1) almost every immigrant living in the United States, especially, a conditional resident, is required by law to notify USCIS of their new address within 10 days, which can be done online by submitting an electronic version of the form AR-11. Here is the link: https://egov.uscis.gov/coa/displayCOAForm.do
2) any conditional resident MUST file a petition to remove conditions from residence within the 90-day period before expiration of their green card (USCIS form I-751). There are some exceptions. Forgetting to do so, can result in a removal order (deportation). Here is the link to the form and instructions: http://www.uscis.gov/i-751
3) if your green card had expired (there is always an expiration date printed on your card), you should not travel internationally,... and Mexico is a foreign country.
4) you should never hire an "immigration consultant" or "Notario" -- but only hire an "immigration attorney" or "immigration lawyer", who is a licensed professional authorized to offer legal advice. Consultants, tax preparers, notarios are not authorized to give advice regarding your immigration situation and can't help with immigration paperwork, they are breaking the law.
5) also, keep in mind that even an attorney doesn't have an obligation to remind you about the deadlines for any *future* immigration petitions you might have to file (petition to remove conditions, application to renew a green card, application for citizenship). It's up to you to calendar these important dates and keep a track of important future applications with USCIS. I usually remind my former clients about these deadlines, but I am not required to do so because an attorney's representation ends at the conclusion of each case.
6) if her conditional green card was indeed "extended", then she should have had an official Receipt Notice, USCIS Form I-797, with the date granting her one-year extension.
If you need legal help, you are welcome to email our office. Don't wait until it's too late!
Story follows below...
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) --
Sergey Nikitin lives with his wife and five children in West Hollywood. The Los Angeles realtor, however, is being kept apart from his family from what he says is a clerical error that's turned into an immigration nightmare.
Nikitin's wife, Anya Bondareva, is currently behind bars. She was detained by federal authorities while trying to cross the border near San Diego.
"She was crying and she was in shock. She couldn't believe what was even happening," Nikitin said.
He became a U.S. citizen 15 years ago and married his wife, a Russian native, in 2008. Following their marriage, Nikitin hired an immigration consultant in L.A. to handle her paperwork.
Bondareva received a conditional green card, but Nikitin says the consultant failed to secure a permanent green card.
"I should have checked it myself. It was just one of those things that I relied that they would tell me when it comes up and it needs to be done," Nikitin said.
Bondareva was granted an extension on her conditional green card that had expired. Earlier this year, the couple flew to Mexico and crossed back into the U.S. without any problems. Nikitin says they even met with immigration officials assuming their paperwork was being processed.
"When they called the immigration service he was under the impression that it was still pending," said Stephanie Alcala, Nikitin's attorney.
But last week when the couple tried to cross back into the U.S. from Mexico, Bondareva was detained.
"That was the worst feeling ever," Nikitin said.
It turns out, after Bondareva's green card expired, a deportation order was issued. Nikitin says that because of a change of address in L.A., they were not notified of a hearing, leading to her being taken in.
Nikitin spoke to his wife over the telephone and says that she broke down in tears when she learned that she could be behind bars for weeks, perhaps months.
"She was crying for some time. She couldn't even speak," Nikitin said. "It's horrible. The children keep asking for her, and I can't even imagine what she is going through. This seems like extreme punishment for a paperwork issue."
Bondareva is being held in a federal detention facility near San Diego. Nikitin's five children are currently staying with relatives in Russia. He is staying in a San Diego hotel to be near his wife.
Alcala says Bondareva will likely be deported. Once that happens, she will have to request an in-person hearing to reapply for the permanent green card.
Read at http://abc7.com/news/west-hollywood-family-split-apart-due-to-immigration-paperwork-foul-up/512688/