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How to Get a Green Card Through Marriage

  • a couple of weeks ago
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Spouse are eligible to get a green card for a U.S. citizen’s immediate relative. This is referred to as a marriage based green card and enables the immigrant spouse permanent resident status in the U.S. Some of the benefits of this green card include enabling the immigrant spouse the chance to get a driver’s license, travel in and out of the U.S., and to apply for Social Security.

When attempting to get marriage based adjustment of status, you and your spouse need to be prepared for the consular processingstages. The right green card through marriage lawyer will help you understand what to do before, during, and after this important procedure. Given the importance of this interview, you cannot afford to make mistakes, even if these are honest omissions. Plenty of practice for and knowledge about the interview will help you approach the day of with ease.

In this post, you’ll learn what forms must be submitted, how to prove that you have a valid marriage, what questions will be asked during the interview, and tips for success in the interview for your green card after marriage.

There are three phases in this process: using Form I-130 to establish the relationship, applying for a green card, and waiting for the green card interview and approval.

Filing the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative Form

You’ll need multiple resources in order to get marriage based adjustment of status. This includes:

  • Petition for Alien Relative (I-130 form)
  • Medical Examination Results (I-693 form)
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence (I-485)
  • Affidavit of Support (I-864 form)
  • Biographic Information (G-325A form)
  • All pieces of supporting evidence
  • Government filing fee

After the I-130 form is approved, the next step involves applying for a green card. A marriage based green card lawyer can help you to prepare for all of these phases and avoid common mistakes when seeking a green card after marriage.

Applying for Lawful Permanent Resident Status (Green Card)

The process does not end when conditional approval is provided. A conditional marriage-based green card is only valid for two years and cannot be renewed. An adjustment of status application must be filed through form 1-485, and the form that must be filled out depends on the spouse’s current location. Ask your adjustment of status lawyer for help.

Green Card Applicants That Live in the U.S.

If the spouse lives in the U.S., the next phase of the process is to file the I-485 Adjustment of Status Form.

Materials needed with this application for a green card through marriage include proof that the spouse entered on a valid visa, proof of the foreign spouse’s nationality, proof of the sponsor spouse’s financial ability to support the other spouse, a medical exam, and proof that no conviction occurred for any arrests for the spouse seeking a green card.

Items needed for this form include:

  • Government filing fees
  • Proof of nationality
  • Proof of lawful U.S. entry
  • Medical exam
  • Proof of sponsoring spouse’s financial ability to support

Green Card Applicants That Live Outside the U.S.

If the spouse lives outside the U.S., the process is different. The nest phase in this case is to file an application with the National Visa Center. During this stage, the spouse has to go through Consular Process with the NVC.

During this phase, the NVC organizes documents to determine whether or not the spouse is ready for an interview. Some of the important components of the filing package include:

  • Government filing fees
  • Form DS-260 (online green card application)
  • Nationality proof
  • Police clearance certificate

Proving a Legitimate Marriage

Unfortunately, during the marriage based green card process, couples will have to be on high alert for accusations of fraud. Getting a green card through marriage is often susceptible to fraud. This means that the USCIS investigates each case carefully. Being prepared with appropriate documentation helps to show the legitimacy of the marriage.

Certain documents will help to support that the marriage is not fraudulent. This can include photos together, joint bank account statements, mortgage documents, insurance policies, or a joint lease.

What Questions Will They Ask at the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview?

Many different questions can be asked during the interview process. Make sure to practice many times before coming to the interview, but not so much that each answer sounds prepared.

Some of the most common questions include:

  • How long did you date before deciding to get married?
  • Where did you get married?
  • What do you both enjoy for breakfast?
  • Who does what chores in the house?
  • Where do guests sleep in your house?
  • What color is your sofa?
  • Which door do you most commonly use to enter the home?
  • Who cooks most of the meals? What foods do you both enjoy?
  • Have you met one another’s families?
  • What did you spouse get you for your last birthday?
  • What hobbies do you share?
  • How long have you known each other?
  • Who pays what bills in the relationship?
  • How did you meet?

Tips for the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

The more prepared you feel for the interview, the easier it will be to speak comfortably and accurately in response to the questions. Interviewers are prepared to spot red flags that could indicate fraud. The following tips will help you and your spouse when interviewing for a green card through marriage:

  • Wear professional clothing, which helps to show that you take this process seriously
  • Show up at least 30 minutes early
  • Arrive with plenty of practice with the interview questions already completed beforehand
  • Remain calm even if a question is confusing of if you are separated from your spouse during the interview process
  • Be honest if you do not know the answer to a particular question
  • Do not recite memorized facts. Even if these statements are accurate, it appears that you have canned answers.
  • Act normally, and don’t try to be too affectionate with your spouse during the interview

Whether you need help with adjustment of statusthrough marriage or other assistance with a marriage based green card, hiring the right lawyer is important.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

Are you happily married and ready to make your spouse a permanent resident? If you’re interested in feeling prepared and confident for your marriage-based green card interview, schedule a consultation today. Attorney Eric Price has extensive experience with this process and can guide you through the next steps.

What is Consular Processing?

