Does it matter how long my U.S. citizen spouse and I dated before we got married?
The issue is whether your marriage is "bona fide," or genuine, rather than a sham marriage entered into solely for the purpose of procuring a green card. It is essential to establish that the marriage is "bona fide" by presenting the Government with a visa petition supported by credible evidence that the marriage is genuine. This is particularly important where the marriage follows a brief courtship. A licensed attorney specializing in immigration and nationality law can help you to prepare and present the best possible case.
The best evidence of a bona fide relationship is if you and your spouse have a child together. The immigration officer will be less likely to scrutinize your marriage if you can present evidence that you have a biological child together. If you do not have a child together, you may want to present evidence that you reside together, that you file taxes together, and that you share financial responsibilities .
What should I do if the police found me to be in possession of illegal drugs?
Possession of illegal drugs can have serious consequences to your immigration status. The consequences depend on a number of things. For example, your status in the United States can make a significant difference. If you possess a green card, there may be solutions that an attorney can advise you about. Other factors that can affect your case include the amount charged, whether you have relatives in the United States, whether you have already concluded your criminal case, and whether you entered into a voluntary plea. Possession of illegal drugs can lead to a detainer by the Department of Homeland Security at the conclusion of your sentence.
You will be well served by consulting with and retaining the best possible criminal defense attorney who has expertise in the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, or who has access to an immigration specialist. It is of essential that a non citizen potentially facing criminal charges fully understand the immigration consequences of any plea bargain that may eventually be offered or negotiated
If I got my green card by marrying a United States citizen, do I need to remain with my spouse in order to be able to naturalize in three years?
If you are married to a United States citizen (USC), you are eligible to naturalize after three years of lawful permanent residence. In order to qualify for the three year rule, it is required that you and your USC spouse have been "living in marital union" for three years. Living in marital union has been interpreted by the federal courts to mean actually residing together. A divorce, legal separation or even an informal separation may signify dissolution of the marital union.
However, there may be instances when you would not need to continue with the relationship and still be able to secure a green card. Although those cases are more difficult, in some instances the United States citizen spouse treats the foreign national in an abusive manner. Immigration courts do not require you to stay in an abusive relationship for the green card. However, petitioning for a green card after a divorce can present additional issues. Those issues should be addressed by a competent immigration attorney.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.