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

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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!

Do you have a Biometric Appointment Notice?  Please check yours; some notices were issued in error!

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Your Biometric Appointment is a very important part of your Green Card and Immigration Application Process.  Recently, USCIS erroneously scheduled some people for redundant Application Support Center (ASC) biometric appointment.  If you have received more than one biometric appointment notices, you should check yours.  The document is called “Form I-797C.”

You may have already attended an ASC biometric appointment, and then later received a second appointment notice for the same application type.  If so,  please call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to confirm that you do not need to return to the ASC to have your biometrics collected again.  Please note that if you have not yet attended your ASC appointment and received more than one ASC appointment notice, you should attend just one appointment but take both ASC notices to that appointment.

You CAN obtain a green card for your child(ren) when you obtain a marriage based green card through your U.S. citizen spouse!

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If your petitioning spouse is a U.S. citizen the children are full biological children or legal step-children, they may qualify for green cards as the U.S. petitioner’s immediate relatives.  The children must be unmarried and under 21, and if they are step-children, they must have been under 18 years of age when you married.   Immigration laws give a high priority to applicants who are immediate relatives.   Also, there are no annual limits on the number of green cards issued for immediate relatives, and waiting periods. Your Immigration Angel is available to help you with any of your immigration needs today!  Call or email for a free consultation.

Your child(ren) CAN accompany you to the United States on a K visa too!

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If you are a qualified K-3 nonimmigrant visa applicant, your child may be eligible for a K-4 visa.  USCIS will allow your child to accompany you if he or she is 21 years of age or under, and is unmarried.  Additionally, for the children of the non-citizen parent to be eligible for the K-4 U.S. visa, the parent’s marriage to the petitioning U.S. citizen spouse must have occurred before the child(ren) were 18 years of age.

Do You Know About the Benefits of Obtaining a U.S. Fiancé(e) Visa? Here is what the K-3 and K-4 Visas Can Offer You:

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There are a number of benefits associated with the K-3 visa or K-4 visa, also known as the fiancé(e) visa.

  • K-3 visa applicants may apply to adjust status to a permanent resident at any time after being admitted to the United States.
  • A K-4 nonimmigrants may file their application for adjustment of status concurrently upon admission to the United States.  The application may be filed with or at any time after a Petition for Alien Relative has been filed on his or her behalf by the U.S. citizen spouse petitioner.
  • K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visa holders may both obtain employment authorization upon admission to the United States. Evidence of eligibility to work legally in the United States may be obtained by filing an Application for Employment Authorization, or EAD.
  • K-3 and K-4 nonimmigrant visa holders may also apply for employment authorization after filing an application for adjustment of status, based on that pending application. This is possible even if the K-3 or K-4 nonimmigrant status expires.

If you would like assistance with your K-3 or K-4 visa, or need help with your adjustment of status or work authorization, feel free to call or email today!  We are available immediately to guide you on your immigration path!

Did You Know that You can Apply for a Green Card Even if Your Visa has Expired?

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If you entered the United States “legally,” you probably came to this country with a valid nonimmigrant visa, such as a student visa, tourist visa, or temporary work visa.  Some people are even allowed into the U.S. on a visa waiver or with a special pass at one of the U.S. borders.  In either event, you would have been inspected by an immigration official at your point of entry and allowed into the United States.  This method of entering the U.S. makes it easier for you to file for an Adjustment of Status in the U.S.  Your U.S. citizen spouse can file a Petition for Alien Relative to apply for your green card.

However, did you know that even if you are now staying in the U.S. past the date of your authorized stay, , you are still eligible for a marriage based green card?  A green card is still available to you even if you are “out of status” or are staying here illegally.  If you have overstayed by six months or more since April 1, 1997 you may still apply but would need a waiver.  It is very important to note that if you leave the country, you would be barred from returning for three or ten years, depending on the length of your unauthorized stay.  Immigration law is a complicated field.  Your personal immigration path may have twists and turns that you did not expect!  We can help you to make your journey as smooth as possible.  Contact Your Immigration Angel today for your free consultation!

The Two Paths to a Marriage Based Green Card from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Which is Right For YOU?

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There are two paths to apply for a marriage based green card.  Which path is right for you depends on your individual circumstances.  The two methods are:

1.)   If you are outside of the United States, then you can apply through a consular process and have your interview at the U.S. consulate in your county.

2.)  If you are currently in the United States, then you can apply to adjust status from within the U.S. and you will have the interview in the U.S.

If you are in the U.S., the USCIS will review your application based on if you came into the U.S. with an inspection or entered the U.S. without an inspection.  If you have fallen out of lawful status but you entered the U.S. legally, and had an inspection by an immigration official, you can generally obtain your green card from within the U.S.   If you are in the U.S. without lawful status, then you cannot change your status from within the U.S.  You will have to return to your home country to proceed through a consular process unless you qualify for an exception to this general rule as the spouse of a U.S. citizen.  Immigration law is very complicated and errors or problems with your petition for a green card can ruin the chances for success now and in the future.  For assistance with your marriage based green card, please contact Your Immigration Angel today!