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Marriage and Immigration Law Blog
VAWA Abused Spouse Green Card Filings Can Halt DACA Approvals - In the latest news from AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), filing a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) case – which doesn’t lead to a green card but the chance for a two year work permit – at the same time as a VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) immigrant visa case may slow down the… Read More »
Snowbirds face new challenges in staying in the US as visitors - Snowbirds are usually those in their 60s and above who are retired and live in the US for part of the year when the weather is bad in their home country during the winter months (common for Canadians). Traditionally, it has been easy for many Canadians to do this, often spending 6 months at a… Read More »
U Visa May Offer Unlikely Solution to Sponsoring an Undocumented Spouse - I have been approached more frequently since March 2013 by adult US citizen children wanting to sponsor their undocumented parents for green cards, now that the new “provisional waiver” law is in effect. I unfortunately have to explain the provisional waiver program is a policy, not a law change, and more importantly, that it doesn’t… Read More »
Moving in Mom: Potential Problems for Conditional Green Card Holders - In many cultures, allowing the parent to stay in the spare bedroom for months at a time while visiting the immigrant in the US from their foreign country, is a given. It would be expensive and insulting to stick mom at a hotel or motel. But allowing mom to stay with you and your US… Read More »
How to Choose: Sponsoring Your Spouse as a Permanent Resident or US Citizen - Whether to sponsor a spouse now when you are a permanent resident or later when you become a US citizen does not have a black and white answer and depends on many factors that must be weighed in the particular immigrant’s situation. It’s important to ask: (1)   How long will it take for the Petitioning… Read More »
Challenges to Marrying an Immigrant for Those Facing Retirement - Must you choose between preserving your legacy and assets for your children over securing your immigrant spouse’s green card?   Keeping Your Assets Private The Affidavit of Support requires that if you are sponsoring your spouse for a green card, you must be willing to reimburse the federal government for any public assistance benefits made to… Read More »
Warning! Filing Good faith marriage conditional green card waivers late increase odds of denial - “Help! My conditional green card expired over a year ago and I’ve been separated from my spouse and I don’t know what to do.”  I hear this a lot.  If you are separated and you have a conditional green card, you can still file a waiver petition late (after the expiration of your two year card)… Read More »
Hedging your bets? Filing different family immigrant visas at the same time - It is possible to have more than one type of Immigrant Visa petition filed by a family member for the same person pending at the same time. Huh, you say? The filing of one immigrant visa petition does not invalidate or stop the other from being processed by USCIS assuming it’s not the same type… Read More »
Tips for Surviving Your Marriage Green Card Interview - The marriage green card interview can be extremely intimidating process. You have a lot on the line, your future together, the ongoing ability of your spouse to work and stay in the US, and you can have little notice from CIS to prepare for it (averaging 7-30 days depending on the work load of the… Read More »
Your Spouse Withdrew Your I-130 but Now You’re Back Together: What Now? - Sometimes a spouse can get angry or make a rash decision such as withdrawing the I-130, Immigrant Visa petition based on marriage, for the immigrant spouse. So what happens when to your immigration case if all is forgiven and you’re back together?  Once an Immigrant visa is withdrawn, it is denied and there is no… Read More »
Is it Possible to Live in Separate States, Be Sponsored by a Spouse, and Get a Green Card - I often come across couples who are not living together but want to obtain a green card for the immigrant spouse based on the marriage. Even the Immigrant Visa form for family sponsorships request to know how long one has been living with their spouse; there’s really no way around it, no way to hide… Read More »
Provisional Waivers May Be Impossible for Those with Even a Minor Crime - In an April 14, 2013 meeting with USCIS Headquarters, the American Immigration Lawyers Association asked USCIS to clarify when a provisional waiver applicant’s criminal past will automatically exclude the applicant from the provisional waiver process. The current standard under the regulation requires CIS to deny any case filed under the provisional waiver program if USCIS… Read More »
Green Card Holders Wanting to Sponsor Spouse Need to Watch Out for Abandonment Issues of their Own - Obtaining a green card is a dream come true for many immigrants and the last thing any green card holder would want is to loss his or her permanent resident status. Many people apply to become citizens through naturalization as soon as they are eligible to avoid the possibility of ever being stripped of their… Read More »
Special Immigrant Juvenile Status May Be Faster Route to Green Card for Kids Instead of Adoption -  In 1990, the U.S. Congress established Special Immigrant Juvenile status (SIJS). SIJS is designed for non-U.S. citizen children who do not have permanent residence and have been abused, neglected or abandoned by one or both parents and need a green card. It is an alternative to an otherwise, potentially lengthy and sometimes, impossible, adoption process.For… Read More »
The Good & the Bad of the New Provisional Waiver Program Rule for Unlawful Presence Waivers - The Federal Register will publish a final rule tomorrow announcing CIS’s new regulation regarding the provisional waiver program. Since January 2012, many US citizens and their family members have been waiting for this to happen. Although the process is not expected to be available for applying for waivers until March 2013, this is a big… Read More »
New Details Come out on Deferred Action for Students - CIS held a call today to confirm developments on the latest deferred action process for Students who qualify for President Obama’s new policy direction. The Immigration Policy Center noted some important points of the call:A new form will be available on August 15. All DACA requests will require payment of the standard $85 biometric fee,… Read More »
The Pros, Cons, and Future of the New Proposed Provisional Waiver Program for I-601 Waivers – YouTube - Check out my newest video: The Pros, Cons, and Future of the New Proposed Provisional Waiver Program for I-601 Waivers – YouTube:  I balance the pros and cons with the new proposed program, what is it, who is covered, what it doesn’t do and the risks and potential benefits of relying on it. Feel free to… Read More »
- The Board of Immigration Appeals Refuses to Agree with CIS Decisions Denying Green Cards to Gay Partners who were Legally Married in their States, Despite the Federal Defense of Marriage Act In June 2012, in four separate cases of CIS decisions in states where gay marriage was considered legal under state law, the BIA ordered… Read More »
New immigration policy announced today for Dreamers - A major change in immigration policy was announced by the Obama Admnistration today. The DREAM Act that has been stuck in committee in Congress for years is similar to the new deferred action policy announced today. This is a temporary stay from deportation for certain children under the age of 30 who are in the… Read More »
Harry’s Law Highlights Abuse Against Men – A Very Real Occurrence - I applaud Hollywood for giving fair treatment to the very sensitive issue of male rape by a female in a recent episode of Harry’s Law on NBC.  The show began with one of the characters actually questioning if it’s possible to rape your partner in marriage, which shows society’s bias towards assuming all sex is… Read More »

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