H-4 Application Denied, Referred to Court | Dismissal Through Prosecutorial Discretion
August 30, 2023

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.

Our client is the spouse of an H-1B holder. During the pandemic, the extension petition filed for the H-1B spouse was denied because the sponsoring employer failed to respond timely to a Request for Evidence (RFE) issued by USCIS. As the client’s H-4 status is dependent on the spouse’s H-1B, the denial also resulted in the loss of the H-4 status of our client. Thereafter, the client received a Notice to Appear (NTA) before an immigration judge.

The difficulty in our client’s case was that the client had overstayed for more than 1 year when they came to our office due to the pandemic. If the client left the United States on her own will, she would be inadmissible for 10 years. After a thorough legal analysis, we found that the client did not have any relief application she could file before the Immigration Court.

Knowing what was at stake, we believed we could take advantage of the new Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) policy under the Biden administration, and immediately submitted a PD request on behalf of the client to the ICE Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA.) Upon OPLA’s grant of our PD request, we filed an unopposed motion to dismiss the client’s removal proceedings in immigration court, and the motion was later granted by the judge. The client is no longer facing threat of deportation!

Prosecutorial Discretion (PD) is the longstanding authority of an agency charged with enforcing the law to decide where to focus its resources and whether or how to enforce, or not to enforce, the law against an individual. OPLA are authorized to exercise PD at various stages in a removal case, including to determine whether to file or cancel an NTA; whether to agree to, or unilaterally move to, dismiss proceedings; whether to agree to administrative closure; stipulations to certain issues or grants of relief; continuances; joint motions and reopen; and bond (or other conditions of release); whether to pursue appeal; and whether to waive OPLA’s appearance at certain hearings.

If you or someone you know has encountered a similar issue and needs the assistance of qualified professionals, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are here to help!

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