Becoming A Lawful Permanent Resident Or Green Card Holder In The United States Of America
This article aims to help you understand:
- Why an application for a green card may be denied.
- The difference between a marriage and fiancé visa.
- What an interview for a green card may be like.
What Is A Lawful Permanent Resident Or A Green Card Holder?
A lawful permanent resident, or a green card holder, is a foreign-born national who has immigrated to the United States to live permanently and is authorized to work without additional documentation through a family relationship, sponsorship by an employer, or self-sponsorship.
Why Would A Green Card Application Be Denied?
Green cards may be denied for a variety of reasons. There is no one prominent or consistent basis for why a green card application is denied.
Some rejections are due to misstatements in the application concerning background or relationships, misstatements during the interview process, or prior bad acts that make you inadmissible under the law.
Regardless, every denial is made on a case-by-case. If you find that you have been denied your green card, you should review it with an attorney to determine what relief, if any, may be available to you in response to the rejection.
What Is Conditional Permanent Residence?
Conditional permanent residence is a two-year status provided to foreign nationals who are acquiring permanent residency through marriage, where that marriage is less than two years at the time of application for permanent residency. It is a residency that comes with conditions, hence Conditional Green Card. These conditions must eventually be removed through a petition on Form I-751 called Removal of Conditions and be filed before the two-year anniversary of your conditional green card, which is the expiration of your conditional green card.
How Long Do I Need To Petition To Remove The Conditions On My Permanent Residents Status Before My Conditional Green Card Expires?
You have a very short window to make this petition.
You can file 90 days before expiration and no later than the expiration date. Therefore, we highly advise speaking to an attorney regarding the Removal of Conditions application at least 120 days before your conditional green card expires.
What Is Removal Of Conditions? How Do I Apply For It?
The purpose of the Removal Of Conditions is to reconfirm that there is a bona fide marital relationship on which the conditional green card was approved. It is done by filing Form I-751 and presenting supporting documentation that shows the bona fide marital relationship and the continuance of cohabitation with you and your American spouse.
You can file for removal of conditions within the two-year period, even if you are divorced. This is a much more complex process, and you should consult with an attorney to ensure your application is put forth in the best manner possible.
Why Would A Green Card Removal Of Condition Ever Be Denied?
A Removal Of Condition would essentially only ever be rejected if your marriage is found to not be bona fide. There are many factors the USCIS takes into consideration in making this assessment. Over and above the documentation you provide in your application or petition, this includes publicly available information that the USCIS may access while adjudicating your petition. The common basis is usually that there is information that has been brought to light that leads the authorities to believe that the marriage was not a bona fide marriage, meaning that the marriage was intended predominantly to acquire immigration benefits.
What Is A Marriage Green Card?
Green Card by marriage is the acquisition of U.S. permanent residency through marriage to an American citizen or U.S. permanent resident. A U.S. permanent resident or a U.S. citizen can apply for a green card on behalf of their spouse.
Usually, when it’s a married couple where one spouse is acquiring through employment-based means, then the dependents of that employment-based permanent resident would also obtain permanent residency. This is not what is typically considered a “Green Card by Marriage,” although, it is because of the marriage that the spouse also may acquire a green card.
How Long After My Marriage Can I Apply For A Green Card?
You can apply for a green card immediately upon being married.
What Documents Do I Need To Apply For My Marriage Green Card?
Becoming a lawful permanent resident or Green Card holder has a very extensive list of documents that must be filled out and submitted. The essentials include proof of citizenship for the American spouse, proof of the marriage, documentation proving cohabitation (this can include things like leases, insurance policies, etc.), pictures that document the existence of the relationship before the wedding ceremony, as well as subsequently. Cases may require additional documents specific to them, however. It is best to consult a lawyer to mitigate delays or rejection.
What Is The Difference Between A Fiancé Visa And A Marriage Visa? Which Path Is Better?
The differences between the fiancé visa and marriage visa are as they sound – that is, they are related to the relationship at the time of filing the petition.
The K-1 visa, also known as the fiancé visa, is where the fiancée is outside of the U.S. This visa is intended for people with the desire to be married to their foreign national fiancé in the U.S. Utilizing this visa would enable you to bring them into the U.S. to consummate the marriage within 90 days of their arrival.
A green card allows you to marry someone outside of the U.S. and immigrate with them to the U.S. This would require you to go through the entire green card process while they are outside of the U.S. When it is completed, your spouse would be able to enter the U.S. with a green card and permanent residence.
Neither path is necessarily better than the other, as the timeframes are similar. It comes more down to a matter of preference.
How Should I Prepare For My Marriage Green Card Interview?
Part of our legal service for clients is an interview checklist that gives insight into some of the common questions asked during the interview. However, these are a general rule of thumb, as every interview differs – different people conduct each interview, and each applicant has a different story that needs a tailored investigation.
In general, you should be prepared to have on-hand knowledge about your marriage and other questions related to your family. These can range from – although some may say inappropriate –
- When was the last time you had sexual intercourse with your partner?
- What is your spouse’s birthday?
- What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Preparation for the interview is necessary. We highly advise against going into the interview without taking some basic steps to prepare yourself for it.
How Do We Prove Our Marriage Is Real Or Bona Fide?
You can prove your marriage is bona fide through the documentation mentioned earlier, that is:
- Your marriage certificate
- Proof of cohabitation
- Affidavits from family members or third parties that know of the relationship
Beyond this, giving a solid interview, which is meant to discern whether you have a bona fide marriage, is the surest way to prove your marriage is indeed that.
For more information on Lawful Permanent Resident Or Green Card Holder, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (888) 912-5152 today.
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