Approval of Green Card For Spouse Despite Red Flags
- Applicant: Mr. Wu
- Country/Region: Taiwan, China
- Applying For: Petition for Green Card
- Time: 7 months
- Short period between marriage and attempt at a green card
- Previous divorces
- Children from previous marriages
- Case could look suspicious to the caseworker
- Customized solution required
When petitioning for a green card, you can expect essentially your entire life to be looked into thoroughly. It can be an intimidating process, especially if you believe you have life events that would cause any case worker looking at them to pause towards approving your case. Such was the situation for our client, Mr. Wu. Mr. Wu had been born in Hong Kong, immigrated to the U.S., and became a permanent resident long ago. Recently, he married his now-wife, Ms. Wu, and petitioned her for a green card.
However, certain factors might have played poorly in the eyes of any case worker looking at the couple, so Mr. Wu retained our services so that he could be best prepared for what was ahead. Mr. Wu had been divorced in 2013, his now-wife was also divorced in 2011. Both parties also had children from other marriages. Ms. Wu came to the United States from Taiwan on a visa waiver and stayed here during her adjustment period. Finally, they married in Las Vegas fairly recently, September 2018. Almost all of these factors could be potential red flags for case officers. Case officers are always on the lookout for marriages that were only made to get a green card, and they look for certain signs to help them determine that. We understood that while some of the aspects of the Wu’s lives and decisions may not have helped them with their petition, their marriage was real and was a loving one. We also understood that we could help them secure approval for their petition.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Where other firms’ hands people a checklist and wish them good luck with their case, our firm specializes in customized responses to the unique situations that our clients find themselves in. We believe the most intimidating thing about the green card process is the unknown of it all. People don’t know what to expect, they don’t know what they need to know for their interview, and they don’t know what they don’t know.
“Part of our job is making sure that our clients are comfortable. A stressed client isn’t going to do well in an interview. We provided an interpreter for Ms. Wu, we helped them prep for the interview, and we made sure they knew everything possible ahead of time so they could feel more comfortable” – Cathy Hsu, account manager
Our strategy regarding the Wu’s was not to focus on all the potential red flags they may have but to provide an abundance of evidence that their marriage was legitimate and they met all the prerequisites for getting approval. A key part of any green card petition is ensuring the case officer knows that the marriage is a legitimate one, that it was not made just to get a green card. To do that, we had them bring a near excessive amount of joint documentation. Some clients have very little documentation of their married life, but others have quite a bit – lease agreements, joint life insurance, joint health insurance, joint bank accounts or credit card accounts, bills and mail in the same name, etc. The Wu’s had a lot of joint documentation and we wanted to put the focus on that, so we prepared all of it to build their case.
Another positive factor that the couple had going for them was that Mr. Wu had the appropriate level of income to provide the Affidavit of Support for his wife. Sometimes when petitioning for a green card, couples will not have enough income according to the United States law to prove that they will be stable members of society, and they have to get someone else to agree to support them financially, usually another family member. This was thankfully a straightforward part of the case, and Mr. Wu was able to provide the Affidavit of Support.
Finally, we wanted to make sure that they were both prepared for the interview. Ms. Wu’s English was not very strong, so we made sure we could provide an interpreter for her. Being able to communicate in her language would take so much stress off of Ms. Wu that it was no decision to provide her the interpreter. We also regularly give clients mock interviews, send them home with questionnaires, and make sure they know the entire interview process front to back well before they ever have to go in. Without the intimidation of the unknown holding them back, we find that clients are more relaxed and perform extremely well in interviews. Cases like these usually take upwards of an entire year, and people who don’t use our firm regularly walk out of the interview with no idea whether or not they will be approved. Our clients usually come out of the process with same-day approval and shortened case times because of the preparatory work we make sure that we do and that they do ahead of time.
The Wu family went into their interview in May and came out with same-day approval for their petition. Instead of spending a whole year on the process, their approval came only seven months after their initial filing. Instead of spending months wondering if they would be approved or not, instead of getting a Request for Evidence, a common occurrence in these cases, they came out with the approval they needed. The Wu family was able to quickly move on with their lives, both now United States citizens. They couldn’t be happier that now they can start a life together without the weight of this.
*Name changed for client privacy
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