Can USCIS Reject MY US Green Card Based on My Financial Ability ?

Man with money glasses

Inadmissibility based on the public charge ground is determined by the totality of the circumstances.  This means that the adjudicating officer must weigh both the positive and negative factors when determining the likelihood that someone might become a public charge.  At a minimum, a USCIS officer must consider the following factors when making a public charge determination:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Family status
  • Assets
  • Resources
  • Financial status
  • Education and skills

The officer may also consider any affidavit of support filed on behalf of the individual.  In assessing the totality of the circumstances, including the statutory factors above, an officer may consider the individual’s receipt of certain publicly funded benefits.  Not all publicly funded benefits are relevant to deciding whether someone is likely to become a public charge.  When determining whether someone is likely to become a public charge, USCIS will consider whether the individual is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or institutionalization for long-term care at government expense.  Short-term institutionalization for rehabilitation is not subject to public charge consideration under existing field guidance.

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Do I Have to Prove My Financial Ability to Get a U.S. Green Card?

guy counting pennies

For immigration benefits adjudicated by USCIS, whether a person is likely to become a public charge is often considered when someone is trying to become a permanent resident and obtain a U.S. green card.  It is also considered when someone applies for certain non-immigrant or other temporary benefits, for example by extending non-immigrant status within the United States.

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), if you are seeking admission to the United States or seeking to adjust status to become a lawful permanent resident, you are inadmissible if  “at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, you are likely at any time to become a public charge.”  If an individual is inadmissible, admission to the United States or adjustment of status is not granted. Public charge does not apply in naturalization proceedings.

Do You Know the Limitations of the K-3 or K-4 Spouse Visa?

kissing couple with kid

While the K-3 and K-4 visa offers many benefits, there are some other considerations to think about, depending on your personal situation.  For example, did you know that even though an immigrant visa is immediately available when a K-3 Petition for Alien Relative reaches the Department of State, but then your spouse’s children are no longer eligible for K-3/K-4 nonimmigrant status?  In that situation, the children must immigrate as lawful permanent residents.  If the K-4 visa holder does not have an approved Petition for Alien Relative at the Department of State at that time, he or she will be ineligible to immigrate with the spouse of the USC.

It is advisable that the U.S. citizen petitioner file a separate green card petition on the child’s behalf concurrently with the green card petition that is filed for the spouse.     While there is no requirement that a separate application needs to be filed for the child’s petition, it is advisable if a K-4 visa is desired.

K-3 or K-4 nonimmigrant visa holders are only admitted for a 2-year period.  A K-3 or K-4 nonimmigrant visa holder may apply for an extension of status in 2-year increments as long as the marriage-based green card visa petition or a corresponding application for adjustment of status or visa application is still pending adjudication.  A K-4’s authorized stay automatically expires when the K3’s status expires.

If You or Your Spouse “Entered Without Inspection,” There May Still Be Options!

Border and IDs

All noncitizens entering the U.S. are required to present themselves to a USCIS immigration officer for inspection.  This inspection meant that they will be assessed and that they must demonstrate the right to enter the country based on approval obtained prior to entry in the U.S.  If you do not have an approved means for entering the United States, then the Customs and Border Patrol or USCIS officer may refuse entry to you.

If you have entered without inspection (EWI) and without the proper documentation, there are a limited number of legal immigration options available to you.  If you or your spouse EWI, that means that you do not have legal immigration status in the United States.   That also means that you cannot file to change or adjust your status, as you do not have a legal status to begin with.  It is not possible to adjust status even if you marry a U.S. citizen or have U.S. citizen parents or children that will petition for them. However, there are a few exceptions that might allow an adjustment of status. The two most common are the LIFE Act and a waiver implemented in new immigration law as of 2012.

Are you Eligible for a Family Based United States Green Card?

Family_Portrait

Relatives of U.S. Citizens can obtain U.S. Green Cards!   If you have a U.S. Citizen relative and fall under any of the below categories, it is likely that you are eligible for a U.S. Green Card!

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried Child, Under the age of 21
  • Unmarried Stepchild, Under the age of 21
  • Adopted Child, Under the age of 18
  • Unmarried Child, Over the age of 21
  • Parent or Step-parent
  • Married Son or Daughter
  • Brother or Sister

Even people who are relatives of U.S. Green Card holders may be eligible for a U.S. Green Card themselves.  If you have a relative who holds a valid U.S. Green Card, and you fall under any of the below categories, it is likely that you may also be eligible for a U.S. Green Card.

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried Child, Under the age of 21
  • Unmarried Stepchild, Under the age of 21
  • Adopted Child, Under the age of 18
  • Unmarried Child, Over the age of 21

If you have any questions about your eligibility to obtain a U.S. Green Card, please feel free to contact Your Immigration Angel for a free consultation.

Your Facebook Relationship Status Might Say: “It’s Complicated,” But Understanding Your Immigration Status Shouldn’t Be! 

Puzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

It’s true that immigration is a complicated area of law.   At Your Immigration Angel, we stay at the forefront of changing immigration policy and legislation.  Even if your circumstances are complicated, we can answer your immigration questions and create the best strategies for you.  For example, if the National Benefits Center still has not granted your Motion to Terminate after your AOS interview, we can help you to make sure that USCIS or EOIR proceeds with the adjudication of your adjustment of status. What about an I-130 petition for a noncitizen who is detained?  We can help you with that as well by requesting an expedited action with USCIS and the ICE counsel.  There are often options that you may not know exist.  That’s when our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys can help you!  Contact us for your free initial consultation today!  You can find many convenient ways to contact us on our “About Page.”

Immigrants in California Are Valuable Assets to the Economy and Are Achieving Increasingly Higher Levels of Education!

Greetings CA postcard

Did you know that according to 2012 data, more than half of young adults in California ages 16 to 26 were first- or second-generation immigrants?  This should not come as a surprise if you consider that California is home to one-quarter of the nation’s immigrants!  Although some naysayers like to denigrate immigrants as uneducated high school dropouts or worse, statistics show that recent immigrants to California include a large number of highly educated workers.  Although it is important to note the wide spread of ages in the Current Population Survey data, let’s look at some of the numbers:

For Californian adults aged 25 to 65:

  • 8% immigrants had a high school level education, compared to 23.3% of U.S. citizens.
  • 1% of immigrants had achieved a bachelor’s level degree, as compared to 37.2% of U.S. citizen adults.

Even better, among recent immigrants aged 24 and over who arrived in California between 2005 through 2008:

  • 41% had at least a bachelor’s degree!!! 

Immigrants in California are attaining higher educational levels, and while many still add valuable work to the unskilled labor forces, many are helping the U.S. and California economies by joining the higher skilled workforce as well.  And that is good news for all of us!