  • last month
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Consular Processing is the process by which the beneficiary of an immigration petition, for example, a relative who is a foreign national and whom you are sponsoring to come to the United States, applies for a US immigrant visa at a US consulate or embassy in their country of residence.

Consular Processing vs. Adjustment of Status

An individual wishing to immigrate to the United States essentially has two paths to obtain a green card:

  1. An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition and who already has an immigrant visa number may apply for a green card at a United States consulate abroad. This is called consular processing.
  2. An eligible person who is already inside the United States can apply for a green card without having to return to their own country to complete the process. This is called adjustment of status.

The Consular Processing Process

Obtaining a green card through consular processing will involve the following steps:

Step #1 – Filing Form I-130

The first consular processing step is for the petitioner, such as the spouse of a US citizen, to visit a US embassy or consulate abroad and file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) with USCIS and wait for its approval. This can take 6 to 12 months, depending on many different factors, including the workload that the USCIS is experiencing at the time the petition is filed.

Step #2 – Preprocessing at the National Visa Center

Once the USCIS has approved Form I-130, it will be sent to the National Visa Center where it will be pre-processed. At this point, the petitioner will be required to send a number of supporting documents to the National Visa Center, including:

  • A Police report
  • Military records
  • Court and prison records
  • The confirmation page from Form DS 260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application)
  • A signed and completed Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) with supporting documentation
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce records, etc.

Preprocessing at the National Visa Center can take 90+ days to complete.

Step #3 – Interviewing at US Embassy or Consulate

Once preprocessing has been completed by the National Visa Center and a visa number is available, the petition will be transferred to the US consulate or embassy abroad, who will review it and schedule the petitioner for an interview. This process can take an additional 90 days or longer.

Step #4 – Receiving The Visa

If the interview goes well, all other consular processing steps have been completed, and the petition for immigrant visa has been approved, the petitioner will then be required to leave their passport with the embassy or consulate so that their visa can be placed inside of it. Finally, when the petitioner comes back to pick up his or her passport, they will be given a sealed envelope that must remain sealed and be given to the customs officer in order to gain admission to the United States.

Common Consular Process Questions

1. Who May Need Consular Processing?

Individuals who may need consular processing include:

  • Persons outside of the US; and
  • Individuals who are inside of the US, but who prefer processing at a US embassy or consulate for either:
  • Convenience;
  • Planned reasons; or
  • Because they are not able to adjust their status in the US due to inadmissibility issues, for example, because they enter the US illegally.

2. When Does Consular Processing Actually Begin?

Consular processing begins only after the underlying visa petition has been approved by the USCIS and a visa number becomes available. For example, after an I-130 Petition For Alien Relative has been approved by the USCIS and the visa bulletin shows that the priority date is current to obtain legal permanent residency, also known as green, status.

3. What is the Timeframe For Consular Processing?

Because there are three different entities involved in the consular process (the USCIS, the National Visa Center, the US consulate or embassy where the petitioner will have his or her interview) the processing will take an immediate relative, such as a spouse, minor child, or parent of a US citizen, 4 to 12 months to complete. However, a person immigrating via a family preference category, such as a spouse or minor child of a permanent resident, can expect much longer consular processing time. Other factors that will influence consular processing time included how quickly the necessary supporting documents are submitted by the petitioner and how heavy the current caseload is at the USCIS.

4. What Benefits Does Consular Processing Offer Over An Adjustment of Status?

Consular Processing may be the best option for foreign nationals who want to immigrate to the United States and do not have any other way to enter the country lawfully or who are not already in the United States on a valid visa.

Consular processing is also a great option for individuals who will need to travel outside of the United States frequently for business, work, or other reasons. One of the drawbacks of adjustment of status is that once you have filed a petition, you will not be able to travel outside of the United States while it is being processed unless you have obtained an advance parole documentfrom the USCIS.

Finally, adjustment of status takes a lot longer to complete than consular processing and has slightly higher processing fees. So, even though an adjustment of status may be less complicated, many petitioners still prefer applying for a green card through consular processing.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

If you have any additional questions regarding consular processing contact Attorney Eric Price today! You may have only one chance to get it right! So, find out all you need to know about obtaining a green card through consular processing before you file.

 

 

What is a Sanctuary City?

  • 6 months ago
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A sanctuary city or state is a jurisdiction wherein by law, state funds are reserved for state affairs and not used to enforce federal immigration laws. The power to regulate immigration is reserved to the federal government, as such sanctuary laws specify how state institutions, like the police force and the courts will act when dealing with a non-citizen and the extent of federal collaboration in immigration matters. When referring to a sanctuary city or sanctuary state many individuals automatically assume it means that within those jurisdictions it creates safe cities for illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds. However, this is far from what a sanctuary city or state means. Immigration sanctuary cities or states refer to jurisdictions wherein by law, state funds are not used to enforce federal immigration laws.

How do Sanctuary Cities Work?

