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USCIS changes family immigration process for married couples

Immigration Services

Love often knows no geographic bounds, and it is not unusual for U.S. citizens in Kentucky and nationwide to fall in love with someone from another country. Those from abroad who have married a U.S. citizen may obtain a Green Card allowing them to reside in the nation. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS has recently made changes to the Green Card application process that may affect many in the U.S going through the family immigration process.

In general, Green Cards for those who married U.S. citizens are only valid for two years. Once the two years have passed, the individual must supply proof that their marriage was not a fraudulent attempt to break immigration laws if the individual wishes to remain in the U.S. This process involves submitting Form I-751 and oftentimes each spouse must complete an interview with an official from USCIS.

However, the agency recently released a new policy memorandum that lays out some guidance that USCIS officials can use when determining whether the interview process can be waived. The interview can be waived if the USCIS official determines that there is sufficient evidence showing the marriage was authentic and clearly was not entered into simply to bypass immigration laws, that the Form I-751 does not indicate any fraud occurred, that for cases received after December 10, 2018, the agency has already interviewed the main petitioner and that there aren't any complex facts or issues that can only be clarified through an interview.

This may be good news for U.S. citizens and their spouses from abroad who wish to reside lawfully in the U.S., but it doesn't change the fact that family immigration is still a complex process. If the necessary forms are incomplete or are not filed at all, it could delay or even stop the path to residency and ultimately citizenship. Therefore, it can help to have professional legal guidance in such matters, so no crucial step is overlooked.

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