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Jeffrey Paul Larson

Jeffrey Larson’s Answers

16 total


  • Can my fiance apply for a green card? and would he have to leave the US?

    My fiance and I are getting married in June 2010. He came here from Mexico as an Illegal alien. His parents brought him in 1998 when he was 12 years old. Since then, he has gone to school, graduated, went to college and is about to graduate. We m...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Generally speaking, under current law if a person enters without inspection (illegally) they cannot adjust their status even if they marry a US citizen, contrary to the law existing up until April 30, 2001. Consequently, you fiance (soon to be husband) may have to leave the country to consular process to obtain an immigrant visa. Upon entry, he will be given resident status. If your fiance has accrued unlawful presence (our of status of more than one year in the US) and then voluntarily departs (to obtain an immigrant visa) he may be subject to a 10-tear bar to returning. However, there are insufficient facts to know whether a bar applies, as an exception may exist, however remote. Waivers for bars to inadmissibility because of prior unlawful presence do require a showing of extreme hardship to a US citizen spouse, but the good news is that there are indications that the burden of proof is somewhat more relaxed for Mexican citizens processing at the US Consulate in Juarez, Mexico, than for persons processing in other countries abroad. If he has no DUI or drinking-related offenses and no "serious" criminal issues, a waiver may be possible to obtain if it is thorough and well-prepared. An attorney can be most helpful in preparing the waiver , as well as filing the immigrant petition with the USCIS and filing/[preparing all the paperwork and supporting documentation for visa processing in Mexico.

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  • Help Please. Asylum

    I officially filed asylum on March 8th, 2010. Got Action of Notice for finger print. I already did fingerprint at Soiux Falls, SD. I live in Pipestone, MN. Until today, I have not received asylum interview notification date yet (been 41 days). I c...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Although the Chicago Asylum Office had recently announced a concerted effort to schedule asylum interviews within weeks of receipt, often times an interview is not scheduled for several months (I had a recent case was pending 9 months before an interview was scheduled). There is no "required" time in which a case must be adjudicated. A relatively brief time has passed between the time you filed your asylum case and today therefore it cannot be assumed there is a "problem" with your case or that it has been lost.

    You can have your case adjudicated earlier if you are willing to travel to Chicago for an interview, otherwise you must wait for asylum officers to make the circuit ride to Minneapolis (Bloomington) which generally happens at least every two months. An attorney may be useful in inquiring about the status of your case but there is no magic that a lawyer can perform that wil make your case be adjudicated at at earlier date simply because you are represented by counsel.

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  • Petty theft got dismissed , could I still get deported.

    I was caught shoplifting merchandise worth about $7 10 years ago on a military base. After completing a shoplifters course, the case got dismissed , there was no prosecution from the military. My question is: since my case got dismissed and there ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The short answer to your question is that there is a petty offense exception to commission of a crime involving moral turpitude (see Immigration & Nationality Act Section 212(a)(1)(A)(ii). You could Google this citation and read the text, however it may seem "Greek" to you and is therefore advisable to consul with an immigration attorney.

    Whether the exception applies to you, also assumes you have no other criminal convictions (broadly defined under the immigration laws to include admissions to facts, which if proven in a court of law, constitute the essential elements of a crime, whether a formal adjudication has occurred or not).

    Good moral character must be shown for at least five years before filing; you indicate that this occurred more than 10 years in the past, therefore this should not pose an impediment to naturalization either. It would be most helpful to have a written copy of any paperwork relating to the shoplifting offense and final resolution of the matter available to the consulting attorney to review and inspect as well, to ensure your understanding of the matter is in fact accurate.

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  • How long should my son wait ?

    I got my green card on April 2005 I applied for my son over 21 years on April 2006 I know that he has to wait under this category for 8-10 years . Now I will get my citizenship next month April 2010. will this affect his waaiting period maki...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Single Children above the age of 21 of legal permanent residents (LPRs) are subject to visa quota, and are known as the “Family 2B” category. Categories are detailed in the US Department of State Visa Bulletin, updated monthly at the following address: http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html . Family 2B category currently has a priority date of 02/01/2002, as of March 2010. When the priority date listed in the Visa Bulletin reaches or surpasses the date on which you filed your immigrant petition for your son, this signifies that an immigrant visa is available for your son to complete his processing and enter the US as an immigrant. Priority dates do not always advance parallel to “real time,” but can advance more quickly, stall, or even regress from time to time, therefore it is advisable to check the visa bulletin monthly.

