Articles Posted in Green Card

The constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is set to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court’s ruling would have an effect not only on same-sex couples but also on immigration and deportation.

Currently, one possible route to adjusting status to a permanent resident (green card) is through sponsorship of a US citizen spouse. Foreign-born men and women who marry someone of the opposite sex who is an American citizen are eligible to apply for permanent residency and, once residency is granted, can ultimately apply for citizenship. This is not the case for same-sex couples. In forty states, same-sex couples are unable to marry. Furthermore, the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages conducted in the ten states that allow it. This means that foreign-born men and women involved in same-sex relationships are unable to apply for permanent residency due to marriage.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits the marriage between persons of the same sex. This law is being challenged for being unconstitutional. The US government has issued an official statement that it cannot support the constitutionality of the law. This leaves the issue solely with the US Supreme Court.

Provisional Waiver of Inadmissibility

There is new relief available for aliens who entered the US illegally or overstayed their visas and are otherwise ineligible under Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Beginning March 4, 2013, they can apply for a provisional waiver of inadmissibility. This new rule will allow the alien to file for a waiver while still in the US. If the provisional waiver is granted, the alien can apply for the immigrant visa abroad and will have some assurance that his waiver application before the consulate will be approved quickly and then return to the US as a permanent resident.

Under the present rule, an immigrant who cannot adjust status will have to leave the US to apply for a visa abroad and apply for a waiver. The intending immigrant will need to secure a waiver of his inadmissibility in order to get a visa approval. Some intending immigrants get stranded for months or years trying their luck on getting a waiver. Some get their waiver application denied and never return to the US.

The new procedure will be available for immediate relatives of U. S. citizens (parents, spouses, and children under the age of 21 and unmarried) who are unable to adjust status in the US. A provisional waiver is a request for the non-application of the penalty or bar caused by their illegal stay upon showing that a denial would cause extreme hardship to their U. S. citizen parent or spouse.

The terms “immigrant visa”, “permanent resident”, “resident alien” and “green card” status all imply the same thing. They represent the right of a foreign national to permanently live and work in the United States.

The final step in the process to obtaining permanent residence is either an immigrant visa at the US Consulate or adjustment of status in the US.

We recommend adjustment of status whenever possible. There are additional benefits that can be realized while you are in the pending period of your application for adjustment of status:

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