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Form I-864 The Affidavit of Support: Fill it out accurately

Posted on July 31, 2013 at 10:04 AM Comments comments (248)
Many people have questions about this form when filing for an immediate relative. It is very important that this form is filled out accurately and completely. 

The amount of people in the US citizen's household needs to be answered honestly. If you are claiming people as dependents on your tax returns, these people must be added to the number of people in your home. Be sure that all the required documentation accompanies this form, including federal tax returns and W2s. 

If the US citizen is near the poverty guidelines, it is usually best to have a co-sponsor fill out an I-864. The co-sponsor can be any United States citizen or green card holder who is at least 18 years of age. The co-sponsor will also need to provide documentation, including federal tax returns, W-2s and current pay stubs.  It is also important that the co-sponsor provide a copy of their green card of proof of United States citizenship.

Co-sponsors should be aware that they are financially responsible for the green card holder until one of two events occur. Either the green card holder becomes a United States citizen or the green card holder has worked for 10 years in the United States.

Continuous Presence versus Physical Presence for Naturalization

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 8:54 PM Comments comments (129)
Many clients have questions about the physical presence and continuous presence requirements before applying for citizenship. It is always best to consult an immigration attorney before sending  in your application.

Physical presence means you actual time in the United States. If you are a green card holder you should be living in the United States at least 6 months a year and filing taxes in the US. If you are outside of the United States for more than 6 months you may be presumed to have abandoned your green card status. If you know you will be away you can apply for a re-entry permit by filing form I-131 in the United States before your trip abroad. You also need to be physically present 30 months out of the previous 5 years in order to be eligible.

You are generally required to be in the US continuously for 5 years before you apply for citizenship. You can be continuously present in the US if you take short trips abroad, 1 or 2 months. It is important to know that you need to know the dates of your trips abroad including Mexico and Canada when you apply.   

Our firm has  helped many people become citizens.

Naturalization/Citizenship: To Apply or To Not Apply That is the Question

Posted on July 5, 2013 at 8:24 AM Comments comments (86)
The general requirements for applying for citizenship are when a green card holder has been a permanent resident for five years or in cases where the application is based on marriage to a US citizen, the application can be filed three years from the issuance of the green card as long as the couple is still living together.

There is a growing trend, however, for people who apply for naturalization/citizenship to not only have the application denied, but the green card holder is also in jeopardy of having permanent status revoked and being placed in removal/deportation proceedings. There are several fact patterns that could cause this result. 

One pattern is that the permanent resident is convicted of a felony or some other serious crime. Any type of criminal record can cause issues for green card holders, especially crimes involving moral turpitude that is crimes which is generally requires an intent to cause great bodily harm, defraud. or permanently deprive an owner of property. Examples include theft, domestic violence, and crimes involving firearms. Always consult an immigration attorney before accepting a plea.

Another instance is if the green card holder is not living in the United States and/or is not filing tax returns in the United States. Permanent residence requires that you live in the United States and file tax returns in the United States. If you will be away from the United States for a year or more it is important to apply for a Re-entry permit. Any absence from the US for over 6 months creates a presumption of abandonment of the green card. 

In marriage cases, if the green card holder files for divorce prior to the application for citizenship this creates a difficult situation. In some states, the grounds for divorce require that the situation exist for a year prior to the filing. So, it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney from the Law Offices of Alexus Sham before making the decision to file for naturalization.

Divorce Waiver and Removal of Conditional Green Card

Posted on June 16, 2013 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (103)
A common fact pattern is that two people marry for love and then one of them wants a divorce before the application of the removal of condition of the green card. The removal of condition takes place within 90 days of the conditional green card expiration date. It is important for conditional green card holders to know that they may only apply by themselves without the spouse if the divorce decree is final. The foreign national needs to show that the marriage was entered into in good faith. 

here are some examples of evidence that will assist the divorced spouse

1. Length of time the couple lived together----joint lease
2. Evidence of Joint assets---,joint utility bills joint credit card statements, joint bank statements
3. Photos of the couple in different locations i.e vacations, visiting in-laws for the holidays and a photo album
4. Letters from friends called affidavits who have known both members of the couple for an extended period of time and discuss a personal story of the couple
5. Joint health insurance policies, and life insurance policies that name the spouse as a beneficiary
6. Email correspondence, love letters, birthday and anniversary cards
7. Jointly filed tax returns  

An I-485 green card interview

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 11:53 PM Comments comments (76)
Welcome to this site. For my first topic, I would like to discuss preparation for a green card interview based on marriage.  Preparation is the key for the interview and our attorneys will make sure you are ready for the interview. In addition to providing a checklist of the necessary documentation, we will also identify potential issues and address how to deal with these issues. It is normal to be nervous and stressed out but our attorneys have attended many of these interviews and will give you the sense of confidence that is necessary. Although each case is fact specific, we will do our best to have a successful interview. So be sure to fill out the information on the contact us page and we will contact you.