Case Status Updates: 10-Year Green Card & Work Permit Approval
10-Year Green Card Approved:
Today we received another approval on a petition to remove conditions on permanent residence (Form I-751) for a client who is a native and citizen of of Mali, (hereinafter, "X"). X's case was challenging because he and his U.S. Citizen wife were divorced, so he had to request a waiver of the joint filing requirement on the basis that he entered into his marriage in good faith but ended in divorce. X got married in February of 2013 to his U.S. Citizen wife who subsequently filed a marriage petition on his behalf. X's marriage, however, was troubled from the start. A few months after the wedding, X and his wife began to fight a lot because X worked the night shift and his wife was feeling neglected. The fighting persisted, and eventually X asked her to move out for a little so they both could calm down. The couple was separated for only a few months when X and his wife decided that they would try to make the relationship work and she moved back in with him. Unfortunately, not long after that, X learned that his wife was pregnant with another man's baby and that she was keeping the baby. Heartbroken and betrayed, X told his wife that he had to end the relationship. X filed for divorce and the divorce was granted last September. X, however, still needed to file to remove the conditions on his residence, but since he was no longer with the filing spouse, he had to request a waiver of the joint filing requirement based on a marriage that was entered into in good faith but terminated through divorce.
Cases that require a waiver to the joint filing requirement are particularly tricky due to the short lifespan of the marriage. Essentially, this means that in approximately 2 years, the following occurred: a couple got married, separated, filed for divorce (in New York you must wait at least 6 months to file a no-fault divorce), and received a final judgment of divorce (in New York this can take 3-6 months for a divorce to be processed from start to finish). As a result, there is often not much documentary evidence that exists to prove that the marriage was real.
X came to The Shapiro Law Firm to help him with the Request For Evidence sent by USCIS after he submitted the petition to remove conditions on his residence. The attorneys at The Shapiro Law Firm helped guide X in determining what evidence USCIS was looking for to make their determination. We also helped X explain his situation by asking him non-leading questions about the circumstances leading up to his marriage and subsequent breakup.
Yesterday, I attended the interview with X at USCIS. X was nervous but I told him that since he clearly entered into his marriage in good faith, he had nothing to worry about, and I was right! It only took 15 minutes for the immigration officer to inform X that his case was approved! X will be receiving his 10-Year Green Card in 2-3 weeks.
There were 2 keys to X's case: (1) Providing USCIS with an honest account of what happened during the course of X's relationship from the day that he met his wife until the day that he filed for divorce, and; (2) Providing sufficient evidence that the couple shared a residence and a life together by submitting physical documents and photographs.
When can X file for his citizenship? Although X obtained his Green Card based on marriage to a U.S. Citizen, because he is no longer married and living with his former spouse, he will have to wait the full 5 years before is eligible for naturalization.
Work Permit Renewal Approval: Today we received an approval notice for employment authorization for a client, (hereinafter, "Y"), who is a native and citizen of Indonesia. Y's employment authorization is based on her pending asylum application. As an asylum applicant, Y was required to renew her work permit every year prior to expiration, but her new work permit is valid for 2-years in accordance with the new USCIS rule!
(*please note that all identification information has been removed in order to protect our clients' privacy and in order to fully comply with attorney advertising rules and regulations*)