If you live in the US and have a US citizen spouse you may be able to apply for a green card.
We understand that for the families of US citizens the recent flight restrictions may have caused significant disruption in their lives, including future planning for permanent status in the US.
For US citizens, we are here to help sort through the anxiety and stress of figuring out how to keep your foreign national spouse in the US if they are currently living as an Australian non-immigrant student, worker or investor in the US.
A planned filing of an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and I-485 Adjustment of Status for a foreign spouse likely will take significant time to process, so advanced planning is important especially for those with current employment in the US.
Despite the indefinite suspension of most visa services at US consulates and embassies abroad, parts of the US immigration system are continuing to operate. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to work forward to process any petitions at USCIS service centers and has reopened local field offices as of June 04, 2020. As USCIS generally adjudicates the initial petition and adjustment of status, these cases can still be filed at this time.
Generally, remember that an immediate family immigrant case usually has multiple steps for an adjustment of status (IR-1/CR-1) for foreign nationals currently present after a lawful admission to the US.
A I-130 petition for Alien Relative filed generally with USCIS by the US citizen spouse.
A I-485, Adjustment of Status, application is either filed with the I-130 petition or a I-130 was already filed for visa processing with evidence of that I-130 petition.
Once initial processing on the I-485 and I-130 is completed then there is generally an interview at a local USCIS field office including a final review of required documents, public charge review, and bona fides of the relationship.
After the I-130 and I-485 is approved the family member becomes a lawful permanent resident and a permanent resident card (green card) is mailed out.
Recently as of February 24, 2020 there has been significant changes to the adjudication of public charge. Public charge is an important hurdle in these cases to determine if the foreign national relative is likely to become dependent on the government in the future. This is a reason an immigrant visa can be refused for a foreign national spouse. This is now an even more important part of planning for an adjustment of status of a foreign national spouse.
It is important to remember that entering the US by misrepresenting or hiding the purpose of travel to live permanently in the US with a US citizen relative as a visitor has potentially serious immigration consequences. The use of the visa waiver program (ESTA) or on a B1/B2 visa entry to stay and adjust your status could lead to a denial of your case.
We recognise that we’re currently living in stressful and unmitigated times. At the very least, Worldwide Migration Partners can ensure ease in the application process and remove this singular worry on your behalf. If you would like further information regarding your eligibility, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
About The Author
Melissa Vincenty is a US attorney, an Australian migration agent and the founder and managing director of Worldwide Migration Partners. Melissa has over 20 years of experience in migration law, including practising at the world’s largest US immigration firm and more than 15 years as a Country Specialist (China and Tibet) for Amnesty International USA.
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