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How do you show your marriage is a bona fide one?

 Posted on September 01, 2021 in family-based immigration

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.

The following pieces of evidence are likely to be persuasive:

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Why do green card applications commonly get rejected?

 Posted on August 01, 2021 in green cards

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:

What should you know about a waiver application?

 Posted on August 01, 2021 in naturalization & citizenship

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.

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Why does a visa application require your social media?

 Posted on July 01, 2021 in fiancé visas

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.

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2 mistakes that could cost you your green card

 Posted on July 01, 2021 in green cards

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.

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Can children born out of wedlock immigrate to the U.S.?

 Posted on July 01, 2021 in family-based immigration

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.

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Is the child of a non-US surrogate an American citizen?

 Posted on June 01, 2021 in naturalization & citizenship

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.

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Are you eligible for a green card?

 Posted on June 01, 2021 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:

  • Employment
  • Special immigration
  • Family
  • Asylee or refugee status
  • Victims of abuse
  • Human trafficking and crime victims

There is also a category for “other”, or situations that do not perfectly suit any of the above options.

Each category has its own requirements that you must meet. For example, to be eligible for a family-based green card, you need to be the spouse of a U.S. citizen, a parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21, or an unmarried child of a U.S. citizen under the age of 21.

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Beware of the dangers of a false claim of U.S. citizenship

 Posted on June 01, 2021 in fiancé visas

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.

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How do I remove conditions on my Green Card?

 Posted on May 01, 2021 in green cards

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.

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