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If you are a U.S. citizen and plan to sponsor a non-citizen for legal permanent residency, your marriage is likely to be relevant. After all, U.S. immigration law streamlines the process for those who marry U.S. citizens, often allowing them to apply for immigrant visas and green cards simultaneously.

You want the sponsorship of your husband or wife to go as smoothly as possible. Still, if officers with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services question the legitimacy of your marriage, you may receive a request for evidence or even an outright denial.

Your initial application

When filing your Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, you may want to provide comprehensive documentation to prove your marriage is bona fide. That is, your marriage is for a legitimate reason and not only to help someone obtain a green card.


As of 2018, 1,096,611 people have received permanent lawful status in America. Many more, including yourself, aspire to join those numbers in lawful residency so you can gain the many benefits that come along with it.

Because of this, an application denial can hit like a sack of bricks. Fortunately, there are ways for you to continue onward in your application process even with a denial due to an error, but the first thing you want to know is how to avoid these errors when moving forward.

Common reasons for rejection

The Department of Homeland Security outlines steps you must take to achieve your green card. This can include a green card through marriage, relatives, work and so on. However, most errors will look the same no matter what type of green card you applied for. The top common ones include:


When your loved ones are not lawful residents of the U.S., you may want to help them gain citizenship. One of the steps you can take is to file a provisional unlawful presence waiver.

A provisional waiver is one path to the legal presence in the U.S. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that people have to meet certain requirements and fill out all of the paperwork to receive a waiver. A waiver does not guarantee that your loved one will be able to remain in the country. Instead, it allows you to decrease the amount of time that you and your family members may have to spend apart.


The USCIS only allows you to file a provisional unlawful presence waiver if your family member meets all the guidelines. He or she has to be at least 17 years old. Additionally, this person needs to be in the U.S. when you fill out the paperwork. You may also have to show that you will experience extreme hardship if your loved one is not allowed to become a legal resident. Additionally, your family member may already need to have a pending case for an immigrant visa.


The process that you must go through to obtain a U.S. visa is constantly undergoing revision and changes. The most recent changes involve a new requirement: for you to provide your social media accounts. This can include profile handles and online names as requested.

The officials of the U.S. Border Control can then review any information that you have posted online as a means of further vetting visa applicants. But what does this requirement mean for you?

Reasons for collection

CNN discusses the collection of social media names on your application for a visa. The official reviewing your application can then use this information to look up information that you have posted online, including opinions, conversations, criticisms, photographs and anything else visible to the public. They use this information to determine whether or not you may pose a threat to national security, or if you seem likely to commit a crime or otherwise cause disturbances. They can refuse to accept your application based on this alone.


As a green card holder or U.S. citizen living in Texas, you may wish to secure another green card for a husband, wife, child, parent or sibling. A green card grants you and others permanent resident status, meaning it paves the way for you and others to live and work permanently within the United States. When you pursue a green card for a family member, you may want to educate the individual about the actions he or she might take that could put that green card in jeopardy.

Per the Miami Herald, the process involved in obtaining a green card is often long and arduous. Thus, it is important that green card recipients avoid making the following mistakes that could potentially cost them their permanent resident status.

1. Neglecting to report income

Anyone who lives and works in the United States and makes a specific amount must pay taxes on their earnings. If you help your family member secure a green card so he or she may work in the U.S. and then the green cardholder does not pay taxes, it may impact that party’s ability to live in the United States permanently.


You might dream of bringing your child from another country into the United States in the near future. If so, you may have reason to be optimistic about your chances. Even if you did not conceive your child within the boundaries of a married relationship, United States immigration law still allows children born out of wedlock to attain permanent legal status.

There may be a few additional steps to take depending on the nature of your relationship with your offspring. The USCIS explains what to expect in different familial situations.

When to legitimate a child

According to U.S. immigration law, you may have to legitimate your child before the law will allow your child to come to the U.S. If you are the mother of a child, you do not have to provide legitimation. It is different, however, if you are the father. In this case, you must legitimate your child according to the laws of your place of residence or your child’s.


The State Department recently released a major policy clarification related to international adoption and citizenship. According to the release, the State Department will now approve US citizenship to children born in other countries via surrogacy or in vitro fertilization.

The clarification represents a major change in policy stance under the Biden Administration. According to NPR, previously the government considered a child born outside of the US to a surrogate to be “out of wedlock” even if the American parents held married status.

