Is your spouse refusing to attend your I-751 interview?
Has your spouse filed for divorce while your green card case is pending?
Is your conditional green card expired but your divorce is not yet final?

 

Immigration expirations do not always cooperate with how long state divorce actions can take or how long some spouses will stall the process, knowing you may need a final divorce decree to file a good faith marriage waiver, for instance, if you are a divorcing conditional green card holder. A good immigration attorney, though, should be able to offer you options to help so you can stay in valid immigration status, continue working, and even travel abroad without worrying about being denied re-entry into the U.S. on an expired green card.

Similarly, if you are filing jointly with your spouse for your initial green card and your spouse suddenly changes their mind about attending your interview unless you hand over money, you don’t have to give into the extortion. A good attorney can help you gain more time with the agency to file an alternative case to preserve your options.

 

Conditional Green Card Holders Separated From Their Spouses:

There are three reasons you can use to remove the conditions on your green card   to have a valid waiver  be accepted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

  • You must show that you entered the marriage in good faith and that the marriage was “real” and that it was terminated by divorce or annulment (you must provide the final divorce decree); or
  • You are the victim of spousal abuse; or
  • That leaving the U.S. will cause you to suffer extreme hardship.

The process of obtaining a waiver to remove the conditions on your green card can be difficult and confusing. We are here to help and our excellent track record demonstrates that we are experienced and professional attorneys. We discuss the pros and cons of each type of waiver if you qualify for more than one waiver. Filing one type of waiver initially may be weaker than another type but you may not qualify for the other type of waiver before your divorce is final and it’s important for you to survive to stay in valid status but strategies such as this are important ways that attorneys can work with the reality of your immigration situation and help you buy time to put together a stronger case or find that piece of crucial evidence needed to win your case.

For example, the good faith marriage waiver requires that your divorce be final before you file. This could create a long wait for you. Time may be a concern, especially if you are just contemplating divorce, and are in a state like California that requires a six month waiting period time before any filed divorce is final. If your green card has already expired, that may seem like an eternity to wait.

An extreme cruelty waiver can be beneficial because an approval, unlike the other two waiver types, will enable you to apply  for U.S. citizenship three years after your original green card was issued instead of five years. CIS should be more understanding about the difficulty in proving the bona fide nature of the marriage as opposed to someone in a relationship that did not have elements of power and control that are so one-sided against the immigrant, which makes documentation easier in some ways.

Finally, an extreme hardship waiver can be difficult to obtain depending on the country where the immigrant is from, the age of the immigrant, how long they have been in the U.S., their employment and economic situation if deported, and other factors. These can be difficult cases to obtain approvals and must be very well documented.

 

Undocumented and Those Without a Green Card Who Need Time:

If you have not yet received your conditional green card and are already faced with separation or divorce from your U.S. citizen spouse and need to buy time with the agency (your interview is coming up but your spouse has disappeared, for instance), contact us immediately. We can guide you through other options that may be available and work with you on ways to help you gain the time you need. The longer you wait – hoping your spouse will cooperate – the more difficult it may be to have realistic options still available. Make your future a priority.

 

Why choose SGG to help you no matter what stage your marriage is in?

We have seen it all. The spouse who backs out of the interview the day of and puts our immigrant client in a bind. The immigrant spouse who flees from the home with little documentation proving the bona fide nature of the relationship and little proof of joint residency but cannot stay for her own safety and comes to us to save her immigration case. The conditional green card holder who is going to lose their once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity when their spouse backs out of the I-751 joint petition to remove the condition on residency. We have cases where other immigration attorneys filed the wrong petition or tell the client that they should pretend for the sake of immigration that they are still with their spouse or told the client that they don’t have a case and the client comes crying to us begging for help. Marriage can be rough. The one thing you may be able to have some control over his her immigration status.

SGG attorneys are published nationwide on conditional green card waivers, VAWA abused spouse cases and marriage immigration issues. We frequently take on non-traditional cases where evidence is thin, stereotypical evidence is unavailable (police reports, pictures of bruises, and medical records don’t exist in abuse cases, for instance). We like to think outside the box and are patient with our clients and help them strategize on how best to document their case. Don’t delay. Call us today. See what creative strategies we can help put in place to buy you the time you need to put together the strongest case for your immigration future.


For more information about for divorcing or separating immigrants, click here or call us at 213.627.8997 today to book a detailed Case Evaluation appointment with an experienced family and removal immigration attorney.
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