Russell Abrutyn

Abrutyn Law PLLC

3765 12 Mile Road

Berkley, MI 48072

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sixth Circuit on "lawfully" acquired LPR status for naturalization eligiblity

Turfah v. Lynch, __ F.3d __ (6th Cir. 2017) (published)

In this case, Turfah immigrated as a derivative beneficiary of an approved visa petition filed for a parent. Unfortunately, he immigrated 24 days before the principal beneficiary. No one realized the mistake until he applied for naturalization.

USCIS denied his naturalization application and argued that he did not "lawfully" acquire LPR status because he immigrated before, not with or after, the principal beneficiary of the visa petition. He appealed to the district court and lost. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the denial.

The court agreed that even though he was admitted as an LPR, he did not "lawfully" acquire that status. Therefore, he was not eligible for naturalization even though it had been more than five years since his admission.

Hopefully the USCIS will accept the court's suggestion that it work out a solution to what the court called a very sympathetic case. The USCIS has several options available to it.