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 only witnesses. However, I usually never use the testimony or affidavits of the US citizen spouse’s relatives. I understand that many times, the US citizen’s family act helpful and claim to be upset with the US spouse’s treatment of the immigrant or the US citizen spouse’s immaturity. But when it comes down to it, they are the spouse’s blood relations and their loyalty will always be there. Especially since in multiple types of waivers, the immigrant must show that the marriage fell apart because of the other spouse’s fault; getting family to turn publicly on paper on their relative is unlikely. Exposing the US citizen’s family to the type of waiver case an immigrant is filing with immigration by involving them runs a huge risk of the other spouse finding out what the immigrant is doing. This could lead to the other spouse retaliating by trying to contact immigration and make the immigrant’s case even more difficult to prove. In my opinion, this is not worth the risk in 99% of all cases. There are other ways to document cases. Be careful.
Attorney Heather L. Poole practices exclusively in the area of U.S. family-based immigration law and citizenship law. Heather is a nationally-published immigration author, frequent lecturer on immigration issues, and member & officer of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Southern California Chapter. For more information about Heather and the services offered, visit www.humanrightsattorney.com
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