Tag Archives: uscis

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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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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The naturalization interview (N-400 interview)

After you have filed form N-400 with supporting documentary evidence and the USCIS has received notice from the Federal Bureau of Investigations that a full criminal background check is complete, the USCIS will send you an appointment notice for your naturalization interview or citizenship interview.

The law requires the USCIS interviewing officer to use information provided in the naturalization interview, the documents submitted by you and your A-file to decide whether to grant your application for naturalization. Therefore the naturalization interview is a vital part of becoming a United States citizen by naturalization. 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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Appealing USCIS denial of extension of visitor visa status

The USCIS may grant the I-539 application, request further evidence (RFE) or deny the application. Sometimes the application may be denied after the USCIS receives further evidence. In practice some RFE notices are vague. A foreign national who does not understand what the USCIS wants may send irrelevant evidence or insufficient evidence to prove eligibility.

At other times the USCIS reviewing officer gets it wrong and sends the foreign national an improper written notice of denial. The notice will set out the reasons for the denial and require the foreign national to leave the United States within (30 or 33 days). This notice also informs the foreign nationals of her right to appeal within 30 days of the decision (33 days if the decision was mailed). Continue reading

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Often asked questions about affidavit of support form I-864

Do not let confusion over the affidavit of support requirement delay you bringing your spouse or family members to the United States or cause the consular officer to deny your family members their immigrant visas. Here are some often asked questions and their answers.

Q. What is an affidavit?

A. An affidavit is a statement that is either sworn to before someone authorized to administer oaths such as a notary public (e.g. an affidavit of marriage) or signed under penalty of perjury (e.g. an affidavit of support form I-864.)

Q. What is an affidavit of support for an immigrant?

A. It is a legally enforceable promise by the sponsor to show that the intended immigrant has adequate means of financial support and is unlikely to become a financial burden to the United States (A Public Charge). The sponsor also promises to reimburse any federal or state agency that provide certain means tested benefits to the sponsored immigrant and to inform the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of any change of address (Form I-865) within 30 days of the change while the agreement is still in force.

The law requires an affidavit of support in most family based immigrant and some employment based immigrant cases. The petitioner must either submit an affidavit of support on Form I-864 or Form I-864EZ. Certain classes of immigrants who are exempt from the affidavit of support requirement (e.g. self-petitioning battered spouse or child of US citizen) must still submit Form I-864W, Intending Immigrant’s Affidavit of Support Exemption along with their application for an immigrant visa or for adjustment of status.

Even if an applicant has a valid affidavit of support, consular officers may still consider the applicant’s age, financial status, health, education and skills, and family status in determining whether the applicant is likely to become a public charge.
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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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Filing Tips – USCIS forms

There is little room for forgiveness for some errors such as having the wrong missing the end date on your I-94. Similarly, when making applications or petitions to USCIS it is important to pay close attention to minor details in filing out forms. This is because simple inaccuracies in a USCIS filing can lead to the delay or denial of your petition.

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I-751 Green card removal of conditions

A conditional permanent resident (CPR) must file Form 1-751 with supporting evidence and the correct filing fee to remove the conditions on his or her residence within the 90-day period immediately before two (2) year anniversary of the date on which he or she obtained permanent residence. USCIS may waive the need to file within 90 days under certain rare circumstances. Normally the CPR and the CPR’s spouse who filed the original immigrant visa petition Form I-130 or fiancé (é) petition Form I-129F through which the CPR obtained permanent residence will file a Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence Form I-751 with USCIS. Both the CPR and the CPR’s spouse must sign the form. Continue reading

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