Marriage Green Card Interview

When a U.S. citizen files an I-130 petition for their foreign spouse, USCIS will conduct an in-person interview after reviewing the case. Before the interview, the officer will have thoroughly examined the foreign national’s immigration history and both parties’ backgrounds. Both the petitioner and the spouse must appear for the interview.

During the interview, the officer will review all documentation with both parties and address any issues or require clarifications. For example, there might be conflicting information provided in the applicant’s visa application and I-485 application. The officer may also have noted missing information deemed important. The primary goal of the interview is to test whether the relationship is bona fide. The officer may separate both parties into different rooms and ask the same questions. If the answers do not match, the officer can issue a request for more evidence or a notice of intent to deny.

It’s crucial to be well-prepared for the interview. Our attorney has helped many clients successfully navigate their interviews. Some cases were incredibly complex and initially seemed unwinnable, but we have achieved successful outcomes in numerous challenging situations.

If you are concerned about your upcoming interview, please contact us at 305-515-0613. We can help you prepare and develop a strategy to increase your chances of success.

Divorce after Conditional Green Card

Divorce after Conditional Green Card

When a foreigner marries a US citizen, the US citizen spouse can file to sponsor the foreign national for permanent residency (green card).  If the marriage is less than two years old at the time the applications are approved, the foreign spouse will receive a conditional green card which is valid for two years.  Three months prior to the expiration of that card, the couple must jointly file another application for a permanent card.  But what if the marriage didn’t survive?  If the marriage is over, there’s a good chance you will lose your green card but there are ways to file without your ex-spouse and we have helped many people successfully do so.  Here are two examples.

Case 1:

US citizen and foreign spouse loved each other and got married.  We obtained a conditional green card for the foreign spouse in about 4 months.  The US citizen was transferred to a different city to work but the foreign spouse had a good job in the city where they met so they decided to work in different cities but see each other as often as they could.  Even though they had a baby together, the distance apart took a toll on their marriage and they decided to divorce after a year and two months.  They separated on good terms and the US citizen asked us to help the foreign spouse obtain a permanent green card.  We worked with both of them and obtained a permanent green card for the foreign spouse in about 6 months.

Case 2:

Foreign spouse came to us for help and indicated that her US citizen spouse was unfaithful.  Since they both had a very difficult relationship, we worked with the foreign spouse alone and built a strong case to obtain a permanent green card for her.

Many people believe that it’s impossible to obtain a permanent green card after the divorce.  That isn’t the case.  We have successfully helped many foreign spouses obtain permanent green cards after divorce.  Feel free to call us at 305-515-0613 or email us at

Marriage Green Card and Possible Illegal Entry

I have been dating this guy for a time and we wish to marry at the end year but he is not from the USA.

 I have been reading many things he is here but has no visa or green card we would like to know what to do to obtain one without him having to leave

If your future husband entered the country legally – with a visa, through the visa waiver program or even with a false passport – we can help him obtain a green card in the US. This is a general rule as there are some exceptions. If he did not enter legally then he will likely need to apply for an immigrant visa (green card) and a waiver of inadmissibility and ask immigration to forgive his illegal entry and other immigration violations. Please contact our office to discuss things further.

Visa Waiver Program Entrant Applies for Adjustment of Status

I’m from Germany and I entered the US through with the visa waiver. My wife and I married and we applied for the green card but we filed it after the visa waiver expired. At the marriage interview, I was told that they would not approve my green card because I overstayed and I needed to file an I-601 waiver, Can you help us with this?

There is no requirement for a visa waiver entrant to be in status when they apply for adjustment through a US citizen. The officer who told you this is mistaken and we can speak to him or his supervisor to get this corrected without filing an I-601. However, when a foreign national enters the US through the visa waiver program, they waiver many of their rights that they would normally have if they had used a visa. One of these rights is the right to fight removal. Since you have been present longer than 90 days, you may be removed (deported) without any right to a hearing. Therefore, we must proceed cautiously to get your green card approved an issued.

NOID for Marriage Green Card

I received an Notice of Intention to Deny for my marriage green card case. The main reason is that we live apart. The officer wants to see more proof of our relationship. We have photos and phone bill to prove that we’re contacting each other and spend time together. Do you think that it’s sufficient? What is your advice on this? Have you handled such case before?

In order to get a marriage green card case approved, you must be able to show that there is a bona fide relationship. One of the primary aspects of a marital relationship is cohabitation. While we have successfully helped people in your situation before, it may not be easy depending on your circumstances. Contact our office to discuss your case in greater detail.

