San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – Filling Out Form I-751 With a Waiver Based on Abuse or Battering
If you become a U.S. resident due to your marriage to a U.S. citizen, you will get a “conditional” green card that expires in just two years. Within 90 days of this expiration date, you and your spouse are expected to jointly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Doing so will allow you to remain in the United States. After your application is approved, your conditional resident status will be converted to permanent residence.
But filing this petition and gaining this approval can be difficult if your spouse is physically or emotionally abusive – especially if he or she is using your immigration status, and his or her cooperation in obtaining the green card, as a way to control you. The good news is that the law offers a way to deal with this situation. And after your I-751 is approved and you become a permanent resident, your right to live and work in the U.S. cannot be taken away based on you no longer being with your spouse.
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – Filing Form I-751 Without Your Spouse
USCIS allows conditional residents to file Form I-751 without the cooperation of their spouse if they request, and then receive, a waiver of the joint filing requirement. If you have been battered or abused by your U.S. citizen spouse (or if your conditional resident children were battered or abused by a U.S. citizen or conditional resident parent) you (or they) can apply for a waiver. In addition, conditional residents who would be subjected to extreme hardship if returned to their home country, whose spouse has died, or who have divorced, may apply for a waiver.
You can apply for any or all of the joint filing waivers that you qualify for. However, you should contact an experienced immigration attorney before applying for any waiver, as you will need to provide plenty of evidence with your petition. In this article, we will discuss what is necessary to apply for a waiver based on abuse or battering.
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – How the “Battered Spouse” Waiver Differs From the VAWA Self-Petition
A Form I-751 waiver is available for conditional residents who have been battered or abused by their U.S. citizen spouse. If you have not yet received a temporary green card due to your marriage, even if you have been abused by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, you may not file Form I-751 at this time. The same is true for abused or battered foreign-born children who have never been conditional residents.
However, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) permits domestic violence victims and their children to self-petition for a green card by filing Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant. Men are also eligible to file this petition.
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – Proving Battery and “Extreme Cruelty” for This Waiver
What USCIS considers to be battery is straightforward: physical violence committed against you by your spouse. This can include punching, slapping, pushing, any other infliction of bodily injury, and forced sex.
USCIS defines “extreme cruelty” to be nonviolent abuse that your U.S. citizen spouse intentionally inflicted upon you in order to dominate, control, or humiliate you. The following are some examples of behavior that conditional residents have used to prove “extreme cruelty”, but every person’s case is different and this list is not exhaustive:
- Threatening to report you to USCIS or any other government agency, or a refusal to jointly file Form I-751 with you.
- Threatening to divorce you, especially if divorce is taboo in your culture or religion.
- Threatening to physically hurt you or your loved ones, especially if done in order to put you in fear of your spouse.
- Invading your privacy in order to control you, including reading or intercepting your mail and emails, monitoring your phone calls and computer usage, and snooping in your personal belongings.
- Withholding money or food from you as punishment or to control you.
- Not allowing you to contact your family or friends or associate with them.
- Taking away your means of transportation or important documents (for example, your driver’s license or passport) in order to keep you from leaving the home.
- Intentionally destroying or disposing of your personal property.
- Repeatedly exhibiting uncontrollable anger or screaming, even knowing that this behavior would hurt and upset you. Name-calling and making cruel insults (both in public and in private) to humiliate you.
You will need to provide as many details and specific instances of your spouse’s abusive actions and how these actions hurt you and controlled your life. It can be painful and emotionally difficult to recount instances of this behavior, but it is necessary in order to convince USCIS to grant you a waiver.
You will need evidence to prove that you were a victim of domestic violence, so you should ideally provide more than just a personal statement. Official reports from police and medical personnel, medical records and photographs of injuries, and affidavits from social workers and school officials are excellent evidence. You can also submit affidavits from others who can describe instances of abuse and battering that your spouse inflicted upon you.
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – What to File With USCIS
The application as instructed.
In order to file a Form I-751 with a waiver based on abuse or battering, you must submit your completed and signed petition along with the following:
- Filing fee or, if you cannot afford this fee, Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. (For a list of current USCIS fees, see Form G-1055, Fee Schedule.)
- A copy of your permanent resident card (front and back sides).
- Evidence of battery or “extreme cruelty” by your U.S. citizen spouse; or evidence of battery or ? extreme cruelty by your U.S. citizen or conditional resident parents if applying as a conditional resident child (see examples above).
- Evidence that your marriage was genuine, if applying as a conditional spouse. You will need to prove that your relationship was not a sham, entered into for purposes of violating immigration law. For a list of documents that conditional residents have used to prove that their marriage was entered into in good faith.
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – What Happens After You File
After you file your I-751, you will be issued a receipt notice on USCIS Form I-797, which will serve as your green card during the time that USCIS is reviewing your case. You may continue to live and work in the United States and travel abroad for the period specified on this notice.
Make sure to respond to all requests for evidence and appointment notices from USCIS. You will eventually be scheduled to go to a local USCIS office for an interview, where you will answer questions about the specific instances of your spouse’s “extreme cruelty” or battering and asked questions about your marriage. Review the evidence that you prepared for USCIS beforehand. you want to make sure that your answers to the USCIS official’s questions match the evidence that you submitted.
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – Filling Out Form I-751 With a Hardship Waiver
If you applied for a green card based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen, you will receive a conditional green card that is valid for only two years. Unless you take action to remove the conditions on your residence before the end of those years, not only the green card itself, but also your status and right to remain in the U.S. will end at that time.
To deal with this, you and your U.S. spouse are normally expected to jointly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), within the 90 days before the two years is up. After that application is approved, you will be issued the standard permanent resident card (which has a ten-year expiration date but is easily renewed, even if you and your spouse are no longer together).
