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USA Green cards through marriage – May face one problem

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The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has changed one of its procedures for immigrants who obtained their green cards by marrying US citizens.

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The green cards issued to these immigrants are usually conditional and valid for only two years.

After that, those seeking permanent residence must prove that their marriage was not intended to violate immigration laws and is therefore not fraudulent.

This process, known as an application to remove conditions of permanent residence based on marriage, requires Form I-751 and most likely an interview with a USCIS officer to establish eligibility to remove those conditions.

The interviews often make couples nervous as they are questioned – often separately – about intimate details of their lives to determine the legality of their marriages.

However, a new USCIS memorandum provides some guidelines that agency officials can use to decide whether to waive these interviews.

The USCIS announced this week that judges can now waive this important requirement if they are convinced that:

▪ There is sufficient evidence of the authenticity of the marriage to clearly establish that it was not entered into to evade immigration laws;

▪ There is no evidence of fraud or misrepresentation in the Form I-751 or accompanying documents;

▪USCIS has already interviewed the principal applicant for Form I-751 (this is relevant for cases received after 10 December 2018);

▪ There are no complex facts or issues that require an interview for clarification.

“In determining whether to waive a hearing, the above considerations apply regardless of whether the Form I-751 is filed as a joint petition or as a waiver of the joint filing requirement,” the new guidance states. “Cases involving fraud or national security concerns must be referred to the Fraud and National Security Directorate in accordance with local procedures.”

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