You are married to a US Citizen and you filed your petition for a green card, but now you are going through a divorce, can you keep your green card?
Divorce Prior to Green Card
If you have filed your application for a green card, but have not yet attended your green card interview, and you or your spouse has since filed for divorce, it is going to be nearly impossible for your green card application to continue without the U.S. Citizen spouse.
If the divorce is filed or is happening before the adjudication of your green card, there are very few options for the foreign spouse to obtain a green card.
As long as the foreign spouse is in legal status, they may be able to remain in the United States by changing their status to a nonimmigrant visa category. In this case, the foreign spouse may only remain in the U.S. temporarily, until the duration of the visa is up.
The San Diego Immigration Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick welcomes you. Our immigration practice is committed exclusively to the areas of immigration and citizenship law. We have big firm expertise in these specialties, but strive to deliver personalized client services at an economical cost.
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In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the current processing time for the I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence.
If you were granted conditional residence (2-year green card) based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen (USC) or legal permanent resident (LPR), you must file USCIS Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence proving that you entered your marriage in good faith, and not to gain an immigration benefit. Filing the I-751 petition allows you to receive your 10-year permanent resident card
The most common question we receive regarding the I-751 application is how long the application takes to process.
The processing time depends on various different factors such as when you filed your petition, where you reside, the service center processing your application, and the volume of applications currently in the pipeline.
You can view the current processing times based on the service center handling your petition, by visiting the USCIS website.
The current processing times for each service center are as follows:
The California Service Center is currently taking between 14.5 to 19 months to process these petitions.
The Nebraska Service Center is currently taking between 15.5 to 23 months to process these petitions.
The Texas Service Center is currently taking between 16 and 19 months to process these petitions
The Vermont Service Center is currently taking between 15 and 19 months to process these petitions.
If you have received a request for evidence, then you may experience delays if you wait a long time to respond. If you have changed your address please ensure that you file a change of address on the USCIS website as soon as possible.
Have you ever wondered how you can land a job with a US employer who will sponsor you for an H-1B visa?
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the process of finding a job in the United States that can lead to an H-1B sponsorship.
To be able to work in the United States you must have a work visa. The most common work visa is the H-1B visa.
What is the H-1B visa?
The H-1B visa allows American companies and/or organizations to employ foreign workers in a specialty occupation. To be able to apply for the H-1B visa you must have a job offer from a U.S. employer, and a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent work experience to work in the position sought.
The H-1B visa is a visa for professionals. Attorneys, architects, engineers, business directors, lodging managers, etc. can apply for the H-1B visa based on their specialty occupation.
How do you land a job offer?
U.S. employers are open to hiring foreign nationals, but many are unaware of the process that goes into employing a foreign national.
Can I lose my green card if my citizenship application is denied after the interview?
A person typically acquires a green card based on employment or an underlying family petition. As part of the process of becoming a permanent resident, an applicant must pass a background check, and meet all other eligibility requirements to become a permanent resident.
During the citizenship application process, USCIS is given another opportunity to further vet the applicant and ensure that the applicant meets all of the criteria required to become a United States Citizen, as well as ensuring that the applicant has not committed fraud or any other immigration violations to obtain an immigration benefit.
If during your citizenship application process, USCIS finds that there was an inaccuracy or inconsistency during the process of obtaining your green card, it is possible that such a finding might adversely affect the outcome of your citizenship application, depending on the type of defect.
USCIS may or may not decide to investigate further depending on the inaccuracy or inconsistency involved. If USCIS decides to investigate any inaccuracies or inconsistencies involved in your prior green card case, they may decide to not only deny your citizenship application, but also to rescind your permanent resident card. Typically, this occurs where there is an instance of fraud or an individual gained a green card through misrepresentation.
An applicant who is denied for other reasons, such as failing the Civics or English examination, failing to prove good moral character, or failing to meet the continuous residence requirement, is typically not at risk of losing their green card.
If you have any concerns that are specific to your case, please feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation.
In this video we teach you how you can immigrate your sibling to the United States as a U.S. Citizen.
What is the process of immigrating my brother or sister to the United States?
To petition to bring your sibling (brother or sister) to live in the United States as a green card holder, you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years of age. Permanent residents may not petition to bring siblings to live permanently in the United States.
The first step to petition your sibling is to file Form I-130.
Once the I-130 is approved your sibling must wait until an immigrant visa becomes available to them, pursuant to the priority date of Form I-130. The sibling must go through a “waiting period,” because there are numerical limitations on the number of visas issued to brothers and sisters of US Citizens.