    When you become a US citizen (USC) , your son will become a family 1st category beneficiary (single child of USC) however you must notify the USCIS of your naturalization, by writing to the Service Center (if the petition is still pending with the USCIS) or by writing to the National Visa Center (NVC-if the petition has already been approved and has been forwarded to the NVC), providing g copy of your naturalization certificate and a copy of the Notice of Action of the petition for your son. Family 1st Preference category currently has a priority date of 06/22/2004.

    Your son must NOT legally marry before you become a USC otherwise the current petition will be revoked and another petition will have to be refiled, which will be given a new priority date, prolonging the processing time and eventual arrival of your son in the US. AFTER you become a US citizen, your son may legally marry without causing your petition for him to be revoked, however he will then be placed in the Family 3rd preference category, currently having a priority date of 05/22/2001.

    It is unclear whether you have already filed your naturalization application since your fifth year of residency ends in April, however you should know that you can FILE your application 4 years and 9 months from the date you became an LPR (or 2 years and 9 months if LPR status was gained through marriage to a USC). This assumes other residency requirements have been met which do not prolong the period of residency required to file your application.

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  • Can i become a u.s resident if i have a employment authorization card?

    i been married for 4 years already with a u.s citizen and i got a daughter shes 2 i want to become a u.s resident but i dont know what to do? i been here in u.s.a since 1998 and im 21 from honduras. thank you

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    In order to be granted permanent resident in the U.S. through marriage to a US citizen under current law you must prove that you either 1) entered legally (with inspection, as evidenced by an I-94 card with an entry date stamp and/or the same stamp appearing in your passport or other evidence that lawful entry was made); 2) a US citizen spouse filed an immigrant petition (Form I-130) on or before April 30, 2001; or 3) another immigrant petition was filed for you on or before April 30, 2001, approvable when filed, which priority date can be used to grandfather you under 245(i), permitting your adjustment of status.

    You mention that you have employment authorization already, which is not a sufficient basis standing alone, to guarantee adjustment of status in the US. A careful analysis must be made to determine the nature of your entry, determine if there are any periods of unlawful status and for how long, and determine if there are any other bars to adjustment (for a period of years or permanently) that may require the filing of a waiver(s) to overcome the ground(s) of inadmissibility.

    Another option (although not initially recommended) is to consular process to obtain an immigrant visa, including the filing of any waiver(s), if necessary. This course may be an option but must be carefully studied since you assume a risk that you may not be issued an immigrant visa / waiver, since granting any waiver is a discretionary matter (in this instance, weighing adverse factors from your immigration history with the extreme hardship your spouse or other family members may suffer if you are not allowed to return to the US).

    I strongly encourage you to consult with a qualified immigration lawyer who can fully explain all the issues in your case before you take any action (filing anything with the USCIS). It is important for you to first know what your options are, and then understand the pros and cons of each course of action before you do anything, so as not to prejudice your chances of accomplishing your goal of acquiring residence at the earliest possible time.

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  • How do I proof to the Immigration officer that our marriage is real