Every immigration sanctuary city or sanctuary state works within their own set of laws, as established by their jurisdictions. However, generally sanctuary cities in the U.S. allow for general detention of a non-citizen to the full extent of the state laws, but will refrain from dealing with immigration related matters. For example, a non-citizen is passing through a DUI-checkpoint where police are stopping drivers to check for signs of intoxication. A non-citizen, if stopped, in this scenario will be asked the same questions as any other driver and no inquiry will be made into their legal status. The police and courts in general would treat all individuals in their cities and states equally before the law without regard to immigration status. In effect, the sanctuary city in the U.S. would create a safe-space for immigrants to live, as opposed to a place where individuals will be targeted for being immigrants.

Benefits of Sanctuary Cities

Immigration sanctuary cities and states bring about many benefits, not only for non-citizens but for the jurisdictions and their residents. Sanctuary laws prevent undocumented individuals and their mixed status families from going underground, shielding cooperation with law enforcement and our state’s institutions as a whole. To foster a safe environment of collaboration and cooperation within the state’s institutions creates a safer and more functioning society.

Benefits for the Police

Immigration sanctuary cities benefit the police force as they can focus their work only on enforcing state laws and not the federal immigration laws. This creates an atmosphere of trust and cooperation within society and fosters an environment of participation as it creates a safe-space for non-citizens.

Benefits for the City

The city benefits from sanctuary laws in many ways. There are studies that show that immigration sanctuary cities have less crime. Additionally, because sanctuary cities in the U.S. foster an environment of less targeting of non-citizens, it eliminates that element of hiding and living under the shadows, creating a larger work force and in effect a stronger economy.

Benefits for Immigrants

The benefits for non-citizens are immense when they live in a sanctuary city or state. Because the state focuses on state-affairs, it removes that element of immigration enforcement and creates a safer society for immigrants. The fear of being profiled and targeted is less as non-citizens participate in state affairs freely.

Sanctuary Cities and the Trump Administration

The Trump administration is vehemently opposed to Sanctuary cities and state’s like California. In the past, the Trump administration has threatened sanctuary cities in the U.S and states with stripping federal funding. Although the courts have disagreed with placing a contingency on providing federal funds to immigration sanctuary cities, they have not stopped there. The Trump administration is currently suing the state of California for establishing a sanctuary state attempting the abridge the powers of the state and their rights. Their goal is to deport all immigrants without regards to enforcement priorities, and Sanctuary cities in the U.S. are a barrier to that plan.

Victims of Violent Crimes Might Be Eligible for Permanent Residencies

  • a couple of years ago
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The purpose of a U-Visa is to help undocumented immigrants, spouses or their children who have been victims of violent crimes inside the United States and cooperate with the investigation, obtain their residency. Once the U-Visa is granted, you can then apply for a green card and become a permanent resident.

This visa was created to protect the victims of different crimes including abduction, extortion, false imprisonment and domestic violence. In some cases the victim’s previous deportation or minor crimes can be pardoned with the visa.

There are different steps for obtaining your residency through a U-Visa, these are the main ones:

  1. You must request the police report if you don’t have it already.
  2. The U-Visa certification and police report must be sent to the same police station where you obtained the report. The certification must be signed and returned to you.
  3. Submit the signed U-Visa certification to USCIS to apply for your permanent residency.

U-Visa cases are very unique and vary from one person to another. Our attorneys are trained to carefully listen, gather the necessary information and plan a solution catered to your unique case. Schedule a free consultation with our office and our team will help you determine if your case qualifies for a U-Visa or a different type of visa.

After Seven Lawyers Told Her She Couldn’t, Maria Galan Cruz Got Her Residency

  • a couple of years ago
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Nothing makes us happier than the satisfaction of our clients after obtaining their residency. After struggling to find the right attorney, Maria Galan Cruz booked a free consultation with our office and got her green card.

Maria has a veteran son who served in the military. This makes her eligible for residency through the Parole in Place program, which allows for immediate family of any active personnel or veterans in the Navy, Army, Marines or Air Force of the United States to obtain their residency.

None of the seven attorneys she previously visited knew about the Parole in Place program, leaving Maria discouraged when she scheduled a free consultation with us. At that time, she just wanted to obtain a work permit. However, our team knew immediately that she qualified for more and we quickly began working on her case.

Less than six months later, Maria got her green card and is now able to legally reside in the United States. Don’t be discouraged by what other attorneys say and book a free consultation to have our team determine your true eligibility.

 

Green Cards for Family of U.S. Military

  • a couple of years ago
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Parole in Place is a program designed to allow non-citizen immediate family members of the United States military to apply for a green card without having to leave the country. This program applies to immediate family of any active personnel or veterans in the Navy, Army, Marines or Air Force of the United States.

A major benefit of the Parole in Place program is that you don’t have to leave the country to apply, even if you entered unlawfully. This helps the family avoid high financial costs and separation from applying for a green card outside of the United States. The program also allows for anybody who has been detained at the border or deported to qualify for a green card.

The program requires a Family Petition, Parole in Place Application and Status Adjustment to be submitted to the government. The application process can be long, but you can obtain a work permit and legally work in the United States during this time.

Our lawyers can help you obtain a green card through this program, just like we did with Maria Galan Cruz, who came to us after seven lawyers told her no. Schedule your free consultation and find out if you qualify for the Parole in Place program.