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Marriage and Immigration Law Blog (Page 3)
Direct Filings of Marriage Green Card Cases at Consulates Changing - The One Step Filing Procedure Is Now Rare. As of August 25, 2011, US citizens residing in a foreign country that does not have a US CIS office in that country, are no longer allowed to directly file their marriage-based immigrant visa cases with the consulate in that country. They have to file the case… Read More »
Fast Track Waiver Program Stays in Mexico - The US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico receives 20,000 waiver filings (for unlawful presence, misrepresentation, prostitution, and criminal grounds) a year, with two full time workers assigned t the waivers. They have the only waiver system in the wqorld that is two-tracked. A case can be “instantly approved” within 3 weeks, on average, if the… Read More »
DHS Announces New Policy for those in Removal Proceedings - On June 17, 2011, ICE published a memo on their interpretation of when they will use prosecutorial discretion to dismiss pending removal cases. ICE, a subset of the Department of Homeland Security, is aiming its resources on enhancing border security and identifying and removing criminal aliens, those who pose a threat to public safety and… Read More »
245(i) Grandfathering Getting Tougher - 245(i ) is an ever changing area of court interpretation. The Board of Immigration Appeals decided in Matter of Legaspi that an immigrant spouse cannot always grandfather under 245(i) and independently qualify for a green card if s/he is married to another immigrant who does have 245(i) grandfathering protection. 245(i) allows immigrants who entered the… Read More »
Unlawful Presence & Criminal Waiver Process Changing Worldwide - CIS recently announced in June 2011 that worldwide changes to the inadmissability waiver process are underway. One of the biggest changes affects how long these cases take to be decided. Applicants for waivers can send in their waiver directly to the CIS office assigned to the foreign consulate. Prior to this, Applicants were required to… Read More »
The In-Laws & Conditional Residency - Choosing whether to file a joint petition or a waiver to remove the condition on residency often comes down to what you can prove. I speak to many immigrants who have evidence of abuse or that they married for love (not immigration purposes) in the form of affidavits of relatives. Often times, relatives are the… Read More »
Any way back from marriage fraud? - A finding of marriage fraud is a lifetime bar to a later filed immigrant visa by another spouse. This situation commonly arises when an immigrant pays someone to help them get their green card by posing as their spouse even though they have no relationship, do not live together and the marriage was set up… Read More »
When You face a Judge After Conditional residency expiration - Often a conditional resident may end up in removal proceedings. This could be due to a denied case or failure to file to remove the condition while the residency period was intact. But not all hope is lost if placed in removal. If a CLPR’s status has been terminated, the immigrant may be able to… Read More »
Overstay Could Bar Green Card for Visa Waiver Entrants - Overstay Rules for Visa Waiver Countries Are Changing! Visa waiver entrants benefit from a program that Congress created allowing citizens of certain countries to come to the U.S. as tourists for 90 days or less without visitor’s visas. To get the government waiver of the usual visa requirement, the tourist has to sign a wiaver… Read More »
Abused Spouses Who Enter Illegally Now Able to Obtain Green Card - CIS recently released a memo confirming a nationwide policy to allow battered spouses who have received an approved Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petition to apply for a green card while in the U.S., despite an illegal entry. Prior to this memo’s release, there was no nationwide interpretation of the statute on this issue and… Read More »
Must the marriage be consummated? - Whether a marriage is considered a sham(“fake”, i.e., entered into for immigration purposes only, not for love), can hinge on whether the marriage was consummated (the couple had sex). If the immigrant refuses to consummate the marriage, then it can imply that the marriage was a sham. If the US citizen resfuses to consummate the… Read More »
Conditional LPR marriage breaking up - Yes, the shorter the marriage is, the worse it looks on paper for a conditional green card holder. The whole point of having a conditional green card was congress was worried about sham marriages so there will be skepticism as to whether a short marriage was real to begin with if it breaks up especially… Read More »
Re: Conditional green card holder married to someone else - This is a tricky situation. A conditional green card holder cannot change or adjust her status to another conditional green card while she’s still in conditional status. Plus, if her last entry was as a conditional green card holder (i.e., got her green card then went on vacation in Mexico and re-entered), there is some… Read More »
Working Abroad – Abandoning Green Card? - Stephen, this one’s for you.Marriage to a US citizen does not protect a LPR (lawful permanent resident) from losing his/her permanent residency if the LPR and their US citizen spouse decide to live outside of the U.S.Typically when an LPR expects to be out of the US for longer than 6 months for a temporary… Read More »
Grandfathering under 245(i): Avoiding leaving the US to obtain a green card - Under INA 245(i), if a family or employment-based immigrant visa or labor certification was filed for an immigrant before the cut off date of April 30, 2001 and the immigrant was physically present or living in the US (legal or not legal), the immigrant will usually not have to leave the U.S. to process and… Read More »
Entry on a Fiance Visa but Marry Someone Else - Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a fiance visa holder has 90 days upon entry with a fiance visa to marry the US citizen petitioner before the visa expires. That 90 day period often serves as a test period for couples who have been physically separated, sometimes for months, and have only been corresponding… Read More »
Couple Still Together but Green Card Expired - Section 216 of the Immigration and Nationality Act creates a system where immigrants who have attained their conditional permanent residency are granted a green card for two years. Within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of the initial grant of conditional status, i.e. a green card, the immigrant and the immigrant’s spouse must file with… Read More »
VAWA green card cases & illegal entries - The National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women and the National Immigration Project are considering litigation to challenge the unlawful denial of VAWA (abuse-based immigration green card) applications for applicants who are present without being admitted or paroled (Entered illegally).The problem lies in two contradictory sections of the law. Pursuant to INA § 245(a),… Read More »
Proving Hardship in Marriage Cases - An immigrant’s past unlawful presence in the U.S. (defined as “illegal entry & illegal stay” or “legal entry & overstay”) can ruin marriage plans when a U.S. citizen is trying to help legalize his or spouse’s status. Many immigrants have no idea about the 3 and 10 yr. bars for prior unlawful presence. The three… Read More »
Perez Gonzalez & marriage cases - Immigrants with prior deportation orders or immigration violations who live within the 9th Circuit and who are married to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents may be able to get their green cards, despite their prior immigration violations. Those who live in the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and… Read More »

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