This is because US Congress which is strongly concerned about marriage fraud proscribes many protective measures from marriage fraud under the Immigration and Nationalization Act. For this reason, application for Green Card through marriage can entail many difficult legal issues. Removal of conditional residency, application for Green Card for the children following to join, among many other things, can be good examples. Considering the complexity embedded in the immigration procedure, it is highly recommended to consult a qualified attorney for your immigration issues. Law Office of Hong-min Jun, P.C will be more than happy to provide you with rightful and professional assistance in obtaining your immigration benefit you seek.
Those who obtained a green card through a marital relationship less than 2 years old are granted conditional residency for two years. The green card issued typically has an expiration date of two years. Within 90 days of the expiration of the two year period, the couple and dependents who received green cards must file a petition with the USCIS for removal of the conditions. The application and supporting documentation are filed using Form I-751.
Upon approval, the alien is then granted complete permanent residency. The application to remove the condition must be filed jointly by the couple along with documents showing a joint life. In some instances, those divorced, separated or in the process of doing so may file and request a waiver of the joint filing requirement.
USCIS has issued several memoranda dealing with policies and procedures in different situations including joint filing, availability of waivers, divorced couples, separated couples as well as those in the military.
* Relevant Issues: divorce during the conditional period
United States Citizens may bring their fiancé to the United States by applying for the K-1 visa. In order to qualify for the K-1 visa, the applicant must present evidence of a bona fide relationship and that they have seen in each other (in person) within two years of filing the application. Upon entering the U.S., the K-1 visa holder must become married to the United States citizen and submit a green card petition for the K-1 visa holder. Dependents of K-1 visa holders may enter with K-2 visas.
The K-3 visa classification was part of the LIFE Act. This permits spouses of U.S. Citizens to enter the U.S. once the petition is filed and remain in the U.S. while the green card application is pending. In order to qualify for this temporary, non-immigrant visa, the Citizen must have filed an I-130 green card visa petition for the beneficiary. The K-3 visa may be issued even though the I-130 petition has not been approved. Dependents of K-3 visa holders may enter with a K-4 visa. After arriving in the United States, the K-3 visa holder may apply for adjustment of status to complete the green card processing.
If the beneficiary of the K visa petition resides outside of the U.S., the visa approval is forwarded to the National Visa Center for additional processing and interview at the appropriate U.S. consulate.
Green Card/Permanent Residency Visa for Illegal Aliens Married to US Citizens Through Exceptional Hardship
US citizens married to illegal aliens (without papers) and those who entered the US without inspection (EWIs) face significant hurdles before they can obtain a visa or green card for their illegal alien spouse. In addition to meeting the requirements that all other applicants must obtain, these cases have additional filing requirements. The following are some options to be considered for illegal aliens married to US citizens.
Adjustment of Status Through Section 245 (i)
245(I) permits those who previously filed a permanent residency or labor certification petition on or before April 30, 2001 to remain in the US and seek adjustment of status even if the previous green card application is not approved. Upon marriage to a US citizen, the affected illegal alien will submit an immediate relative petition as well as an I-485 adjustment of status application, pay a fine and proceed with the green card process while remaining in the US.
I-601 US Citizen Spouse Hardship Waiver
Illegal aliens, EWIs, and those subject to the 3/10 year bars may apply for a green card if married to a US citizen through the hardship waiver process. The first step is to submit an I-130 immediate relative petition to a USCIS service center in the US. Upon approval and NVC processing, the alien would apply to complete the green card process at a onsulate in his or her native country. As part of that application, the illegal alien will submit an I-601 request for a hardship waiver along with extensive documentation and evidence. The alien is not permitted to complete the process while in the US but must leave the country to do so.
The I-601 hardship waiver application requires the alien to prove that not permitting him to reenter the US will result in extreme hardship to his or her citizen spouse. Extensive and detailed documentation is required to prove this requirement. Such evidence should include sworn statements from family members, friends and acquaintances, medical records, psychiatric/psychological records, school records, evidence of illness of family members, financial information and tax returns, letters from teachers, support letters from churches and community organizations, evidence of health and emotional problems that may result from the separation, and such other documentation. This waiver process may also be used for applications submitted by US citizen parents on behalf of their illegal child as well as applications by permanent residents on behalf of their illegal spouse or child. If approved, the green card application is granted and the alien is permitted to return to the US to assume permanent residency or green card status.
Due to the extensive nature of the documentation required for this process, it is important to consult an immigration attorney familiar with the law in this area. Our immigration attorneys are competent and can assist with questions or filing the application.
Services Relating to Green Card Application Through Marriage
Hong-min Jun, P.C Attorney at Law will be more than happy to provide you with rightful and professional assistance in obtaining your immigration benefit you seek.
- Immigration Petition for Family Member
- Removal of Condition for Conditional Residency
- Advanced Parole (Travel Document)
- Employment Authorization Document (Work Permit)
- Fiancé or spouse visa (K1/K3)
- Remarriage and Divorce
- Child Age Protection Act