Alexus Paul Sham - Immigration Law Made Simple

Recent Posts

Temporary Protected Status for Haitians
Steps for preparing a fiance visa
The dangers of applying for Form I-131 Advance Parole (a travel document)
What to do if you receive a Notice of Intent to Deny
The US government should grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nationals from The Philippines


Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Employment-based visas
Green Card Eligibility
I-129F The fiance visa
I-485 Green card interview
Removal of Conditions for a Green Card
Temporary Protected Status
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Green Card Eligibility

The dangers of applying for Form I-131 Advance Parole (a travel document)

Many people are anxious to travel outside of the United States while the green card application is still pending. If you are married to a United States citizen, and applying for a green card, there is an option to apply for advance parole or a travel document that will allow the foreign national spouse to leave the country while the green card application is pending. The best route is to stay in the United States  after the green card application is filed. Generally, USCIS will give foreign nationals the travel document. However when applying for the document, the instructions do state that if  the foreign national spouse has overstayed a visa by over 180 days they may be subject to a 3 year bar. In  addition if the foreign national spouse has overstayed a visa for over a year, then they may be subject to a 10 year bar. So even though the foreign national spouse may have the advance parole travel document, they may not be allowed to re-enter the United States.

What to do if you receive a Notice of Intent to Deny

When an application is filed with the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS)  whether it be for a family based green card or an employment based visa such as H1-B it is possible that the government will issue you a notice of an intent to deny. Generally, this means that there is lack of sufficient documentation for the application.  There  is also normally a deadline in which you must respond. Failure to respond in a timely fashion will almost certainly lead to a denial.

Maintaining Status as a Legal Permanent Resident

There appears to be a myth that  many foreign nationals believe about being a green card holder.  A common fact pattern is that a green card holder thinks that it is okay to enter the United States every 5 months for a few weeks and maintain status.

The reality is that if a foreign national is living less than 6 months a year, there is a presumption that the foreign national has abandoned the green card.  Being a permanent resident means that  the green card holder is in the United States.

Marriage after entering on B1/B2 visa

Many foreign nationals come to the United States on B1/B2 tourist visas. Generally these visas are issued to foreign nationals who show that they have enough strong ties to their home country when the I-94 expires usually 3 to 6 months.

However there is a frequent fact pattern where the foreign national ends up marrying a US citizen while on a tourist visa or shortly after the visa is expired. Before applying for a green card it is very important that the married couple consult an immigration attorney.

Good news for same sex couples

It is now possible for same sex marriage couples to apply for a green card.
However, the couple must be married in a state inside the US that recognizes same sex marriage, for example Massachusetts, New York, Iowa or California. Another option is to be married in a foreign country such as Canada that recognizes same sex marriage. 
What this means is that a US citizen spouse can now file for a green card for the same sex spouse. The green card process is still very complicated and it is best to consult an immigration attorney.

Potentially exciting news for spouses of Legal Permanent Residents

There is good news for spouses and the children under 21 of current green card holders.  According to the August Department of State's visa bulletin, the F2A category is current for all nationalities.

What this means that if your spouse or child under 21 is in the United States in lawful status they have a visa number available andcan apply for a green card immediately. However, if your spouse or child is in the United States butnot in lawful status they are not eligible.  So if you are Legal Permanent Resident and you want to file the green card application for your spouse of child under 21,  you should contact our firm to assist you right away.
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