you can check the visa bulletin to determine the wait time for continuing your green card application.

Family preference means your priority date must be reached before adjusting your status or moving to the NBC stage. Consular processing immigrants sometimes use the final action date to determine when they can adjust their status. Therefore, you must keep checking the Visa Bulletin to determine if they are working on your case and if your priority date has been reached. The dates will be listed as to what year they are working on based on when you file. If a section is marked C, is means current, and you can start the processing for applying for your Naturalization. Once your date priority date has been reached, you can begin the proceedings for Naturalization.

Do you need help understanding how to select the correct category and apply for your green card?

You must make sure all your immigration forms are correctly completed, along with any supporting documents that you need. Therefore, it is essential that you work with an experienced family-based immigration attorney that can walk you through the process and ensure your forms are correct, as well as having all the necessary supporting documents.

We Work With Clients Locally, Nationwide, And Internationally.

If you have any additional questions about obtaining your green card or are looking for immigration services, don’t hesitate to contact the Odunlami Law Firm at 973-993-1900 or email us at support@odunlamilaw.com. We can help you will your immigration needs.

Areas of Immigration Law:

  • Naturalization (Citizenship) Application
  • Immigrant Relative Petitions
  • Fiancé Visa Applications
  • Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing
  • Criminal Consequences and Deportation Defense
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Application
  • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Green Card Renewals
  • Temporary Work Visas
  • Temporary Protected Status
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Waivers

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