Automatic revocation of your petition

IMMIGRATION CORNER - Michael J. Gurfinkel - The Philippine Star

Even if a person already has an approved petition, it could be automatically revoked as of the date of approval. Depending on the circumstances, their priority date (or place in line) would be lost, the person may have to start all over again or their hopes and dreams would be lost forever.

What are some of the reasons or grounds that a petition could be considered automatically revoked?

• Where the beneficiary’s visa registration is terminated at the National Visa Center (NVC) or embassy because of their failure to apply for a visa within one year of being notified their visa is available. In rare circumstances, it is possible to reinstate registration and salvage the petition due to circumstances beyond the beneficiary’s control or registration was prematurely terminated.

• Where the petitioner withdraws the petition in writing. The petitioner cannot later change his mind and ask the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reinstate the petition. I’ve come across many situations where a married couple may have gotten into a fight and in the heat of spite and anger, the petitioner writes to the USCIS to withdraw the petition. They later make up, but that petition is now terminated. A new petition would have to be filed.

• Death of the petitioner, unless USCIS believes it would be “inappropriate to revoke the petition” and grants humanitarian revalidation. Or, if the beneficiary was in the US at the time of the petitioner’s death, they could possibly qualify for reinstatement under Section 204(l).

• Death of the principal beneficiary. Humanitarian revalidation is NOT available if the principal beneficiary dies; the derivatives are out of luck. However, there could be hope for derivatives when the principal dies, if they are eligible under Section 204(l). This would apply to either a family-based or employment-based petition.

• Where an unmarried son or daughter of a lawful permanent resident (LPR) gets married before their parent naturalizes. In other words, an immigrant parent can never petition a married child. Even if the petition is filed when the child is single (F-2B) and the child later gets married, the petition is revoked. (This also applies to so-called “secret” marriages.)

• Where the marriage forming the basis of the petition is legally terminated (by divorce, annulment, etc.), except where a spouse is considered “battered” or abused by the petitioner.

• Where the spouse of an abusive US citizen or green card holder remarries, unless the self-petition has already been approved.

• Where the petitioner loses his or her status as a US citizen or LPR. For example, if an LPR parent files a petition for their unmarried son or daughter but then moves back to the Philippines and abandons their green card, the petition may no longer be valid if the petitioner is no longer a green card holder.

I’ve come across many valid petitions that were automatically revoked because of neglect, oversight or misunderstanding of the law. In fact, the major grounds for revocation seem to be the failure to pursue a visa within one year or a son or daughter of an immigrant getting married.

Also, aside from automatic revocation, USCIS can also revoke your petition if they believe it was approved in error or because of your fraud or concealment of the truth and hiding your eligibility, such as marriage being petitioned as single, or you’re being used in a fixed marriage.

If your petition was revoked, or USCIS or NVC is threatening to revoke your petition, you may want to consult with an attorney who can evaluate the situation and see if there are ways in which the petition could possibly be revived/saved or if the revocation was not in accordance with regulations.

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