• Nationality: Russian
  • Applying For: Motion to Reopen [I-290B]
  • Case Type: I-485
  • Time: 4 months

Distressed, Ms. Heiden* came to Tsang & Associates in 2016 to seek assistance in a Form I-290B Motion to Reopen in hopes that the USCIS would reopen the I-485 application for her father Mr. Sulaimon that was previously denied. Otherwise, they would have to restart the entire I-485 process and pay additional fees. Mr. Sulaimon* filed an I-485 Application to Adjust Status for permanent residency on September 29, 2015. As required for I-485 applications, he was to be sponsored by his daughter, Ms. Heiden, with whom Mr. Sulaimon was living. He responded to a Request For Evidence by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a complete Federal Income Tax Return for 2014 on November 13, 2015. However, the evidence supplied was not complete, prompting the USCIS to deny Mr. Sulaimon’s application on March 23, 2016. He had until April 22, 2016, 30 days later, to apply for a motion to reopen.

Keys to Success

As a Motion to Reopen must be filed within 30 days of the notice given by the USCIS, we did not have very much time to collect the necessary documentation. Within seven days, we were able to compile the new facts and documentary evidence showing that Mr. Sulaimon’s application was wrongfully denied and should be reopened. We demonstrated that Ms. Heiden was indeed sufficiently qualified to be a sponsor for Mr. Sulaimon by submitting her Federal Income Tax Return from 2014 in order to tackle the basis for denial and to satisfy the requirement that the sponsor’s household income must exceed $25,200, 125% above the Federal Poverty Guideline for a three person household, to which our client belonged. We showed that her annual salary was $25,462 in 2014 with a combined total salary of her and her husband to be three times greater than the minimum requirement. In addition, we acquired a signed letter of employment from the college district of which she was employed and included her most recent Federal Income Tax Return, 2015, showing that her annual salary was increased to over $33,000 per year, further establishing Ms. Heiden’s qualification as a sponsor. Once all the documents were collected, we sent the motion on April 19, 2016 to the National Benefits Center in Chicago, Illinois ensuring that we kept within the 30 day timeframe in which the motion must have been submitted.


On June 7, 2016, less than three weeks after we submitted the motion, Mr. Sulaimon’s Form I-485 was reopened by Director Robert Cowan of the USCIS.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity.