Kolken & Kolken. Results-oriented immigration lawyers - specializing in Green Card, Deportation Cases and Temporary Visas.


Published: Oct 26, 2012 3:00 pm

Our client is a citizen of Belarus. She entered the United States with an exchange visitor J-1 visa. Thereafter, she applied for change of status to a B-2 visitor for pleasure, which was granted. She then applied for an extension of her B-2 status.

While the application was pending, she married a United States citizen. She was employed without authorization the entire time that she was in B-2 status. At this point, we were then retained.

The first thing we did was investigate her situation, and we determined that her J-1 exchange visitor program did not require her to return to Belarus for a period of two years before lawful permanent resident status could be approved.  Because she was inspected and admitted into the United States, and her marriage to a United States citizen made her an immediate relative, her unauthorized employment did not prevent her from applying for a “green card” from within the United States.

We prepared and filed her husband’s Petition for Alien Relative, her Application for Permanent Resident Status, and an Application for Employment Authorization, with sufficient supporting documentation showing that the marriage was bona fide and that she should be afforded permanent resident status in the exercise of discretion. We prepared our client and her husband for their interview under oath at USCIS and instructed them concerning additional documents to be presented at the time of the interview.

Although the couple had just moved to the geographical jurisdiction of another USCIS Field Office, we successfully persuaded the Examiner to keep jurisdiction. The application was approved and the client became a conditional permanent resident of the United States for a period of two years.

Prior to the expiration of the two year period, the client and her United States citizen husband retained us to petition for a “permanent green card”. We prepared the appropriate petition and documented it with exhibits showing that their marriage was still bona fide and that they were still living together as husband and wife.

Notwithstanding that more than sufficient evidence had been submitted, the Government requested additional evidence of their relationship. As a result, we submitted an inch thick response to their request providing substantial additional documents showing that they had entered into a good faith marriage. Eleven days later their petition was approved and our client is now a lawful permanent resident of the United States without any limitations.

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