Tag Archives: green card

Presumptive immigration marriage fraud

When a permanent resident obtained a green card by marriage which later ends in divorce, an immigration petition for a new spouse cannot be approved if filed within 5 years of obtaining permanent residence unless the permanent resident can prove that the earlier marriage by which he obtained a green card was in good faith. But the standard of proof of the earlier marriage is raised beyond that required when the permanent resident was issued a green card by that marriage. Continue reading

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Refiling a spousal immigration petition after a withdrawal

A petitioner who withdraws a petition with admissions of a fraudulent marriage (e.g. the marriage was a favor to a friend, and we only lived together to make it look real) and then re-files a petition for the same beneficiary has a heavy burden of proof to get approval of a visa petition for the beneficiary. Continue reading

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Can you afford not to hire an immigration attorney for your case?

Some persons dealing with an immigration matter such as applying for a spouse to come to the United States, may ask, ‘Do I really need a lawyer?’, or ‘Can’t I just handle the paperwork myself?’ Unfortunately, the denial rate for applications or petitions filed without an attorney is higher than many realize. The cost in time and money to fix immigration problems that could be avoided is astronomical. Continue reading

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Bona Fide Marriage – Documents to prove that your marriage was in good faith

There are several ways to prove a bona fide marriage for US immigration purposes. In addition to a marriage certificate, the following documents are examples of what an immigrant spouse can offer as proof of a bona fide marriage. As each couple is unique the following is not a substitute for legal advice based on a couples unique facts (prior petitions, age difference, prior removal orders, date of wedding, date of entry into the United States etc). Continue reading

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Removing conditions on permanent residence when the U.S. petitioner dies

For those who receive a green card through a marriage that is less than two years old on the date the green card is received, Section 216 (d) (2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides that a conditional permanent resident must file a joint petition to remove conditions on residence I-751 within 90-day period before the second anniversary of receipt of conditional resident status – count back 90 days from the second anniversary of the Permanent Resident Card. Waiting until the last few days to send the I-751 petition with supporting evidence is a bad idea. It should get to the USCIS before the conditional green card expires. It is always a good idea to have proof of delivery. Continue reading

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Green card for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens

The visa category for siblings of adult U.S. citizens (the fourth preference category) has a notoriously long backlog. Currently it takes at least 11 years before a visa number becomes available for the sibling of a U.S. citizen. Petitions for fourth preference category for Mexico have a jaw dropping 20 year backlog! Continue reading

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An explanation of K1 Fiancé Visa Adjustment of Status and Divorce

A person in K1 status can only adjust based on marriage to the US citizen petitioner, not another marriage

Sometimes a k1 fiancé visa marriage like any other marriage does not always go as plan despite even the best intention. Sometimes there is a breakdown in the marriage, a k1 visa divorce and the foreign national has questions for an immigration lawyer about his/her eligibility for adjustment of status and a green card.

A k1 visa holder can only adjust status on the basis of a marriage to the US citizen petitioner within 90 days of admission to the United States. The Immigration and Marriage Fraud Amendment of 1986, explicitly prohibits a person in K1 status from adjusting on the basis of marriage to someone else.

What the K1 must show if there is a divorce

If the marriage occurred within 90 days, a person in K1 status (and her dependent children admitted in K2 status) can still adjust status to that of an alien lawfully admitted to permanent residence even if the marriage ends in divorce. Matter of Alfred Sesay, 25 I&N Dec. 431 (BIA 2011) & Matter of Le, 25 I&N Dec. 541 (BIA 2011).
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Form I-130 checklist

The following is a checklist for an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative for a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident sponsoring an immediate relative or family preference alien to get a US green card. As each case is unique the list is … Continue reading

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When the petitioner dies – immigration solutions for surviving relatives

In the past only widows and widowers could continue to seek immigration status despite the death of their petitioning spouse. For many years, USCIS had taken the view that the law did not let the beneficiary of a visa petition get approval of the petition if the petitioner died while the petition remained pending (i.e. the petition died with the petitioner). Furthermore USCIS had internal rules for revocation of approved petitions when the petitioner died.

But Congress under INA 204 (l) (Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010) has expanded the categories of persons who may continue to seek immigration status (as though the petitioning relative had not died) to other categories of relatives, as well as to T and U non-immigrants, I-730 asylum derivatives, and derivative beneficiaries in employment and family-based preferences.
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How to do a late filing of form I-751 – if you must

A conditional permanent resident CPR who obtained his or her green card status through marriage of less than two years to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, on time to remove the conditions on residence. A failure to file the I-751 will end permanent resident or green card status.

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