Adjustment of Status Granted Despite Suspected Marriage Fraud and Attendance at a Pay-to-Stay School
January 23, 2024

Table of ContenTS

The Law Offices of Sabrina Li has been successful in assisting another client. We would like to share their case with you.

Client Seeks Our Assistance to Expedite Pending Marriage Based Green Card Application

Our client came to our office because they had previously filed an application for adjustment of status, and it had remained pending for five years. Our client asked our office to help them expedite the case and represent them at their adjustment of status interview when the time came. Shortly after being hired, our office was successful in having the case heard for an interview.  

Client's Involvement in "Pay-to-Stay" Fraud Scheme Uncovered During I-485 Interview

We attended the interview with the client where it was discovered that our client had entered on an F-1 visa to attend Likie Fashion and Technology College, a school which had been found to have been involved in a “pay-to-stay” fraud scheme. As part of the fraud scheme, the school would issue I-20s, transcripts, and other immigration documents to individuals so that they could obtain and maintain their F-1 visas when they had no intention of going to school.  

We knew this meant our client was inadmissible under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) for making a material misrepresentation to obtain an immigration benefit. We immediately warned the client and began preparing to file an I-601 waiver of the inadmissibility ground.  

Successfully Rebutted the I-130 NOID Based on Suspected Marriage Fraud

However, USCIS unexpectedly sent a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) our client’s I-130 application. The NOID accused our client of entering into a marriage for the sole purpose of evading immigration laws and stated that the I-130 was barred under INA 204(c). Our office immediately responded and pointed out that the burden was on USCIS to establish our client had entered into a marriage solely for immigration purposes, and that they had failed to meet their burden. Our arguments were successful and USCIS approved our client’s I-130.

Adjustment of Status (I-485) Approved After Filing I-601 Waiver Application

Then, just one day after our client’s I-130 was approved we received another NOID, this time for our client’s adjustment of status. The NOID gave us only a month to respond. However, we had diligently prepared for this outcome and were able to file an I-601 waiver in response, showing that our client had strong ties to the United States, including a successful business, and her husband would suffer mentally and emotionally without her presence in the United States.  

Our client was thrilled when just a month after our NOID response, her adjustment of status was finally approved!

Eligibility for an I-601 Waiver

To be eligible for an I-601 waiver of the material misrepresentation grounds of inadmissibility, and individual must:  

  • Be the spouse or child of a US citizen or LPR;
  • Establish that their spouse or parent would experience extreme hardship if they were denied admission.

Law Offices of Sabrina Li is not only adept at handling marriage fraud defenses but also excels in managing all types of immigration waivers, especially for those found inadmissible due to fraud or material misrepresentation. For expert legal guidance in these complex situations, contact the Law Offices of Sabrina Li at (213) 375-8096 or email us at to schedule a consultation. We are committed to providing the dedicated support and representation you need. Reach out to us—your fight is our fight.

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