Top 5 Reasons a Marriage Based Green Card Application is Denied by USCIS

broken heart with band aid

Obtaining a marriage based green card may be a dream come true for many couples.  However, this sweet dream can instead become a nightmare if you or your spouse’s green card application is denied.   Although romantic and comedic movies have been made about how fun and easy it is to obtain a marriage based green card, that is often far from the truth.  In reality, immigration law is a complex field, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services must adhere to strict rules and regulations.  There are many reasons a marriage based green card application may be rejected, but the following are some of the most common causes of denial.

  1. Incorrect Green Card  Application, Wrong Fee, Incorrect Mailing Address for USCIS
  2. USCIS Considers Your Marriage a “Sham” or Fraudulent Marriage
  3. Lack of Financial Security to Become a U.S. Citizen
  4. Misunderstanding Your U.S. Green Card Eligibility
  5. USCIS Determines Ineligibility Based on Crimes, Previous Marriages

If you have any questions or concerns about whether your marriage green card application or if your marriage will be questioned by immigration officials when you apply for a U.S. green card, feel free to contact us today!

Interested in Obtaining a Marriage Based Green Card?  Would YOUR Relationship Pass the Test?  

heart flag and flowers

It’s almost Valentine’s Day!  What could be more romantic than ensuring that you and your spouse can live together in the United States, happily ever after?  Marriage green cards are a great immigration option for many immigrants who have married U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.  But along with a number of other eligibility requirements (see our post on eligibility) your relationship must be able to withstand the scrutiny of USCIS!

USCIS needs to be assured that you are in a bona fide marriage.  When two people get married and intend to establish a life together as spouses, the marriage is bona fide.   A marriage entered into for the sole purpose of getting a green card is not bona fide.  It’s called a “sham” or “fraudulent” marriage, and the USCIS tries to uncover these fake marriages and will refuse to issue green cards to people in a marriage that does not appear to be bona fide.  USCIS is very strict in determining whether a marriage is bona fide.  You will be asked many questions during the course of your application process and you will have to provide extensive documentation to show that you are establishing a life together.   How can you prove that your relationship is bona fide?   Continue reading

Do You Know What Happens When Your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Grant and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Expire?

EAD card

What will USCIS do if my DACA and EAD expire before my DACA renewal application has been approved?

USCIS may provide you with temporary DACA and an EAD, but only if you submitted your renewal application at least 120 days before your DACA and EAD expiration date and your DACA and EAD expire before your application is approved.  However, if you submitted your renewal application fewer than 120 days before the DACA and EAD expiration date, and they expire while USCIS is still processing the application, then you will likely lose your DACA status and employment authorization until USCIS makes a decision about the renewal application. If this happens, you will no longer be lawfully present in the U.S. This means that you begin accruing unlawful presence time if you are age 18 or older.  You will no longer have legal authorization to work after your EAD expires, so you may also be at risk of losing your employment.  Due to the possible negative repercussions of an expired DACA and EAD, it is very important that you apply for renewal no later than 120 days before the expiration of your DACA and EAD.  If you need assistance with your EAD or DACA renewal, please call or email Your Immigration Angel today!  We are ready to help you before it is too late!

How to Apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

liberty and justice for all

How do I apply for TPS from USCIS?

If you are applying for Temporary Protected Status  (TPS) for the first time, you must  submit an Application for Temporary Protected Status to USCIS with the appropriate filing fee.  You will have to provide evidence to prove your identity and nationality, proof of residence, and, if you are age 14 or older, a fee for biometric services.  If you are between the ages of 14 and 65 and want employment authorization, you should also complete and submit an Application for Employment Authorization to USCIS with the appropriate fee.  Applicants who already have or do not wish to receive employment authorization still must submit a different USCIS Form.

If you are granted TPS, you must re-register with the USCIS for each period that your TPS benefits are extended. To re-register, you must complete and submit two separate applications and any applicable fees to USCIS during the period stated in the Federal Register notice of extension of the TPS designation. If you do not re-register each period, your TPS may be withdrawn.  This is a very time sensitive application and you want to make sure that you are submitting the correct paperwork and fees to USCIS.  If you need any help in applying to re-register for TPS, please feel free to call or email today!

