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 info@messersmithlaw.com

How Many Citations Needed for EB1?

How Many Citations Needed for EB1?

Criteria for Demonstrating Extraordinary Ability

You must meet 3 out of the 10 listed criteria below to prove extraordinary ability in your field:

  • Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence
  • Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members
  • Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel
  • Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field
  • Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media
  • Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases
  • Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations
  • Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field
  • Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts

Many applicants are concerned about their low citation counts.  In reality, citations are only helpful in regards to one of the ten listed criteria – original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field.  In many fields where publications are not the norm such as in IT or management professions, citations are completely irrelevant and in other scientific or academic fields like Economics, Business, Computer Science, or Mathematics, they are very hard to come by.  It is very normal for Economics papers to have no citations or be in the low single digits.  This is ok and is not fatal to an EB1 case.  It simply means that we need to identify other criteria on the list to get your case approved.  We have handled hundreds of self petitioned green card such as EB1 and know what USCIS wants to see in order to approve a case.  Over the past 15+ years we have successfully helped clients obtain EB1 green cards in software, engineering, speaking, business, consulting, acting and other fields where the applicants had none to very few citations.  There are many ways to make a strong case without a strong citation record.  For your reference, here are some samples of our approved petitions.  If you’d like our help, please feel free to call us at 305 515 0613 or email us at info@messersmithlaw.com.  

Trump Visa – Trump Green Card

President Trump has been in office for less than one week yet he has already followed through with many of his campaign promises that relate to immigration such as building a wall along our southern border with Mexico and temporarily halting visa issuance to nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  Many people are concerned that Trump’s America First policy will lead to fewer opportunities for foreign nationals to enter the United States.  However, Trump has been consistently clear that his new policies will be geared towards employment creation for American workers and there are many visas and paths to green cards which are grounded in employment creation.  Some of these employment creation visas and green card paths have been recently expanded and Trump is likely to create new opportunities for those who will employ US workers in the near future.

Nonimmigrant Visa Options

  1. The E2 visa allows foreign nationals of certain treaty countries to obtain a visa to open or purchase a business in the United States so long as their business plan shows that will employ at least one US worker.
  2. The H1B visa is not often thought of as an employment creation visa but it can be employed by foreign nationals to set up a US enterprise and work in the United States.
  3. The L1 visa allows foreign companies to set up a new branch or purchase a US office and transfer their workers to the United States to manage or work for that branch office.
  4. Entrepreneurs who have an active role in a US start up company can now be paroled in to the United States (no visa required) for up to 5 years to manage that enterprise.

Green Card Options

  1. The EB1A green card allows outstanding business people who have made great business accomplishments to self petition for US residency.
  2. The EB1C green card category allows managers or executives of international companies that have offices in the United States to sponsor those business leaders for US residency.
  3. The EB2 NIW or National Interest Waiver category has recently been revamped and is now specifically geared to help foreign entrepreneurs who set up US enterprises and hire US workers obtain US residency.
  4. The EB5 green card for entrepreneurs allows those who invest a minimum of $500,000 in a US enterprise and employ US workers to obtain US residency.

I am hearing that it is likely that Trump will continue to support these job creation visas and green card options and we may even see some significant expansions of these programs in the near future.  Trump has expressed that he wants to see manufacturing job flowing back to the United States and many manufacturers, both foreign and domestic, have announced their intents to return or expand in the United States.  Trump has also expressed his desire for small and medium sized businesses to prosper so it is likely that we will see new employment creation visa programs introduced or current programs expanded and streamlined.  This is a great time to be in business in the United States.  Our firm has handled thousands of immigration cases and we believe that this new administration welcomes all who would want to make this country great.  You can contact us for further assistance.

Green Card Holder Wants to Bring His Wife to the US

I need to bring my wife to USA to live with me. I have a good job and don’t need her to work so is it possible for her to live here on some some form of visa, such as H4 visa? I understand there it is a wait time of 4 years for spouses of permanent residents. She lives in Ukraine. Please help. thank you.

Your wife would only be able to come as a nonimmigrant dependent (J2, F2, H4, etc) if you held the corresponding primary visa (J1, F1, H1B). As a permanent residency, you would be able to sponsor her through the F2A immigrant visa category and the current processing times are about three years. If you would like to bring her here faster, you may be able to bring her here on student visa (F or J) or a work visa such as (H1B, O1 or L1). There may be other options specific for you so please contact our office for more information.

From J1 visa to Green Card

I’d like to know if I can change my status in USA. I’ve a J1 visa and I’d like to have the pemanent one. What Can I do?

Unless you are subject to INA Section 212(E) and require a J1 waiver, you are eligible to apply for a green card through the normal immigrant categories which include all forms of family and employment based sponsorship.

Change to Nonimmigrant Status Before Green Card Expires

my green card will be expired in feb 2013 , buit right now i m working for multinational company as business developer , I m textile engineer ..

is there any possibilty to have work visa or change of status before my greeen card expire

The expiration date on your green card does not mean that you permanent residency will expire, unless you mean that you hold a conditional green card typically obtained via marriage or through the immigrant investor EB-5 program. You cannot change your status from immigrant to a nonimmigrant status. You can have a company sponsor you for a work visa but you would have to apply for the visa at an Embassy abroad. A better alternative may be to apply for your permanent green card. Contact our office for further details and to see if you are eligible.

From R1 Visa to Green Card

I’m a monk at a Buddhist temple in the US on a R1 visa. I’m looking for help with my green card. I am on my 4th year with the R1 visa and I know I am going to hit my 5 year maximum soon. Can I apply for the green card? What if my R1 expires before the green card is approved?

The fact that your R1 is expiring will not affect your green card petition. However, you should be aware that once your R1 expires, you will not have any nonimmigrant status while your green card is pending. You will not be able to work after your R1 visa expires unless you obtain an EAD and if your green card is denied for any reason, you will unlawfully present in the US and subject to removal.

We have handled many green card applications for clients whose nonimmigrant status has expired and so long as we thoroughly review your file and are confident that your green card will be approved, then it is ok to file even if your R1 visa will expire before the green card can be approved.

H2B Visa Holder is Looking for Change of Status Options

I’m having a work visa H2B visa right now but my job is going to end soon. I don’t want to leave and I want to stay legal. I don’t have a new job but I want to stay here. What can I do?

Without more details it is impossible to review all of your options but if you would like to remain in the US to visit and travel, you can apply for a tourist visa and you can remain in the US to travel for up to one year.  If you later find a job during that time or would like us to help you find an employer, you can later change back to an appropriate work visa.

Green Card Expired While Outside the US

I had my green card since 1980 but kept my Russian citizenship. Two years ago my Mother took ill and I returned to Russia to help her. She recently died and now I want to return to USA. The problem is my green card has expired. Can I use the expired card to come back?

No, and you’ll have some serious problems in regards to maintenance of your residency. In order to maintain your residency you should be present in the US for half the year or more or have a very good reason for being outside for so long. One way is to apply for a reentry permit before you leave but it doesn’t sound like you did that. You will need to either apply for a returning resident visa or obtain a letter from the Consulate to give to CBP when you attempt to reenter.