Immigrants who intend to secure permanent resident status in the United States must be aware of the regulations that are inherent in the process. Undocumented immigrants who fail to possess a comprehensive understanding of the conditions for permanent residency are likely to run into costly pitfalls. The case of Bouras brings this reality to the fore in a sobering manner.
A native Algerian, Bouras initially entered the United States in 1997 on a nonimmigrant business visitor visa. The duration of Bouras’ visit ended up exceeding the maximum duration allowed on his visa. Bouras was living in Chicago in 2006 when he entered into a marriage with Schreiner who was living in Ohio. As a consequence of this union, Bouras was granted conditional permanent resident status since Schreiner was a U.S. Citizen.
The marriage between Bouras and Schreiner lasted for two and a half years. For much of the duration of their union, Bouras continued to live in Chicago while Schreiner remained in Ohio. During this period, Bouras left for Algeria alone. Bouras spent 6 months in Algeria visiting his family.
Before Bouras could successfully make the transition from being a conditional permanent resident to being an unconditional permanent resident, his union with Reiner ended in divorce. Bouras ran into complications with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services when he failed to substantiate that the marriage he had with Schreiner was born out of good faith. Consequently, the USCIS placed Bouras in removal proceedings.
During the proceedings that ensued, Bouras was the sole individual who testified in his own case. Any other witnesses, including Bouras’ ex – wife, Schreiner, failed to appear at the hearing to provide an account about the marriage. Bouras attempted to buy more time for his case. Stating that he needed a chance to have his ex – wife testify during the hearing, Bouras asked for a continuance. The immigration judge who presided over Bouras’ case failed to find “extenuating circumstances” that could justify a continuance. The immigration judge denied Bouras’ request. The lack of evidence failed to substantiate Bouras’ claims that the marriage had been in good faith. The Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the decision of the judge and Bouras’ case concluded.
If you or someone you know needs legal counsel regarding immigration issues, please contact the immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas by visiting our website or calling us today at 512-215-5225.