Marriage Green Card and School

I am currently on a F1 visa and am going to school at University of Indiana. My boyfriend and I are getting married and I want to apply for green card. Do I keep my F1 visa or can continue without?

Most schools will allow admission with evidence that you have filed your Form I-485. It is a school issue and the vast majority of schools only ask for evidence that you are in legal status and some don’t even ask for that. The USCIS does not prohibit attending school while your marriage green card is pending.

H1B Visa and H4 Visa Extension

Is my H4 extended automatically when my husband extended his H1B? I’m worried because he got a new I-94 card when he extended his H1B but I haven’t gotten anything.

An H4 visa status application may be filed concurrently with an H1B status application but they remain separate applications. If you did not file your own application then you will not receive a new I-94 card and are out of status and are accruing unlawful presence from the time your I-94 card expired. In some cases, USCIS will accept an untimely filed H4 visa status extension application but it can be difficult. We have been able to obtain approvals in these types of cases and some cases where the applicant was out of status for two years. However, it is important to have a good immigration history which means no previous immigration violations as well as no criminal history and generally have a record of good moral character.

Marriage Green Card

My wife entered the US on a tourist visa two months ago. We weren’t planning on getting married but we ended up in Las Vegas and got married in a spur of the moment thing. What do we do now? Can she stay here or does she need a K3 visa?

Immigration law discourages persons entering the US for one stated purpose but then pursues another. This includes entering the US as a visitor in B2 status or through the visa waiver program. Failure to follow the rules can lead to charges of visa fraud and removal from the US. Fortunately, the law does recognize that people do change their minds. In this situation you will need to weigh the risks associated with your desire to both remain in the United States. If your marriage occurred two months after she entered the US as a visitor and you did not plan to marry prior to her entry, it may be safe for her to remain in the US and apply for permanent residence and no K3 visa would be necessary.

Marriage Green Card: From Conditional Resident (CPR) to Permanent Resident (LPR)

If you were granted conditional resident status through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you will need to petition to remove the conditions before you can obtain your permanent green card.  This petition is typically made in the last 90 days of the two year anniversary of obtaining your conditional green card.

If you are still married at this time, you may petition jointly with your spouse.  If you are separated, divorced or your spouse will not jointly petition with you, you must fall into one of the following categories to self petition:

1. You entered the marriage in good faith, but your spouse subsequently died;

2. You entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage was later terminated due to divorce or annulment;

3. You entered the marriage in good faith and have remained married, but have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse; or

4. The termination of your status and removal would result in extreme hardship.

The most common situation where a joint petition cannot be filed is where there is a problem with the relationship and the couple is separated and is either in the process of divorcing or is already divorced.  The USCIS will not approve a self petition under the second category above unless the couple’s divorce is finalized at the time of the I-751 interview.  However, this does not mean that the self petition cannot be filed before the divorce is final.  The petition must be filed before the second anniversary of the issuance of the conditional green card.

In the case where the divorce has not been finalized and the deadline is approaching, you may file your self petition and then finalize the divorce.  Processing times are generally about 6 months and if a divorce cannot be finalized in that amount of time, you may be able to obtain an extension.  However, if that extension cannot be obtained or your divorce proceedings drag on, your conditional resident status will be terminated and a Notice to Appear (NTA) will be issued and you’ll have to continue your petition before an Immigration Judge or be removed from the United States.

Recent USCIS regulations will allow the conditional resident who filed a joint petition with his or her spouse to later amend the petition to be  a self petition where the couple separates prior to the I-751 interview.  USCIS will allow up to 87 days to finalize the divorce.

Widows of US Citizens Will Be Granted Deferred Action

US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently announced that widows of US Citizens will be granted deferred action for two years.  Previously, foreign nationals who married US citizens via the Marriage Green Card but whose US citizen spouse died before they were able to obtain benefits were not eligible for immigration benefits.  The DHS will now recognize that these widows along with their unmarried children under 18 years of age the right to remain in the US and will defer initiation of removal proceedings, cancel current removal proceedings and will accept applications foe humanitarian reinstatement for those who have had petitions revoked.

These new benefits apply to all spouse of US citizens and their unmarried children under 18 years who were married for less than two years at the time of the US citizen spouse’s death.  In addition, the widows may be granted work authorization provided they may show economic necessity.  The DHS is encouraging the legislation of new laws which would allow these widows the ability to apply for permanent residence as well.

See the entire press release here.