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Old 08-23-2011, 10:55 AM
 
Location: New Albany, IN
744 posts, read 533,447 times
Reputation: 968
Default Good-faith marriage for PR eligibility

OK. I never thought I would be checking out or making a thread in this forum. My husband is an immigrant and I thought things were going just fine, until now.

The current "step" in my husband's immigration process is having to remove the conditions of his permanent residency, so that he can have typical permanent residency, not conditional. He had conditional permanent residency for two years after we married (here in the United States), and this year we applied to have the conditions removed. He had his conditional PR status continued for one year while it is decided whether or not he may be a typical PR.

Last week we got a letter from USCIS asking for more evidence that our marriage is what they call a "good-faith marriage," as in, obviously not just to keep him in America. I understand that they need this evidence, but I'm at a loss at what more we can show them. Last March we already sent copies of our rental agreement, car insurance, health insurance, bank statements/checks, and tax forms (I think that was everything).

My husband wanted to send something back to them right away, like before we could even think it over... We sent them basically the same stuff as before, and also pictures of him visiting my family over the three years he's been here (I don't know if that would help but I had no idea what else would).

The correspondence from USCIS gave other examples of "good-faith marriage" evidence such as documents showing that we own property together, paying off a loan or mortgage together, joint credit cards... We don't have any of these things. We don't own any property with both of our names on it. I'm the only owner titled to both of our cars (we acquired both of these during our marriage, but he did not have established credit and mine was good enough so I was the only signer). The utility bills have only my name on them. We don't make a whole lot of money anyway so we are definitely not in any hurry to get more property. Also we don't have any children--I don't know if that makes a difference or not--and we're not in a hurry to have any.

Now I'm worried about all of this not working out and my husband not being a PR. He has eight more months left of his conditional status. What if he is denied? What happens next? When will we find out? Will he/we have to return to his country and reapply for some kind of U.S. visa from there? Can he try getting a work visa from his employer?

I'm afraid to make any plans for the future--we were about to buy this house that we are "renting to own" and I'm afraid we'll have to back out and move again because I cannot afford the mortgage payments without his income. If he has to go back to his country I don't know if I should go with him or stay here and try to maintain a little bit of what we worked so hard to get over the last three years. And if he has to wait it out in the desert it could take years and years... I think I would just rather keep him here illegally. And that's the whole problem--he's not illegal, we've done everything right, sent every form, paid every fee, fingerprints, documents, whatever they've asked.

I'm fearing the worst right now. I'm trying not to panic right now but I'm at the edge! Thanks for reading this long post because I don't know who IRL would know what I'm talking about.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
21,635 posts, read 25,212,126 times
Reputation: 22316
First of all, the fact that you're in PR has not much to do with anything. His status as a potential US citizen is being challenged by the USCIS and he doesn't have "conditional PR" status but conditional US status. The USCIS personnel are just doing their job and I wouldn't go into panic mode. Wait and see what their response will be and, if they insist on more information, see if you can set up a face to face interview at the immigration facility closest to you.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
1,235 posts, read 2,330,702 times
Reputation: 1094
It is unlikely to be denied,l but a request for additional evidence is rare for ROC too. It could be that they simply lost your first batch- not unheard of! If they ask for more again, I would prepare some notarised affidavits from friends, family, co-workers etc, and a letter of explanation why the cars, bills etc are in your name only; that may seem unusual to them, as co-mingling of finances is a big thing.

In the unlikely event that he is denied, he can appeal. In that case, get a good lawyer.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:35 PM
 
5,566 posts, read 7,603,922 times
Reputation: 5372
Stay calm!
Do not even think the word illegally!

Go through your documentation piece by piece. What you sent in earlier and now. Bank statements from March and from August. Highlight dates and account numbers. Make it easy for them. Phone bills, insurance bills, ... Write a factual memo explaining why the cars are in your name only, why you have not yet bought a house - everything you posted here but without the emotion. Add pictures, add information about family visits and even working at charitable events. If it makes you feel better, get letters from co-workers, managers. Are there any groups or clubs you belong together? Think it through like a business proposal. One item at a time. Step away from it and treat it like you are doing it for a stranger.
I am a very emotional person. I freaked when I had to reconstruct 28 years of my life for my naturalization application. It took weeks but it did happen. So I feel your pain.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Murika
2,526 posts, read 1,326,165 times
Reputation: 1871
For starters, I have no idea what STT Resident is talking about. I can only surmise that he/she has absolutely no clue about gaining LPR, let alone removing conditions...

Second, it is perfectly normal to worry and even to panic a bit... You are not alone.

USCIS does want to see SOME evidence that you are in a bona fide marriage but your evidence does not have to be perfect.

Obviously, there are some documents that pull a bit more weight than others. Generally, anything showing intermingling of finances is great. Ideally, you should have a joint bank account by now or at least a joint credit card. If you don't have any, perhaps it's time to get them and hope that USCIS does not question why you only got them now and not years ago. We didn't have any, either, and nobody wondered about it...

Also, it is usually alright if you have mail (ideally utility bills, etc.) that are send to your mutual address.

Next, if you have any evidence of trips you've taken together (airline tickets, for example), that would certainly help.

You can also use photos but I am not sure how much they will really help. Some IO's are interested in them, some completely disregard them. At any rate, it cannot hurt to include them, just in case the IO is interested.