Mounting lawsuits

Over the past few years, the government has fielded several lawsuits on this issue, particularly from same-sex parents who rely on surrogacy or in vitro fertilization to reproduce. There were two major cases that the Trump Administration lost regarding this.


Are you eligible for a green card?

Posted on in green cards

When seeking to apply for a green card, you must first have eligibility in one of several categories. Even after that, you must still put in an application before getting approval. But the first step is seeing whether you can apply at all.

Thus, you must know which of the categories you may be eligible for and what the categories are.

Green card eligibility

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services look at eligibility categories for green cards. The categories of eligibility include:


If you have a relative who wants to immigrate to the U.S., you may be ready to file a family-based immigrant visa petition. This may be especially true if your loved one is your spouse or fiancé, as you may not have to wait for a visa number to become available.

Unfortunately, intending immigrants are sometimes inadmissible. This means even if the individual otherwise qualifies to immigrate, he or she is legally unable to do so. While some grounds of inadmissibility are waivable, a false claim of U.S. citizenship typically is not.

What is a false claim of U.S. citizenship?

Simply telling a friend or acquaintance that a person is a U.S. citizen probably does not meet the definition of a false claim to U.S. citizenship. For a claim to qualify, the person must claim to be a citizen for purposes of obtaining an immigration-related benefit or another benefit under state or federal law.


In the event that you are a non-US citizen married to a US citizen, your initial Green Card will have conditions on it. This essentially means that the Green Card is only valid for a period of two years. Once this two-year period is over, you will need to apply to the US government in order to have the conditions removed.

Once the US government removes the conditions on your Green Card, you are a full permanent resident. According to US Citizen and Immigration Services, you can remove conditions by either filing jointly with your spouse or filing alone under certain conditions.

Filing jointly

This is the more traditional method of the two. Assuming 2 years have passed in your marriage and everything is going well, you merely need to file form I-751 with your spouse. Essentially, this proves to the US government that you did indeed enter the marriage in good faith, rather than simply trying to get a Green Card. Once you do this, the US government will remove the conditions.


Being someone of good moral character is one of the requirements for citizenship in the United States. Knowing what this means can help you prepare for the naturalization process.

Having moral attributes can benefit your life in many ways. You may be more successful at maintaining meaningful relationships, winning the trust of others and establishing credibility in your personal and professional interactions.

Courage and loyalty

Courage means you willingly step outside of your comfort zone to do something that causes angst and uncertainty. You can show courage when you stand up for someone else or when you use your voice to promote an idea that others may disagree with. Another characteristic of good moral character is loyalty. You can show loyalty when you commit to something and make sacrifices to protect what you value.


Can you extend a K-1 visa?

Posted on in fiancé visas

If you are currently engaged to a foreign fiance(e), you could have a number of options when it comes to your marriage and immigration. For example, if you want to bring them to the U.S. in order to get married in the states, you should look into the K-1 visa for fiance(e)s of U.S. citizens.

There are various factors to review with respect to K-1 visas. For example, you need to go over different requirements and recognize that there are time limits in place. After your fiance(e) comes to the U.S., you must marry within 90 days in order for them to continue living in the country.

Do K-1 visas expire?

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, K-1 visas expire after 90 days. If you marry your fiance(e) within this timeframe, they can apply for a green card in order to continue living in the U.S. However, if you fail to get married within 90 days, the K-1 visa expires and your fiance(e) will likely need to leave the country.


Your initial goal when coming to texas from your country of origin may not have been to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. However, if you subsequently set that goal, one question then looms large: what to do about your citizenship in your home country?

Renouncing your citizenship is not a requirement in order to become a U.S. citizen. That said, there certainly are advantages and disadvantages to having dual citizenship. You should weigh what those are before committing to a decision one way or the other.

Advantages to dual nationality

The most obvious benefit to having dual citizenship is the ease in traveling back and forth between the U.S. and your country of origin. You do not need to apply for a visa with every trip (however, according to the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs, you must have a passport to enter and leave the country). This may be especially advantageous if members of your family remain in your country of origin. You can also own either commercial or residential property in either country. You also retain voting rights in both countries, allowing you to have a voice in the creation of local policy.


