Q: Arrest and ACD during pending I-485. Should I withdraw I-485?
Hi, I have a pending I-485 that was applied 6 months ago. I was arrested 2 months ago for domestic violence and received a 1 year ACD with limited order of protection. The 6 years on my H-1B visa expires soon and I need an extension on the visa. I am afraid if my I-485 is denied (and not delayed adjudication on that) due to the arrest before an H-1B extension, I wont be able to extend my H-1B beyond the 6 years limit and will have to leave the country. I havent received any interview request from USCIS yet. I am considering whether to inform the USCIS of the arrest or to withdraw the I-485 application and extend H-1B so I can re-apply for the I-485 after the ACD period. Can someone tell me which would be a better option?
Great question. I would advise you not to withdraw the I-485, but rather, attend your Interview (once it is scheduled) with an experienced Immigration Lawyer who can properly advise the Immigration Officer about your ACD, and explain how it should not affect your eligibility for a Green Card. I have handled cases exactly like this, and although the matter way delayed, the green card was ultimately granted because an ACD is not the same as a conviction, and the Immigration Officers do not always understand the legal implications of this. That being said, I would strongly recommend you speak with an immigration lawyer instead of causing more problems by proceeding on your own. Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions - Thank you, and good luck !
-Rachel Einbund, Esq.
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