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Peter Joseph Loughlin
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Peter Loughlin’s Answers

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  • I am a U.S citizen now and i would like to petition my mother. how long does the whole process take?

    I am a U.S citizen now and i would like to petition my mother. how long does the whole process take? and where do I start.

    Peter’s Answer

    As a U.S. citizen, 21 years of age or older you may sponsor your mother as your ‘immediate relative’.

    This means that a visa/green card is immediately available, pending processing times and her meeting all admissibility requirements. For example, if she makes an admission to or has been convicted of certain crimes, this may make her inadmissible and ineligible to obtain a visa/green card.

    The Process:

    1) If your mother is legally inside the U.S., you may file with the Department of Homeland Security USCIS a petition for her to obtain permanent residence and concurrently file her application to adjust her status to that of a lawful permanent resident. The expected processing time based on your mom living in Florida would likely be from four to six months.

    2) If your mother is currently outside the United States, you would still need file a petition with the Department of Homeland Security USCIS for her to obtain permanent residence. But instead of her applying to adjust his or her status in the United States, your mom will be notified (after the petition is approved) to go to the local U.S. consulate abroad to complete the processing for an immigrant visa. Depending on the particular country / consular office you may expect to wait anywhere fro six months to one year or more.

    Best of luck.

    Note: The above answer is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney client relationship is created unless a retainer is signed by the attorney and the client.

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  • Can I-102 be filed concurrently with the I-485 and I-130.

    We'll need an I-94 for the I-485. Can we ask for it via the I-102, concurrently with the other AOS forms?

    Peter’s Answer

    Yes, when the I-94 has been lost or stolen we typically file the I-102 concurrently. You can, however, file it separately but I would recommend doing so close to the time you file for adjustment. The current USCIS filing fee for form I-102 is $320.00.

    Peter J. Loughlin, Esq.
    Note: The above answer is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney client relationship is created unless a retainer is signed by the attorney and the client.

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  • Can I file for my husband who lives in jamaica?

    I married him in jamaica in April 2010. Im currently receiving unemployment, and food stamps. I was wondering if I can still file for him on a alien relative visa? Some of his family members are willing to help with the co-sponsor. Also I hear tha...

    Peter’s Answer

    Although you currently do not have sufficient income to "sponsor" your husband, you merely need to find a financially qualified joint sponsor. If so, you should have no problems assuming your spouse meets all other eligibility requirements and is not inadmissible and you have sufficient evidence of the validity of your relationship.

    To help determine if your joint sponsor is financially qualified look to form I-864P available on USCIS website or by Google search.

    Be prepared to provide documentary evidence of your relationship together such as, social photos together, letters, email and other documentation that would tend to support the validity of your relationship.

    Finally, I am not aware of any particular requirement that you maintain a certain dollar amount in your bank account.

    Good luck to you both.

    Peter J. Loughlin, Esq.
    Note: The above answer is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney client relationship is created unless a retainer is signed by the attorney and the client.

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  • Applied for EAD through marriage based green card, already have a SSN can I work

    i have applied for my EAD through a marriage based green card. I applied 1 month ago but I need to get a job to pay for things. I have a ssn already as I was here on a J1 visa, am I able to work without causing problems for my green card process?

    Peter’s Answer

    Although you already have a social security number and have applied for an EAD based on marriage you do not have authorization to work until the EAD is actually issued.

    Assuming that your adjustment of status application was based on marriage to a U.S. citizen and properly filed (and no outstanding requests for further evidence) you can expect your EAD to be issued within 90 days of the date your application was filed -- typically much sooner.

    Good luck.

    Peter J. Loughlin, Esq.

    Note: The above answer is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney client relationship is created unless a retainer is signed by the attorney and the client.

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  • Will my unpaid debts in UAE affect my immigration visa in USA?

    I worked in Dubai for almost 2 years then went back to my home country. I have unpaid debts and now my immigration visa is soon to be processed. Will this be a cause of denial of my visa in the USA? The petitioner is my dad who is a citizen of US.

    Peter’s Answer

    In most countries merely having unpaid debt's is not a criminal offense and therefore does not generally cause inadmissibility issues. To be certain, however, I think it may be worth consulting with a UAE lawyer to be certain that your particular circumstances do not in fact constitute a crime under UAE law. Again, I think it highly unlikely that you will find this to be a criminal issue, but for your peace of mind, best to be sure, yes?

    Good luck to you.

    Peter J. Loughlin, Esq.
    This answer is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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  • ICE Detanee with old green card

    A relative had a warrent for his arrest for unpaid tickets. After taken into custody he was them transferred to ICE facility in Florence, AZ. We have not been in contact with him since his transfer. My question is can he proceed to file the I-90...

    Peter’s Answer

    The quick answer is that if he is a lawful permanent resident LPR (was issued a green card) he should still retain his status even if his green card is long past the renewal date. So unless his status was revoked somehow, I think he should be able to file an I-190 for a new card.

    I am, however, more concerned as to exactly why he is being detained. You state that it is because of an arrest on a warrant for unpaid tickets but I suspect that there may be some more serious arrests/convictions that have placed him in jeopardy of losing his LPR status and being removed from the United States.

    It is important to find out the exact charges so he may better defend against them. You really should obtain legal advice from a competent immigration attorney in your area.

    This answer is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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  • I am a US citizen married to a UK citizen of about 10 months who has been comming over on the VWP..