The majority of visas that the United States offers on a temporary basis are “single intent” visas. This means that the individual who is applying for this visa has non-immigrant intent. Essentially, the individual applies for a single intent visa for a single purpose, such as tourism or study. Once this purpose ends, the single intent visa assumes the individual plans to leave the United States.

However, things do not always work out this smoothly. For instance, it is possible for an individual to enter the United States on a study visa and decide to marry an American citizen. Whether or not these individuals can change their mind on single-intent visas and marry their American partners depends on the 90-day rule.

What is the 90 day rule?

The confusing part about the 90-day rule is that it is not a hard-and-fast law. The gist of the 90-day rule is that if a temporary visa holder of any sort tries to marry an American citizen or apply for a Green Card within the first 90 days of arriving in the United States, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assume that the individual entered the US under fraudulent terms. In other words, USCIS will assume the individual lied in order to obtain a visa.


If you hold a green card, you have the right to remain in the United States as a permanent resident. To continue your stay in the United States, you should be aware of any actions that might cause you to lose your residency status, such as leaving the U.S. and staying abroad for too long.

You may only want to take a temporary trip abroad and have no intention of moving to another country. However, the U.S. government may believe otherwise if you stay out of the country for too long. Fortunately, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services websiteoffers some tipsthat might benefit you if you ever need to explain to USCIS why you had taken a trip out of the United States.

Making a case for your absence

One way to help explain your absence from the U.S. is to describe the various circumstances surrounding your trip abroad. You can discuss why you chose to leave the country and the length of time you planned to be absent from the U.S. You may also explain any other circumstances related to your trip.


Because you married a U.S. citizen, you are likely eligible to become a legal permanent resident of the U.S. Before immigration officials approve your application to adjust status, though, they are likely to want to interview both you and your husband or wife. This interview is a routine part of the marriage-based green card process.

To ensure your interview goes smoothly, you should spend some time preparing for it. While you do not want to sound unnatural or rehearsed at your interview, you must be ready to answer the officer’s questions. Here are a couple tips for preparing for your marriage-based green card interview.

Review your immigration paperwork

At the beginning of your green card interview, you can expect the officer to go through your immigration paperwork with you. Therefore, you should review the immigrant visa petition and application to adjust status thoroughly. When looking over your paperwork, make notes of anything that is inaccurate or has changed. You may need to bring these items to the officer’s attention.


If you are a citizen of the United States and you are engaged to someone in a different country, you may wonder what options are available to your fiancé to come to the U.S. to begin your life together.

In these instances, it may be best for your beloved to apply for a fiancé visa. There are certain requirements that must exist, however, to qualify for this type of visa.

The fiancé visa

According to FindLaw experts,a fiancé visa, also known as the K-1 visa, allows your fiancé to legally immigrate to the U.S. While the visa itself does not grant him or her citizenship, your fiancé may apply to become a citizen following your marriage.


You may have heard about the Biden administration’s proposed U.S. Citizenship Act. Currently in the House and the Senate for review, this proposal will create a path to citizenship for 11 million immigrants who lived in the United States before January 1, 2021.

Review thecurrent terms of the Citizenship Actand explore how its passage may affect you and your family.

Legalization pathways

Undocumented individuals who arrived in the U.S. prior to January 1, 2021 would be able to apply to permanently live and work here. Applicants must pass background checks and pay outstanding taxes.


Helping bring your fiance to the United States may have its challenges, but can set the foundation for a promising life together. Adequate preparation can expedite your effort to transition your significant other to a new home.

Your fiance can have privileges including the ability to work, with the appropriate authorization.

Authorization to work

Once your fiance arrives in the United States, he or she can immediately apply for work authorization via form I-765. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, once approved, this privilege will last for 90 days. This time period extends to a year if your fiance submits an application for a Green Card at the same time as a request for work authorization. Your fiance will need to renew an authorization to work each year.


When it comes to immigration, many people choose one of two popular paths. They either go with employment-based immigration options, or family-based immigration options. If you choose to go through family-based options, you need to understand immigration eligibility and preferences.

The preference system is particularly important to understand. How does it work? What are the categories? And how will it affect your ability to bring over your loved ones?

Immediate relatives

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services discusses preference categories for green cards. First of all, what is this system? When you want to immigrate a relative, they must get an immigrant visa number. This number comes from the preference category that they fall under.

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