Man sues USCIS for rejecting his long-term residency application

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A man whose long-term legal residency application was rejected is now suing U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services, the Department of Homeland Security, and their respective department heads for wrongful rejection.

Jinluan Xu, a Chinese national who has resided on Saipan continuously for 24 years, has filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the NMI through attorney Samuel Mok for the rejection of his application for long-term residency.

Xu wants the District Court to issue a writ of mandamus directing USCIS to accept and process his 1-955 and 1-765 applications for status pursuant to the Northern Mariana Islands Long-Term Legal Residents Relief Act.

Mok said his client timely attempted to file his applications for status prior to the Aug. 17, 2020 deadline; however, the applications were allegedly wrongfully rejected twice, with both rejections based on erroneous grounds.

“Petitioner’s attempts to resolve these erroneous rejections was unsuccessful, with petitioner not receiving any responses to his written requests for relief to USCIS. Xu is seeking the narrow relief of an order from this court mandating that the respondents accept and process the petitioner’s applications for status that had been wrongfully rejected,” Mok said.

According to the lawsuit, Xu is the father of a U.S. citizen son, Rui Hua Qiu, who was born on Saipan on Jan. 22, 2006.

The petitioner has resided continuously and lawfully in the CNMI from Nov. 28, 2009, through June 25, 2019, and meets the statutory criteria for being eligible for CNMI long-term resident status, the lawsuit stated.

On June 25, 2020, Mok said his client attempted to file his applications for status with USCIS. On Aug. 7, 2020, USCIS rejected Xu’s applications for status for two reasons: first, the filing fee Xu allegedly submitted with his applications for status was “incorrect or had not been provided,” and second, Xu had failed to complete a box stating his “eligibility category” on his 1-765 application.

On Sept. 3, 2020, Xu attempted to re-file his applications for status, along with a cover letter that included the denial letter stating that he failed to provide the correct filing fees; and the denial for his failure to provide his eligibility category.

“The documents petitioner attempted to re-file on Sept. 3, 2020, were identical to the documents he initially tried to file on June 25, 2020, with the exception of the aforementioned cover letter,” Mok said.

In support of his attempted re-filing, Xu resubmitted the original money orders he had purchased from the U.S. Postal Service on June 23, 2020, which was two days before he initially filed his applications for status in the correct amounts of $410 and $85 for payment of the 1-765 filing fee and biometrics fee respectively.

Xu also highlighted the fact that his original 1-765 application did contain a statement of his eligibility category of “C37” on page 3, part 2, item 27, Mok added.

But according to Mok, on Sept. 18, 2020, USCIS rejected Xu’s applications again.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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