Can My Spouse Come Live In The US While The Family-Based Green Card Petition Is Pending?
The whole question is, at the time that the fiancé or spouse enters the United States, if there was anything said to an immigration officer, were they truthful in their purpose? If they were truthful when they entered under a different status and then they decide to stay in the United States, that’s fine. You may not enter the United States with the intent to stay here as a spouse or a fiancé, and circumvent the proper protocol of going through the consulate to get your green card status.
If you decide, after presenting yourself to an immigration officer or completing some kind of documentation that you enter as a tourist, you spend your time here, and you decide that you are not done seeing what you came to see, you can apply for an extension by filing a petition to change your status to immigrant. Between the port of entry or the filing of documents, if within 30 days you change your mind, immigration will consider that a fraudulent act. They will assume you had a predetermined intent and they will deny you. If you enter as a tourist and then you get married and apply for a green card a month later, you are going to be in a lot of trouble.
Immigration allows that there are other ways to view your story. Maybe something happened in your home country; maybe the currency devalued; maybe the President said your country is blacklisted. If you have a changed circumstance, Immigration is open to hearing your story. After 90 days, usually immigration is okay with you applying to change your status and we call it adjustment of status. Can your spouse come and live with you while they are waiting? No. Can they come for a different purpose and stay here while the process is going on? Yes. If they are students of a university, that’s great. However, if it is discovered that there was a misrepresentation to Immigration, it’s a permanent bar to any immigration relief.
What Is The Affidavit Of Support In A Family Based Green Card Application?
In the family based green card process, one of the significant issues is the affidavit of support. After the revisions of 1994 with the contract of America, Immigration decided that if you are going to bring a foreigner into the country, they should not become a burden on the US taxpayer. All S petitioners must complete what’s called an affidavit of support. You have to demonstrate that your income is 125% of the average income in the United States. The level currently is, for two, people $20,000. You have to show that your income is 125% of that, which is about $25,000. Many people don’t have that. In that case, the petitioner must still complete the petition but will need to find a joint sponsor.
A joint sponsor can be anyone who is a US citizen or a green card holder. They would then have to demonstrate that their income is sufficient at 125% of poverty level but they would also have to show the total number of people they have on their tax return, plus the person who is coming. With an affidavit of support, you are not vouching for the person’s debt. You only have to vouch that the person will not become a welfare burden; they will not get government assistance from either the state or federal government, based on a means tested process. If they don’t have enough money, they are going to need government assistance. This burden is on the person who completes the affidavit until the foreigner becomes a US citizen in 10 years.
Instead of income, you can show assets. Maybe you don’t have a job but you have a house that is worth $1 million and you only owe $200,000 on it. In that case, you’d have $800,000 worth of assets within the house. That is sufficient. It’s either income at 125% of poverty or available assets five times the value of the 125% threshold. You can also combine income and assets.
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