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JoAnn Lois Barten
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JoAnn Barten’s Answers

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  • I filled out a I-601a, & am getting ready to submit it to immigration. Do i have to leave the US for my scheduled appointment?

    I am in the process of getting my green card. I married a US citizenship in 2007. Right now I am in the process of sending in my I-601a, & getting a pre-approval so i can leave the U.S. for just a few days or even a day to present myself to my sch...

    JoAnn’s Answer

    Hi - I saw you were from Storm Lake near where I live. Sometimes there are alternatives to leaving the U.S. and it would be beneficial to review the possibility with a competent attorney that specializes in immigration law. Further, I have been able to expedite consular processing in grave cases, but I have never seen it less than a week of processing. You could not count on one or two day processing. The Service Center is suppose to analyze inadmissibility issues with the Provisional Waiver. However they may miss something, new information may come to light, medical exam problems, etc. by way of example. The Consulate has the option of denying the immigrant visa even with an approved Provisional Waiver. I hope it all goes well for you, especially with the medical conditions your husband is facing. JoAnn L. Barten, Attorney, Ames, Iowa

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  • I am a US citizen and want to know whats the best way to get my parents a legal status in the US?

    I am 22 years old and obtained citizenship through the military. I am in the Marine Corps. My Parents have 4 children. 3 born in the US. I am the 4th and oldest. I want to know whats the best way to go about getting them a legal status in the US...

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    Hi - The Des Moines USCIS office says they will grant it, but sparingly. Fortunately the Director of the Des Moines Office is ex-military himself. PIP is an option to look at and does not require leaving the U.S. to obtain the work permit. You will want to have their situations reviewed by a competent immigration attorney before applying to make sure there is no other alternative such as Deferred Action for Parental Authority announced last month. Good luck, JoAnn Barten, Ames, Iowa

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  • Hello! Is there anything like a grace period which allows us to remain in the US while the case for Adj. of status is pending?

    Hello! I'm currently on my OPT STEM ext. which expires on 31 october 2014. I will be marrying my fiancee (US citizen) next month and immediately start applying for an adjustment of status. So if I apply for it in the middle of august, I will r...

    JoAnn’s Answer

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    Hi, I saw you asked your question from Waterloo. I am located in Ames nearby. The prior answer is correct, remaining in the U.S. is allowed while the application is pending. You may not travel abroad until authorized or your application will be deemed abandoned and you would be forced to consular process. Best wishes on your upcoming wedding. JoAnn Barten

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  • Change of name after Green card

    Will there be any immigration problems if a husband decides to change his last name to any name of his choice after getting his green card ?

    JoAnn’s Answer

    I saw that you asked the question from Ankeny, I'll be there for my class reunion this weekend. My office is in Ames. I might be off-base with this answer however, a thought occurred to me about your marriage certificate. In Iowa, it indicates groom's name before marriage and then groom's name after marriage. The name after marriage is a legal name change ecognized by USCIS. If that is the name he wants then he would not need to change his name in state court. if he wants a completely different name then it requires obtaining the court order for name change in Polk County. Then file for the updated card with USCIS.

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  • Does it matter if the alien spouse's I-94 is expired at the time the "I-130 Petition for Alien Relative" is filed?

    I'm a U.S. Citizen planning to get married to a foreign international student. Her I-94 will expire on July 21, 2014. So if the I-130 is easier (or more likely to get accepted) if it is filed before the I-94 expires, then we will try to get marr...

    JoAnn’s Answer

    Best wishes on your upcoming nuptials. I saw you were asking your question from Iowa City. My office is in Ames and by coincidence I am going to be in Iowa City tomorrow for another case. I am surprised the I-94 card doesn't say D/S for duration of status instead of a fixed end date. With D/S, students do not accrue unlawful presence unless they work illegally or there is a finding of a violation. For F-1 students who have the added complication of trying to apply for residency, there are issues which can be problematic. Traveling abroad during OPT after graduation, or traveling abroad on F-1 before receiving advance parole, and overstaying the F-1 program dates on the I-20 before filing the residency application are a few examples. If she is no longer valid in SEVIS after July 21st you may find an Immigration Customs Enforcement agent on your doorstep soon thereafter. I do suggest you get some help. You want to start your new life together right. JoAnn L. Barten

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  • Is there any way I won't have to leave the country.To get a green card

    I've been here for 11 years with out leaving the country. My husband is a resident and I have two children that were born in Mexico and one in the United States

    JoAnn’s Answer

    I saw you were asking the question from Sioux City, Iowa. My office is in Ames, Iowa. To have your husband sponsor you for residency in the U.S. without leaving, you need to be in the U.S. in legal status OR be the beneficiary of a petition filed on or before January 14, 1998. If that is not your situation, then there are a number of follow-up questions needed to see if you qualify under another immigration program. You will want to have your case analyzed further which is beyond the scope here. Best wishes to you and your family.

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  • Can my father as a usa citizen n my mother as a resident can apply for my daughters citizenship when she was born in Mexico?

    my daughter shes only 7 months old

    JoAnn’s Answer

    Hi, I am an immigration attorney in Ames, Iowa and saw your question. The answer to your question as posed is "maybe." There are quite a few more facts that need to be analyzed to know whether your daughter may immigrate. By way of example, we don't know the age of your child, date of entry, your status, etc. You need your situation analyzed carefully by a competent immigration attorney. Buena suerte! JoAnn Barten

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  • Biometric Fingerprints Expired

    I just moved to Iowa and I have an ongoing case immigration case in Los Angeles. I need to get my biometric fingerprints done but infopass only gives me the nebraska service center. I want to know if there is another place closer in Iowa or state ...

    JoAnn’s Answer

    Hi,
    Welcome to Iowa,. Have your attorney email the Des Moines inquiry for lawyers email so he or she can request you go to Des Moines for fingerprinting.
    JoAnn Barten, Ames, Iowa

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  • I entered U.S legally and after a couple of years got married to U.S. citizen. My I-130 application had been approved.

    My interview will be in U.S. Embassy in Manila but I am already here in the U.S. Will the interview be cancelled and will the Embassy return my documents which were sent to them by National Visa Center if the visa interview didn't happen?.

    JoAnn’s Answer

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    Hi Des Moines, Iowa,
    It does not sound like the NVC has been notified that you plan to file for residency in the U.S. If you want your documents returned to you, there is a form you can file making that request. Hopefully though you have a copy of everything you previously filed. Before filing your residency application in the U.S. you should have your case reviewed by a knowledgable immigration attorney. Best wishes to you as you go through the immigration process. JoAnn L. Barten, Immigration Attorney, Ames, Iowa

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  • Will I be able to re-enter after a vacation

    Came to this country in 2003 on student visa but didn't attend school (worked instead). Got caught shoplifting in 2005 (before getting green card - dismissed after 120 hours of community service. Got caught again in 2006 and had to pay a fine. ...

    JoAnn’s Answer

    Hi Daventport, Iowa
    Yes, based upon your description of your situation. Until or unless you are granted a waiver and new/different immigration status, if you travel it is very risky should you want to return. Yours is a complicated situation and you should develop your legal options plan with a knowledgable immigration attorney. Best wishes to you as you figure out what is best for you. JoAnn Barten, Ames, Iowa

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