Finally, affidavits from friends and family can be helpful. Some people manage to adjust to LPR solely based on affidavits. If you are able to present an affidavit from a neutral person (someone unrelated and, even better, in an official position - such as judge, police officer, etc.), you'd be even better off.

First and foremost, stay calm. Usually the conditional residency (the one he already has) is a bit more difficult than removal of conditions. However, USCIS requesting more information does make me wonder.

Also (and please don't feel like I am asking for any justification), why did the two of you not work on creating more evidence after your husband received temporary PR? Surely, you knew that there would be a follow-up to remove conditions?

I would not worry too much. Assemble what you have and send it in. Write a letter explaining why you have what you have and why you don't have some of the items they list as examples.
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:57 AM
 
387 posts, read 283,978 times
Reputation: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayah(812) View Post
OK. I never thought I would be checking out or making a thread in this forum. My husband is an immigrant and I thought things were going just fine, until now.

The current "step" in my husband's immigration process is having to remove the conditions of his permanent residency, so that he can have typical permanent residency, not conditional. He had conditional permanent residency for two years after we married (here in the United States), and this year we applied to have the conditions removed. He had his conditional PR status continued for one year while it is decided whether or not he may be a typical PR.

Last week we got a letter from USCIS asking for more evidence that our marriage is what they call a "good-faith marriage," as in, obviously not just to keep him in America. I understand that they need this evidence, but I'm at a loss at what more we can show them. Last March we already sent copies of our rental agreement, car insurance, health insurance, bank statements/checks, and tax forms (I think that was everything).

My husband wanted to send something back to them right away, like before we could even think it over... We sent them basically the same stuff as before, and also pictures of him visiting my family over the three years he's been here (I don't know if that would help but I had no idea what else would).

The correspondence from USCIS gave other examples of "good-faith marriage" evidence such as documents showing that we own property together, paying off a loan or mortgage together, joint credit cards... We don't have any of these things. We don't own any property with both of our names on it. I'm the only owner titled to both of our cars (we acquired both of these during our marriage, but he did not have established credit and mine was good enough so I was the only signer). The utility bills have only my name on them. We don't make a whole lot of money anyway so we are definitely not in any hurry to get more property. Also we don't have any children--I don't know if that makes a difference or not--and we're not in a hurry to have any.

Now I'm worried about all of this not working out and my husband not being a PR. He has eight more months left of his conditional status. What if he is denied? What happens next? When will we find out? Will he/we have to return to his country and reapply for some kind of U.S. visa from there? Can he try getting a work visa from his employer?

I'm afraid to make any plans for the future--we were about to buy this house that we are "renting to own" and I'm afraid we'll have to back out and move again because I cannot afford the mortgage payments without his income. If he has to go back to his country I don't know if I should go with him or stay here and try to maintain a little bit of what we worked so hard to get over the last three years. And if he has to wait it out in the desert it could take years and years... I think I would just rather keep him here illegally. And that's the whole problem--he's not illegal, we've done everything right, sent every form, paid every fee, fingerprints, documents, whatever they've asked.

I'm fearing the worst right now. I'm trying not to panic right now but I'm at the edge! Thanks for reading this long post because I don't know who IRL would know what I'm talking about.

It will be also be a good idea to get in touch with your member of Congress
or US Senator They will write a letter to ICE/CIS about your situation
I know of some people who have got help from them this way
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Tejas
6,920 posts, read 10,543,250 times
Reputation: 4245
Ive gotten help that way tigr.

Its never once occured to me to get joint credit cards or bank accounts or anything of the like. Its not the way things were done back home with my family or any of my friends.
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Old 08-24-2011, 09:16 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
21,635 posts, read 25,212,126 times
Reputation: 22316
Quote:
Originally Posted by vamos View Post
For starters, I have no idea what STT Resident is talking about. I can only surmise that he/she has absolutely no clue about gaining LPR, let alone removing conditions...

Despite your condescending tone, I obviously made a mistake when I stupidly assumed that "PR" stood for Puerto Rico and not, of course, "permanent resident". The missing L" would have been a clue ... My apologies for the confusion but my advice was nonetheless en pointe.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:23 AM
 
57 posts, read 19,696 times
Reputation: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
First of all, the fact that you're in PR has not much to do with anything. His status as a potential US citizen is being challenged by the USCIS and he doesn't have "conditional PR" status but conditional US status. The USCIS personnel are just doing their job and I wouldn't go into panic mode. Wait and see what their response will be and, if they insist on more information, see if you can set up a face to face interview at the immigration facility closest to you.

Really?!! WTH are you talking about? He's quite a ways off from Citizenship.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:00 PM
 
Location: New Albany, IN
744 posts, read 533,447 times
Reputation: 968
You all have offered good advice, and I thank you...

We do not have a lot of joint finances because for a long time my husband did not have a job, and I don't make much money on my own. He got a job about a year and six months ago, and since then has been when we got the cars and the house (that we were hoping to buy). We didn't think of trying to get loans and credit cards together because I just saw that debt as financial difficulty that we can't handle.

I saw the option of getting notarized statements from people who know we are married, but I had been doubtful that they would help. I don't know what the people should be saying on there anyway. I have a couple coworkers whose input would be positive, but should I stay away from using friends and family? I liked the idea of writing to a local congressperson--I thought of that but I didn't know what to say to make this make sense. But I could think of something.
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