    I and my husband live in seperate country, how do I proof to the Immigration officer that our marriage is real. We have no joint account or joint property or joint bills except marriage certificate, wedding pictures and except me bearing his surna...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    How one proves the bona fides o f their relationship (Latin term for "good faith” referring to genuine intentions), can be established by submission of evidence that falls into two broad categories- either financial or social/emotional. The first category, financial, refers to the comingling of financial assets. Young persons and persons living in separate countries may come up short on financial evidence, otherwise available to persons already living in a shared residence within the US, but that is not to say other evidence Is not also available. In your case, I would suggest submitting copies of your jointly-filed federal income tax returns (you can claim your spouse as a dependent even if hey are still outside the US-get an ITIN number for them-by filing jointly you’ll also get the marital deduction and will owe less tax); you might also consider drafting and executing will(s) that list your spouse as the primary, if not sole beneficiary; list your spouse as your payable on death beneficiary for bank accounts and insurance policies.
    Regarding the social/emotional aspect of your relationship-if you have not already done so, you might consider both you and your spouse, along with family and friends who know one or both of you as a couple, to provide sworn statements attesting to the bona fides of your relationship. The obvious conclusion each statement should make is that your relationship is genuine, but the most important part of any statement is the real-life, factual basis upon which a conclusion is based. Instruct each person to tell a brief story that illustrates their opinion. Each statement should be unique. The statement should not appear as if hey are written by one person in a single sitting-each person can make their statement in their own voice, lending credibility to their opinion. Each person should clearly identify themselves, where they live, and how they know or are related to you. While not required, I would suggest each statement be notarized. It is generally of no use to include the line ,” If you have any question, feel free to contact me.” Most likely, no one will be contacted-this may not be possible to do nor is there time enough to chase after persons who make incomplete or confusing statements. Offer clear, concise statements that speak directly to the fact to be proved, so that the officer will give full credit to the opinion made. Other evidence of your social/emotional relationship might include copies of emails between yourselves; telephone records showing regular or extensive contact; and photos of yourselves in a variety of settings with other persons on a number of occasions over time(wedding photos are obvious but also probative, especially when there is a lavish, well-attended, or religious ceremony).

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  • How long can I stay in the USA after

    My hubby and I has just gotten married here in the US on Jan 30, 2010 and he is a US citizen and he has just filed I-130 and I-485 concurrently on Feb 8. I'm currently in the US under visitor visa and granted 6-month stay until July, 2010. Ca...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    The short answer to your question is, “Yes.-you may remain in the US while your adjustment application is pending.” If you reside in Minnesota, “one step” adjustment applications (adjustment based on marriage) are currently taking 8 to 10 weeks from filing to adjudication (interview for the green card). Cards are typically issue din 1 to 3 weeks after the interview.

    You don’t especially state, but you note that your B-2 status expired in July. Assuming you were given the “typical period of 6-month B-2, tourist status, you may have entered in January (just before you married) or perhaps you entered months earlier but renewed your B-2 status. A concern is if you entered in January and married within 30 days of entry, this calls into question your intention prior to coming to the United States on a B-2 visa. It raises the issue of possible visa-fraud – that you had intended all along to come to the US to be married and remain (in which case your spouse should have filed a K-1 fiancé petition prior to your marriage and entry into the US-assuming the requirements could have been met). If an adjudications officer makes a finding of fraud, you would have to file an I-601 waiver (or be prepared to do so) to remove this ground o inadmissibility. The presumption of fraud is rebuttable, but it is a discretionary decision that is sometimes made with widely differing results.

    If you applied for advance parole when filing your adjustment application, you are able to leave the country even after your lawful status expires in July 2010, while your adjustment application is pending (no green card issued yet) assuming you have not already accrued unlawful presence more than 180 days prior to the filing your adjustment application. Beware-the USCIS may issue advance parole documents to persons who are not eligible for advance parole even with a document that facially suggests they may return to the US under advance parole. If there is ANY doubt if you can effectively use advance parole, contact a lawyer before you leave the US not after your departure-that may be too late!

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  • Can i marry my boyfriend who is being deported?

    My boyfriend and I have been together over a year, and we had planned to get married, but because of his status, we thought we had to go get married in his country. He had been given the chance to voluntarily deport, and missed the deadline. Now...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    You may be able to legally marry your fiancé in the US but logistically speaking, this may be difficult, if not impossible to accomplish, since specific rules of the jail where your fiancé is incarcerated will dictate if a marriage “behind bars” is allowed. Because your boyfriend overstayed a grant of voluntary departure, he should almost certainly be incarcerated until he is physically deported from the county, making it more difficult for the marriage to occur.