Only 65,000 visas plus any unused numbers are available per fiscal year for brothers and sisters of adult U.S. Citizens. The visa bulletin governs the availability of visas for siblings of U.S. Citizens and categorizes siblings under the (F4) family preference category.
Once the priority date becomes current, the sibling can proceed with applying for an immigrant visa if they are residing overseas, or with filing the I-485 if they are lawfully present in the United States.
The process of immigrating a sibling is a long process which can take many years depending on the backlog of the visa bulletin.
For more information about immigrating a sibling to the U.S. please click here.
In this live stream, attorneys Jacob Sapochnick and Marie Puertollano discuss recent topics in immigration including the upcoming H-1B season, changes to the H-1B visa program, U.S. Embassy Updates for China and Russia, I-751, and affirmative asylum updates.
Mandatory Registration Requirement for H-1B Petitioners
Beginning with the H-1B season for FY 2021, all petitioners seeking to file an H-1B cap-subject petition on behalf of a foreign worker will be required to submit to a mandatory registration process. Only those whose registrations are selected, will be eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition during the associated filing period.
Each petitioner will be required to electronically register through the USCIS government website. The registration period will last for a minimum period of 14 calendar days and begin at least 14 calendar days before the first day of filing in each fiscal year. USCIS will provide the public with at least 30 days advance notice of the opening of the initial registration period for the upcoming fiscal year via the USCIS website.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted today for public inspection, a final rule amending regulations governing H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. The final rule reverses the order by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption, and it introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The rule will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 31, and will go into effect on April 1, though the electronic registration requirement will be suspended for the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap season.
What does this mean for you?
1. The rule will start in 2020 not this year.
2. The only change this year is the Reverse order of selection of cases. Effective April 1, USCIS will first select H-1B petitions (or registrations, once the registration requirement is implemented) submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will then select from the remaining eligible petitions, a number projected to reach the advanced degree exemption. Changing the order in which USCIS counts these allocations will likely increase the number of petitions for beneficiaries with a master’s or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education to be selected under the H-1B numerical allocations.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses what happens at an employment-based green card interview. Employment-based green card interviews became mandatory pursuant to USCIS policy in March of 2017.
It was not until the President issued an executive order on March 6, 2017 that USCIS began to require in person interviews for employment-based green card applicants.
The President’s executive order broke the agency’s long-standing policy of waiving in-person interviews for employment-based green card applicants, who were previously considered low risk applicants.
In keeping with the executive order, all applicants who have filed for adjustment of status, on or after March 6, 2017, on the basis of employment, must attend an in-person interview with USCIS. Derivative family members must also be present at the interview.
Employment-based adjustment of status is where an individual qualifies to apply for permanent residence based on an underlying employment visa category such as EB-2 or where the foreign national has an approved National Interest Waiver.
What happens during these interviews?
At the interview, the immigration officer will review the foreign national’s job description as it appears on the original Form I-140, to determine whether the applicant is still doing the same work or whether there has been a significant change in employment.
If the applicant is no longer working in the same or a similar position, the applicant must explain why.
Immigration officers are also closely scrutinizing federal income tax returns filed by applicants to determine whether the foreign national has engaged in unauthorized employment. Engaging in unauthorized employment will likely result in a denial of the adjustment of status application.
National Interest Waiver
In the case of adjustment of status based on an approved national interest waiver, the immigration officer will want to know whether the applicant has done what they promised to do in keeping with the original Form I-140 to ensure that the applicant has not engaged in fraud to obtain immigration benefits.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
The H-1B visa is a lottery visa that is reserved for individuals who seek to work in what is called a “specialty occupation” in the United States.
A specialty occupation exists if any of the following are satisfied:
a) the foreign worker either possesses a bachelor’s degree or higher or equivalent work experience for the particular position sought
b) that the degree requirement is common for the particular position within the industry, or that the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone possessing a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience in a relevant field for the position
c) that the employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position or
d) that the nature of the duties necessary to perform the position are so specialized and complex that performance of the duties is associated with attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher, or equivalent work experience.
Nurses in management positions, nurse practitioners, certain ICU high level nurses, and some nurses in research, may qualify for the H-1B visa.
The nurse must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher relating to their area of employment
The nurse must have a job offer from a U.S. employer to perform work in a specialty occupation (such as a nurse practitioner)
The H-1B visa is a lottery visa subject to a numerical cap. An applicant may only apply for an H-1B visa in April of each fiscal year
The nurse’s employer must be willing to pay the prevailing wage which is the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in the area of intended employment. The prevailing wage is determined based on the occupation and work location where the foreign worker will be employed
The employer must attest that they will pay the nurse at least the prevailing wage and also that the nurse will be working at a particular location
For more information about the H-1B visa please visit our website.