Family Immigration Issues

Don't Assume That Marriage Green Card Applications Are Easy

Although marriage is a legal ground for seeking a green card, the approval process is not automatic. Even if you have a marriage license, it would be a mistake to take this type of application for granted. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services requires evidence of a bona fide marital relationship, not just marital status. If your application lacks adequate supporting evidence or raises suspicions, you may be facing a delay, a site visit from a USCIS official or even a denial.

Your Application Must Establish A Bona Fide Marital Relationship

Consequently, if you and your spouse have contrasting backgrounds, those differences may prompt USCIS officials to question the authenticity of your marital relationship. Factors that may raise red flags and prompt extra USCIS scrutiny include substantial differences in any of the following: age, cultural or economic background, and geographic location. USCIS may also flag your application if you have been divorced, previously sponsored another individual's green card application, recently entered into a same-sex marriage or have a criminal record. I want my clients to get their application right the first time so that they can proceed with their new life together.

Adjusting Your Status After Overstaying Your Visa

I have also helped clients seeking marriage green card applications after overstaying their visa. Federal immigration law considers this an adjustment of status. As a spouse of a U.S. citizen, your application would be as an "immediate relative" and may excuse your unlawful status or unauthorized employment.

Providing Advocacy For Immigrants Facing Hardship Or Victimization

There are other grounds for seeking permanent residency in the United States. Two areas where I have helped clients are hardship waivers and requests brought under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). If you are an undocumented immigrant with substantial family ties to U.S. relatives — such as a spouse or children who are U.S. citizens and rely upon you for emotional and financial support — you may qualify for legal residency through a hardship waiver. To apply for immigration protection under VAWA, you must seek relief under one of several enumerated grounds, including victimization from an abusive spouse or a violent crime.

Contact An Experienced Family Immigration Attorney

Get your family-based immigration application right the first time. Regardless of where you are located, the Chaudhary Law Office, PLLC, can review your green card application and troubleshoot for errors. To schedule a consultation, contact my firm online or call 612-206-3721.