    Based on the facts you’ve revealed, your fiancé will require at least two waivers to return to the US –one for an order of deport (the grant of voluntary departure converted into a removal order when he overstayed his period of authorized stay) and another waiver will be needed for unlawful presence in the US (but the period of unauthorized presence is unknown, which dictates a 3 or 10 year, or possible permanent bar with the opportunity to file a waiver after 10 years ). Moreover, there may be other grounds of inadmissibility requiring a waiver, such as the commission of certain criminal acts. The waivers likely required for your fiancé to return to teh US are available only to spouses of US citizens, not fiancés of US citizens, which dictates your processing option - filing of an immigrant petition and either "normal" consular processing or K-3 processing.

    It is important to note that waivers are discretionary and not required to be given simply because one applies. This is to say that the consular officer will weigh both positive and hardship factors against the negative factors in any given case, and then render a decision. While there is an element of risk when applying for a waiver , your attorney might be able to reasonably assess the likelihood of success based upon similar waiver cases that were approved

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  • Can LPR's petition wife who is already in the US?

    1) will an LPR be able to petition a spouse who is already in the US? how long will it take? the spouse overstayed her tourist visa. 2) the spouse might also be able to get an employer to petotion her (she is a nurse), if she does how long will t...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    1) An LPR can petition for a spouse already in the US, however, filing and even approval of an immigrant petition does not confer legal status upon the non-LPR spouse. Spouses of LPR's are subject to visa quota, meaning they must wait to adjust their status to obtain a green card). Currently spouses of LPR’s who are beneficiaries of immigrant petitions must wait approximately three years before they are eligible for resident status (this processing time varies and can be checked monthly in the current Visa Bulletin, published by the US Department of State). In the meantime, they must remain in lawful status. You state that the spouse is already out of status; therefore she will be unable to adjust her status in the US as the spouse of an LPR (with certain exceptions). However, if the LPR becomes a US citizen (USC), as long as the non-LPR spouse can prove they entered the country with inspection (i.e. I-94 card, stamp in passport), they can obtain LPR status even if they are out-of-status when applying to become and LPR. They are no longer subject to visa quota (no wait time to file) and they do not have to be in lawful status up until residence is granted. Note: it is unlawful to remain in the US out-of-status and a person assumes certain risks if they fall out of status, relying upon adjustment being granted at sometime in the future.

    2) As the spouse overstayed her tourist visa, she is out of status and with very few exceptions, will not be able to stay in the US and change her status based on an employer’s petition for her. If she leaves the country to consular process for an approved employment-based petition, she may likely be inadmissible for 3 or 10 years, have a permanent bar subject to being able to file a waiver after 10 years, or she may have no bar as a matter of law but may be denied the nonimmigrant visa nonetheless as a matter of discretion by a consular officer.

    3) If an employer is seeking to hire the spouse as an H-1B skilled worker, an immigrant petition filed by you should have no affect on the employment based petition since non-immigrant intent is not considered for H-1B petitions/visas, even though it is a nonimmigrant visa and nonimmigrant visas generally require a showing of nonimmigrant intent.

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  • If my boyfriend is married in mexico how can it affect if he gets married in the USA again?

    he is not with his wife about 4 years ago and his wife started the prosses of divorced and he cant find out weather he is devorced, and we want 2 get married is it elligal

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    One can be legally married to only one person at a time in the United States. Your boyfriend's divorce from his current wife must be complete and final before you can be lawfully married to one another. If his current marriage is not completely dissolved when you marry one another (even if this fact is discovered at a later date), then even it “appears” you were married, in fact, you will not be married. Your fiancé or immigrant petition for your fiancé or husband, as the case may be, requires your husband can legally me married to you, which in turn requires that all prior marriages have ended by death, annulment or divorce.

    You may attempt to find out if a petition for divorce has been filed with local authorities at the place where your boyfriend knows his wife is living or where she has last habitually resided. If good faith efforts have been made to ascertain the status of any marriage dissolution proceeding prove unsuccessful, he may be able to file for divorce in the US (assuming her is in the US) as long as residence and other jurisdiction requirements are met. How to go about this process is best answered by an attorney practicing family law in the state in which your boyfriend resides, as marriage/divorce and family laws vary from state-to-state.

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