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Sheila Therese Starkey Hahn

Sheila Hahn’s Answers

9 total

  • I have to file I-751, and I am currently in divorce proceedings. Can I file a waiver if the divorce is not final?

    I have just started the divorce process, as we had to be separated for a year before filing. My green card will expire in two months. I don't know if the divorce will be final in two months. How late can I file I-751? How much time will the govern...

    Sheila’s Answer

    Just to clarify, unless you are filing based on abuse, you should wait for your divorce decree and then file the I-751 Petition. When filing the petition alone (rather than jointly) with a request for a good faith marriage waiver of the joint filing requirement, you may file outside the 90 day window, any time before you are removed.

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  • We can arrange his status, without the need to leave the country??

    My boyfriend is from Guatemala and entered illegal to the country, when he was 15 years old. He was arrested for a DUI, but never had a deportation order. I currently aplly to get my citizen and am waiting for my appointment. Thanks,

    Sheila’s Answer

    Once you have obtained citizenship, and once you have married your boyfriend, you may file an I-130 Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative on his behalf with the US CIS, in the Immediate Relative category. Once the I-130 petition is approved, unless he grandfathered under section 245(i), which I doubt he is, he is ineligible to adjust status in the United States. If he leaves the US, he will be subject to a 10 year bar to re-entery. He may, however, apply for an I-601 waiver of the 10 year bar based on extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse or parent. Previously, he would have had to leave the United States to apply for an immigrant visa (green card) and waiver at the US Consulate in Guatemala. However, there is a proposed provisional waiver that, when implemented, will allow someone in his position to request an I-601 waiver without leaving the U.S. If the waiver is approved, he will leave the US to engage in consular processing, without the risk that if the waiver is denied he will be outside the US and unable to return.

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    Sheila’s Answer

    If you do not have the resources to hire an attorney, I suggest that you look for a community-based, non-profit organization in your geographic area that handles immigration matters and might assist you with the paperwork for a low or no fee.

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  • I have approved I-140 recently, If i go back to India and come back after 2 years? Can i be able to apply AOS/I-485?

    - I have approved I-140 recently - I would like to go back to India and comeback after 2 years, that time probably dates will be Current, So can i be able to apply AOS/I-485??

    Sheila’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    It seems that you have an approved PERM case and an approved I140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, and you are waiting for your priority date to become current in order to apply for your immigrant visa (green card). Your PERM case and I-140 Petition are based on a future job offer, so as long as the sponsoring employer is willing to continue to sponsor you and to employ you when your priority date is current and your green card has been approved, you may go back to India at this time to wait for your priority date to become current. In order to come back in two years, you will need to obtain H-1B status at that time. You will be subject to the H-1B cap again, even if you are currently in H-1B status (since you will be outside the U.S. for one year or loger). If you are able to obtain a new H-1B petition approval and visa, you may enter the US in H-1B status and then apply for Adjustment of Status once your priority date is current. The H-1B visa is a dual intent visa, meaning you may be applying for and entering in H-1B status while pursuing a green card/intending to immigrate to the US, without the fraud problem that you would have if you entered in B1/B2 status.

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  • How to choose an immigration lawyer?

    After watching the plethora of videos on You tube and as every immigration attorney is saying the" immigration law is complex and under the new Obama administration policy once your application is sent to Immigration you can't do anything again a...

    Sheila’s Answer

    If you go to you will find an immigration attorney referral service by clicking on the link entitled "Find a Lawyer." It is very important that you ask the attorney if they have experience with criminal immigration issues. If they do not, perhaps they can refer you to an attorney who does.

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  • Can an illegal alien contest annulment?

    my spouse filed for annulment and totally lied against me, can i contest it? she is aware that i am illegal and she is threatening me with deportation if i contest it. do i have any rights at all

    Sheila’s Answer

    There is an immigration aspect to this question, which is whether by contesting the annulment this person is putting himself in danger of being removed from the US. There are many questions that must be answered, including whether your wife filed an I-130 Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative on your behalf and, if so, whether you have a pending Application to Adjust Status to Lawful Permanent Resident. The other relevant question is whether you married solely for immigration purposes or, if you did not, whether your wife intends to argue that you did. You are not going to be put in removal proceedings just because you are contesting the annulment, but if your wife convinces the US CIS that you engaged in a fraudulent marriage for immigration purposes, then you may be risking removal. Therefore, it is important that you consult with an immigration attorney.

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  • Can my wife "forced" me to legalized her and her 9 year old son under the "fiance K1-Form I-134?

    She come 3 years ago as my fiancee under the K-1 (I-134). We got married after the 90 day period INS requested for us to got married, since then,I've decided no to go forward on her legal status because our personal diferences, now she said she wi...

    Sheila’s Answer

    If your wife entered under a fiancee visa and you were not married within the 90 day window immediately following her arrival, then she is not eligible to legalize her status in the United States. However, it may be possible for your wife to self-petition if you have abused her or her son. If you are threatening your wife and using her lack of legal status to control her, that may rise to the level of abuse.

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  • Wife appliying for US residency and husband applying for Canadian residency at the same time. Is this possible?

    Im a Canadian citizen and my husband is a Us citizen, we got married in Jan 2012 and apply for my US residency about 4 month ago. We now think that it might be better for my husband to come to Canada instead of me going to the US. Is it possib...

    Sheila’s Answer

    Another question is whether you have physical residences in both countries. In order for you to obtain a green card to the US and maintain your green card status once you receive it, you must have a physical place of residence (address) in the US. Permanent resident status is not automatically lost by a lengthy absence abroad, but an extended absence is one factor taken into account by the US CIS in judging the alien’s intentions. Factors:
    a. Length of absence
    b. Purpose of departure
    c. Existence of facts indicating fixed termination for stay broad
    d. Continued filing of U.S. tax returns as resident
    e. Maintenance of other ties, including ownership of property, bank accounts, credit cards, etc.
    f. Location of close family members
    g. Location and nature of alien’s employment
    U.S. versus foreign, permanent versus temporary employment abroad

    It helps one to maintain permanent resident status if they maintain a U.S. address, continue to own their U.S. residence, present an employment contract or written statement specifying the terms and length of employment, leave open and continue to use U.S. bank accounts, hold U.S. credit cards and a U.S. driver’s license.

    Maintaining continuity of residence for naturalization purposes:

    a. An absence of less than six months does not break continuity
    b. An absence of six months to one year breaks continuity unless there is a reasonable explanation
    c. Absence of one year or more breaks continuity unless residence is preserved (must be requested before leaving)
    d. If broken, must start over again to accumulate the necessary five years upon return to the U.S.

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  • I-130 question regarding step-daughter

    i am filing a i-130 for my wife to get a cr1 visa. according to legal advise i need a separate i-130 for my step daughter to file for cr2 visa. my step daughter is only 2yrs and 6 months old. can i attach her i-130 with her moms i-130 packet or...

    Sheila’s Answer

    You must also file evidence of your US citizenship (copy of US birth certificate, Naturalization Certificate, or US passport). For the petition on behalf of your spouse, you must also file a passport style photo of each of you, as well as a Form G-325A, Biographic Information, on behalf of each of you. Of course, you must file copy of your marriage certificate with each of the petitions.

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