A “spouse visa” in this article is a term to refer to an immigrant visa (green card) for spouses. The U.S. government may issue a spouse visa to the foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. For couples that have been married for less than two years, the U.S. Department of State will issue a “CR1” visa. This code indicates that the new permanent resident (green card holder) is a conditional resident. On other hand, spouses that have been married more than two years will likely be issued an “IR1” visa. In fact, most spouse visa beneficiaries are approved as conditional residents.
Immigration officials, from the U.S. Department of State and also U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), scrutinize spouse relationships more than other types of immigrant visa applications. That’s because Continue reading
What to expect at your Adjustment of Status Interview
First of all, don’t get anxious just because USCIS sent you an appointment notice for an I-485 interview. Almost everyone must go through an interview during the adjustment of status process. In fact, there’s reason to get excited. The I-485 interview is likely the last step in your application process. If all goes well, you’ll be a permanent resident (green card holder) at the end of the interview. Continue reading
If you’ve obtained a 2-year green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or through a financial investment, you are a conditional resident of the United States. While the rights and privileges of a conditional resident are very similar to a lawful permanent resident (10-year green card holder), the statuses are very different. Renewing green card after 2 years requires careful consideration. In fact, you won’t be a renewing your green card — the process for conditional residents is completely different. Continue reading
How the new 90-day rule (and elimination of the 30/60 day rule) may affect your adjustment of status to permanent resident
In September 2017, the U.S. Department of State made a significant change to its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). This had a dramatic effect on the way immigration officers evaluate inadmissibility in certain cases. And it may affect future applications for adjustment of status. The change essentially eliminated the 30/60 day rule and established a stricter standard now known as the 90-day rule.
Any nonimmigrant visa holder should be aware of this amendment because it may affect how immigration officials perceive attempts to change status. Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not declared an intent to use the 90-day rule also, they previously used the 30/60 day rule as a guideline. Therefore, nonimmigrant visa holders attempting to obtain a green card through adjustment of status should be aware of the 90-day rule. Continue reading
When filing Form I-751 to remove the conditions on residence, the conditional permanent resident also needs to submit evidence that the relationship was entered in “good faith.” USCIS wants to confirm that the marriage was not entered into for the purposes of evading immigration laws. Much confusion surrounds the need to submit I-751 affidavits.
These “letters of support” are letters written by people that know the couple and have first-hand knowledge of the relationship. The I-751 affidavit helps support other evidence that the couple submits to demonstrate that the marriage was entered in good faith and is a not a “sham” marriage. Continue reading
If you received a conditional green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, you may have questions related to getting your 10-year green card and how to remove conditions on green card. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions related to preparing and filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.
CitizenPath’s online software helps conditional residents prepare Form I-751. Based on our experience, we wanted to share some of the most common questions related to removal of conditions and filing the I-751 petition. Continue reading
Foreign spouses who recently married U.S. citizens generally enter the United States as conditional residents. The conditional status automatically terminates after two years. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses the conditional status like a probation period. Before the end of the conditional period, the couple must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence and prove a bona fide marriage. Getting an I-751 approved is essential for the conditional resident to remain in the United States. Getting an I-751 denied can result in the foreign spouse being removed from the U.S.
If your Form I-751 is denied, USCIS will send you a letter explaining the reason for the decision. That letter will also include a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court for removal proceedings. Continue reading
Common reasons why a family-based application for permanent residence may be denied by USCIS
Each 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
The 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.
Getting 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