Upatcha v. Sessions, No. 15-1270 (4th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, a citizen of Thailand, appealed the BIA's decision affirming the IJ's determination that petitioner failed to demonstrate that she entered into her marriage in good faith, as required by 8 U.S.C. 1186a(c)(4)(B). In this case, petitioner sought a hardship waiver that would allow her to stay in the country despite the fact that her marriage to a United States citizen had ended in divorce. The court held that the BIA applied the wrong standard of review because the issue of whether petitioner established that her marriage was entered into in good faith under section 1186a(c)(4)(B) is a mixed question of fact and law, and thus the IJ's ultimate conclusion that the credited evidence did not meet the good faith standard is a legal judgment subject to de novo review. Accordingly, the court granted the petition and remanded for the BIA to review the IJ's determination under the proper standard.