Over the course of the two years, however, various circumstances may arise making it impossible to file the petition jointly. Couples may separate or divorce; the U.S. spouse may die; or the U.S. spouse may simply refuse to cooperate. If your U.S. citizen spouse will not or cannot file this petition with you, there are a few circumstances in which you can apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirement
Here, we will discuss in detail how to apply for a waiver based on extreme hardship.
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – You May Be Eligible for a Hardship Waiver
One of the waivers that would allow you to lift the conditions on your permanent residence is if removal from the U.S. would cause you or your dependent child extreme hardship. Although you do not have to simultaneously prove that your marriage was entered into in good faith, as you do with the other waivers, this relief is discretionary, and the hardship threshold is difficult to satisfy. If you were not at fault in the breakdown of your marriage, you might want to consider filing for divorce in order to obtain a divorce waiver instead.
If you intend to request the extreme hardship waiver, it is highly advisable that you seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney before you file.
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – What USCIS Considers Hardship for Purposes of This Waiver?
USCIS will look at the evidence you provide to determine whether or not you would experience ?extreme hardship? if returned to your former country. In determining your eligibility, USCIS will consider any credible evidence that it considers relevant, so you should submit as much evidence as possible to back up your claims.
However, USCIS will take into account only the circumstances that occurred while you lived in the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident, so make sure you can build a convincing case using evidence from the past two years (See I.N.A. ? 214(c)(4)(a); 8 U.S.C. ? 1186a(c)(4)(a)).
While the following is not an exhaustive list, conditional residents have been successful at obtaining hardship waivers in the following types of circumstances. You may qualify if:
- You have lived in the U.S. for an extended period of time. If you have spent a great deal of your life in the U.S. and you do not have any family or ties in your home country, or if all of your family resides in the U.S., you should provide affidavits and other evidence to this effect.
- You do not speak a language that is spoken in your home country. If you came to the U.S. at a young age and were not taught the language of your native country, this would be considered a hardship to you, as you would have difficulty making a living in a country where you do not speak the language.
- You have custody of your U.S. citizen children and they would need to accompany you to your home country. If you are the primary caregiver or custodial guardian of a U.S. citizen child and he or she would need to accompany you if you were deported, you should provide documents (birth certificate, absence of other relatives who could care for the child) that prove this. If your U.S. citizen child would have difficulty assimilating into the culture of your home country, would not receive adequate medical care or education, or does not speak the native language, make sure you gather documents that demonstrate this.
- If you were removed from the U.S., your U.S. relatives would suffer without the income from your job. If you are working to provide income for your parents, dependents, or other family members who live legally in the U.S., this could be considered an adequate hardship for the purposes of a waiver.
- You would not be able to find work outside the U.S. If it would be difficult to obtain employment in your home country due to poor economic conditions, discrimination, or a lack of jobs for people with your set of skills, provide evidence to this effect.
- You have a medical issue that cannot be treated adequately abroad. If the quality of medical care in your country of origin is so poor that you would suffer health issues if you were deported, you should obtain a note from your treating physician and supply information about your medical condition or diagnosis.
- The conditions in your country are such that you would experience persecution or discrimination. If you would experience extreme hardship in your home country due to your race, religion, political opinion, or membership in a social group, you should provide evidence that substantiates your status (a letter from your pastor, for example) and information that backs up your claim that people like you are persecuted or discriminated against.
- Your U.S. citizen spouse was at fault in the breakdown of your relationship or you cannot find your spouse in order to file jointly. If you are unable to locate your U.S. citizen spouse, or your spouse abandoned you, committed adultery or otherwise contributed to the end of your relationship and refuses to file Form I-751 with you, you should state that in your petition.
- You are unable to get a divorce or annulment due to religious or cultural beliefs. If this applies to you and you cannot file for a divorce waiver, you could provide this evidence to USCIS.
What You Must File With USCIS
- Filing fee or, if you can’t afford the fee, Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. (For a list of current USCIS fees, see Form G-1055, Fee Schedule.)
- A copy of your permanent resident card (front and back sides).
- Evidence of the extreme hardship you would face if removed from the United States (see examples above).
- Evidence that your marriage was genuine. You do not need to provide this evidence, but it may help your case if you can show that your relationship was not a sham. For a list of documents that conditional residents have used to prove that their marriage was entered into in good faith.
- Evidence regarding the circumstances surrounding the end of your marriage (if you were not at fault).
San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer – What Happens After You File
After you file your I-751, you will be issued a receipt notice on Form I-797, which will serve as your green card during the time that USCIS is reviewing your case. You may continue to live and work in the United States and travel abroad for the period specified on this notice.
Make sure to respond to all requests for evidence and appointment notices from USCIS. Most petitions to lift conditions that are filed with a waiver of the joint filing requirement will be referred to a local USCIS office for an interview. In preparation for the interview, gather copies of all evidence that you submitted. Be ready to answer questions about why you qualify for a hardship waiver.
Based in San Diego, Chula Vista and El Cajon, a San Diego I-751 Waivers Lawyer at Law Offices of Hasbini specializes in immigrant and non-immigrant visa processing, U.S. permanent residence, green card, working visas, H-1B’s, business and investment visas, naturalization, corporate and business immigration, political asylum, as well as deportation and removal matters.
San Diego I-751 Waivers lawyer Habib Hasbini and his associates truly understand what it takes to get our clients the legal help they deserve. By remaining open and honest with our clients, we are consistently able to provide the highest quality of care and service. We are familiar with the emotional investment clients make in the immigration process. San Diego immigration defense lawyer Habib Hasbini and his associates combine personal experience, knowledge of the immigration system, and extensive legal experience to provide the immigration services you need.