    We were told he couldn't stay here on the VWP and would have to apply for a CR1. We have since learned that he can stay with the filing of an I-130 but he only has about 2 weeks left on his VWP would he be illegal if he stay past while we gather t...

    Peter’s Answer

    Recently USCIS has begun to take a sticker approach in cases such as yours. If you are going to file for adjustment of status in the U.S. you are probably better off doing so before your spouse's 90-day departure date--and not just the I-130, but the related adjustment application(s) as well. (But see my discussion below about VWP intent).

    If you file after the 90 days, your spouse would then be in violation of the VWP regulations and I would then encourage filing as soon as possible because the risk increases of his being held in violation, issued a notice to appear in immigration court, etc, which may lead to the USCIS officer denying his adjustment of status application.

    Several years ago you probably would have little such risk, but as I said there seems to be a growing policy change in this area.

    In additional, as an aside, you should also be aware that your spouse may be questioned as to his intentions when he last entered under the VWP -- was it for pleasure/tourism? When one enters under the VWP that is the permissible intention---it is not permissible to enter under the VWP under a pretext for the purpose of filing for adjustment of status--though one can certainly form develop that intention after they arrive here.

    I say this because some examiners do question applicants about their initial intentions when they last entered the U.S.

    Also, USCIS offices sometimes have local polices that may differ from region to region and office to office. As such I think you should consult an immigration attorney in your local area of Virginia Beach ASAP.

    Of course your spouse may depart within the 90 days as is required and then consular file from abroad for his CR-1 green card/ visa or file for a K-3 visa which is sometimes quicker in terms of his getting back to the U.S.

    This answer is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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  • I worked illegally and got married with a U.S. citizen. Will it be a problem to ask for a green card? How can I fix it?

    I worked illegally and got married with a U.S. citizen. Will it be a problem to ask for a green card? How can I fix it?

    Peter’s Answer

    There are two issues present in your question.

    The first is that it is currently the policy of the Department of Homeland Security/ USCIS to forgive unlawful work for adjustment of status applicants who are immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen.

    As the spouse of a U.S. citizen, you are an immediate relative. We have filed many of cases like yours and always advise the immediate relative/foreign national to fully disclose any unlawful work. Not doing so would likely put you at great risk of being denied or, even if approved, having your status later revoked if your failure to disclose information is discovered and deemed material.

    The second, and perhaps more important of the two is that you must be careful answer the questions in your application(s) honestly. If you are later determined to have lied about or intentionally not disclosed material facts you not only risk not being approved, but ultimately being removed from the United States.

    This answer is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

    Best of luck!

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  • I am US Green Card holder living overseas .How long out of the year I am allowed to stay outside the US?

    I got my green card in 2/2/2008 and left the US for overseas after we lost the house and our 2 vehicles in addition to my job due to a long battle with cancer.My wife is a US citizen.How long I am allowed to stay outside of the US out of the year ...

    Peter’s Answer

    A “green card,” or rather, a lawful permanent residence card is issued to allow holders to live and work in the United States. It is not uncommon for green card holders to return to their county for a visit, staying longer than planned—and end up losing their green card privileges—even in situations such as yours.

    Typically a green card holder who has been abroad for more than a year may face questioning by an immigration officer when returning to the U.S. The answers to those questions may lead to immigration removal proceedings on the grounds of having abandoned their permanent residence status.

    How Long an Absence is Too Long?
    Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer. Many people believe staying outside the country for one year will trigger issues of abandonment of their green card, but this is not actually true. The law does not in fact specify a particular period of absence. While it is true that the one year rule is a good benchmark, it is important to understand that one’s absence from the U.S. for less than one year may lead to a finding of abandonment while another’s absence of more than one year may not.

    The reason for this is that the law actually looks to your intent rather than a specific period of absence. That said, an absence of one year or more would certainly be a factor in considering whether or not you had the intent to abandon your permanent residence status. The key to avoiding or to prevailing on the abandonment issue then turns to establishing that the absence was for a temporary visit only and that there was no intent to abandon your lawful permanent residence status. The actual time spent abroad is but one factor, albeit an important one, in determining your intent.

    Factors in Determining Abandonment of Your Green Card
    In avoiding and/or defending a charge of abandonment of green card privileges, it then becomes important for you to know some factors the government will consider in determining your intention:

    • Temporary Purpose of Your Stay Abroad
    • Employment
    • Family Ties in the U.S.
    • Maintaining a Home Residence in the U.S
    • Financial Ties in the U.S. (.e.g., bank account, real property)

    Reentry Permit:
    Although it is too late now, you might have filed for a reentry permit before you departed the United States. That said, even if you had done this, obtaining a reentry permit is not an absolute guaranty that you would not be challenged with abandonment of permanent residence, but rather makes it less likely. You should always be prepared to demonstrate as many of the factors described above should you be faced with defending your green card status.

    Bottom line, you may be able to overcome the charge of abandonment but I think you will need detailed evidence your intent not to abandon your status.

    For purposes of Naturalization ONLY -- Once you have remained outside of the United States for more than one year you break the continuity of residence for naturalization purposes and must wait 4 years and a day to apply for naturalization, or 2 years and a day if they obtained permanent residence by marriage to a U.S. Citizen. (See 8 CFR 316.5(c)(1)(ii)) (Subject to physical presence and residency rules).

    This answer is for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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