Reasons for a Green Card Application Denial

Common reasons why a family-based application for permanent residence may be denied by USCIS

Green Card Application DenialEach year the U.S. government allows thousands of people to enter the United States with permanent resident status. Permanent residence is symbolized with a card, most commonly referred to as a green card. But the government also denies thousands of green card applications. There are several possible factors for a green card application denial. The reasons vary from no basis for eligibility to grounds of inadmissibility to failure to properly deal with the application requirements.

Each year U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denies an estimated 8-10% of green card applications. In fiscal year 2016, data shows that USCIS received a total of 869,292 petitions for alien relatives (Form I-130), but also denied 59,496.

During the same period, USCIS received 338,013 family-based applications to adjust status (Form I-485) and denied 31,662 applications. Family-based applications for a green card are based on a family relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Continue reading

K3 Visa Process: Just a Mirage?

K3 Visa ProcessThe K3 visa process was designed to help shorten the physical separation between a foreign citizen and his or her U.S. citizen spouse. It’s the perfect solution for many couples that want to move to the United States together without an extended separation associated with the immigration process. In practice, the K3 visa process is rarely used. While it remains a component of immigration law, most couples have a tough time obtaining one.
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Press Release: CitizenPath’s Software Helps Ease the DACA Crisis

FULLERTON, Calif. (September 11, 2017) – CitizenPath, an online service for do-it-yourself immigration filers, is positioned to relieve the backlog of an estimated 100,000 DACA recipients trying to prepare a renewal application in the next four weeks.

When the Trump Administration rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Tuesday, it created an almost insurmountable hurdle for immigration attorneys and legal service providers that typically prepare the DACA renewal applications.

The roughly 100,000 DACA recipients whose DACA grants expire by March 5, must file a renewal application by October 5, 2017. Those that fail to meet the deadline will lose the opportunity to extend their employment authorization and protection from deportation for an additional two-year period. Continue reading

Green Card through Marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Green Card through Marriage to US CitizenGetting a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the fastest ways to obtain permanent residence (and citizenship) in the United States. But it can also create significant immigration problems for couples that don’t understand the U.S. immigration system.

Permanent residence is not automatic after marriage. There is an application process that must be followed. Although a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen is one of the quickest ways to immigrate, there are several steps that include application forms, a medical examination, fingerprinting, and various approvals. For certain people, applying for a green card through marriage can create significant, long-term immigration problems. Continue reading

Divorce After Green Card

How Divorce Can Affect Your Immigration Status

Divorce After Green Card ProcessDivorce can be a devastating life event. It’s emotionally exhausting, financially costly and can even affect one’s immigration status in the United States. A divorce after green card may introduce new challenges to a permanent resident. But in other cases, it’s not an issue.

Before you file another application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), take the time to understand how your divorce or annulment may affect your situation. Continue reading

How to Help a Parent Get a Green Card

how to help a parent get a green cardTo help a parent get a green card, the eligibility requirements are rather simple. You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old. Although it gets a bit more complicated, this privilege extends to eligible step parents and adoptive parents.

What’s more, parents are considered immediate relatives. Therefore, parents get priority as compared to other preference-based family relationships. In other words, there is an unlimited number of visas available. No limits or long waits will apply when you help your mother or father obtain permanent residence in the United States. The process begins by filing a visa petition for your mother or father. Continue reading

Green Card Marriage: 640 Days to Perfection

green card marriage processThe green card marriage process is best known for the first 90 days. In fact, a realty-TV series called 90 Day Fiancé is expected to enter a fifth season on TLC. But this is just the beginning of the green card marriage journey.

A U.S. citizen that wants to marry a foreign national may bring the fiancé to the United States on a K-1 visa. For the foreign national to remain in the United States, the couple must get married within a 90-day period. After that, the couple has 640 days to prove to the U.S. immigration system that they have a genuine, bona fide marriage. Continue reading

Trump’s Latest Push to Curb Immigration

RAISE Act Threatens to Wreck Family-Based Immigration

RAISE Act announcement with President Trump
Last week President Trump put his support behind legislation that would dramatically reshape the U.S. immigration system. If successful, the plan would significantly limit the number of green cards that are issued each year through family-based immigration. Instead, preference would be given to hopeful immigrants that offer the best skills to the American economy. Known as the “Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy” (RAISE) Act, the legislation would be the most significant change to U.S. immigration policy in almost five decades.

Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton actually introduced the bill that they authored earlier this year. But after receiving the endorsement of President Trump, a revised version (S. 1720) of the RAISE Act was introduced to the public at a White House gathering last week. The bill received broad criticism from immigration advocates, economists and several lawmakers. Continue reading

Form I-864 Affidavit of Support: Top 7 Questions

Form I-864, Affidavit of Support QuestionsEven many immigration lawyers consider Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, to be one of the most confusing immigration forms. It’s a little like combining the financials of a tax return with the complexity of an immigration form. In fact, that’s basically what it is. The stakes are high. If the sponsor does not qualify, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not issue the intending immigrant permanent residence (green card).

When a foreign national applies for permanent residence in the United States, immigration officials are obligated in most cases to make sure that the intending immigrant has adequate means of financial support and is not likely to become a public charge. USCIS requires Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, for most family-based applications and some employment-based applications. It’s a contract between a sponsor and the U.S. government, in which the sponsor promises to support the intending immigrant if he or she is unable to do so on their own. It’s a back-up plan in case the immigrant has financial problems. Continue reading

Form I-130 Checklist for Spouses

I-130 Checklist for SpousesThe requirements for petitioning a foreign spouse for permanent residence (green card) are more exhaustive than any other relationship. When filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, the petitioner must also submit other supporting documents to evidence the relationship. We’ve developed an I-130 checklist for spouses to help you through this process.

Immigration officials, from the U.S. Department of State and also U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), have an additional layer of scrutiny for spousal relationships. After all, sham marriages are one of the most common ways to commit green card fraud. Immigration officials want to be sure that your spouse is obtaining a green card based on a genuine relationship. Continue reading