Are You Interested in Finding Out More About the Status of Your Immigration Application?

uscislogo

Learning About the Status of Your  Immigration Application

Your immigration journey is one that may have been long in the planning and the making.  If you have any applications submitted to USCIS, you may be anvious to know of any change in status or progress in your case.  Did you know that checking the status of your application is often quite simple?   In many instances, you can log onto USCIS’s website and select ‘My Case Status’.

It is important to note that an e-filled receipt number is not necessarily available through this option for at least 72 hours after submitting your forms.

In case you are unable to get a status update, you can also contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center. Before you contact the department, make certain that you have your specific information from your application handy so you are ready to provide this information.

Do You Qualify for a Green Card Under the Violence Against Women Act?

domestic-violence

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)  Offers Relief to Abused Immigrants!

Immigration relief under Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is available to a battered spouse or a child of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.  Victims of abuse are eligible under the VAWA to apply for a Green Card.

The following are the requirements to be eligible for VAWA:

  • You are now the spouse or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident
  • You are now residing in the United States or have resided in the United States with the U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident abuser in the past
  • Have been battered by or have been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by:
    • Your U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse during the marriage, or are the parent of a child who has been battered by or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by your abusive citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse during your marriage;
    • Your citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parent while residing with that parent;
  • You are a person of good moral character
  • You are a person whose removal or deportation would result in extreme hardship to yourself, or to your child if you are a spouse
  • You are a spouse, and entered into the marriage to the U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident abuser in good faith.

It is important to note that the VAWA protection is not exclusively reserved for women or individuals in heterosexual relationships.

We offer friendly and supportive assistance to individuals in this difficult situation.  If you need help, don’t be afraid to call us today!

Are YOU Eligible to Renew Your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Grant?

time to renew

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Renewal Eligibility

USCIS instructions for DACA renewal applications specify that a person may be considered for DACA renewal if he or she met the guidelines for consideration of initial DACA and

  • did not depart the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • has continuously resided in the United States since submitting the prior DACA application, and
  • has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors,  and is not a threat to national security or public safety.

However, USCIS may ask you for additional information as well as for documents to verify the information on your DACA renewal application.

Please note that eligibility for DACA renewal is not limited to people who currently are under age 31.  You cannot “age out” of eligibility for DACA if you were born after June 15, 1981.   You do not need to have a job in order to be eligible for DACA renewal.  You do not have to be enrolled in college to be eligible for DACA renewal.

If you need help in applying for your DACA renewal or need help in gathering your evidence and documents, please call Your Immigration Angel today!

Is Your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Grant Expiring Soon?

kids holding flag

You may have been granted DACA or deferred action based on your arrival in the U.S. as a child.  If so, it may be time for you to renew your DACA grant.   The expiration date can be found on the DACA Approval Notice (Form I-797 ) and on the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card that you received when you were approved for DACA.  It is very important that you renew your grant in a timely manner.  USCIS encourages you to submit the renewal request in the time frame 150-120 days before the expiration of your current DACA grant.  If you file for your renewal during this window of time, you can minimize the risk that your DACA grant will expire before your renewal application is approved.   Contact us for assistance in filing for your DACA renewal!

What is Conditional Permanent Residence Based on a Marriage Green Card?

jumping celebration couple

Conditional Permanent Residence Based on a Marriage Green Card

A permanent residence status is conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than two years old on the day someone was given permanent residence.  The immigration status is conditional because USCIS wants proof that the marriage was not just to evade the immigration laws of the United States. To remove these conditions you must file a “Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence” with USCIS.  Your Immigration Angel can help you with removing conditions.  Contact us today for a free consultation!

Please note that  if a marriage is already more than two years old when you either arrived at the U.S. border with an immigrant visa or when you received approval for a green card, then you will receive permanent residency and won’t have to worry about the status expiring.  The actual card will need to be replaced once every ten years.