My future wife will be filling out the i485 once we get married and I'll be filing the i130 with it. She is worried she'll somehow be denied because we are both students and have no real income right now. Is this legitimate grounds for denying a green card to a married couple in school? We're both attending a very prestigious college and I'll be graduating within the next year.
Side question: She is currently on a student visa. If she decides to not attend school this coming semester but she has a pending i485 application. Which I believe gives her an immigration visa number by default once its filed. She would not be forced to leave the country because of lack of school attendance right?
Your wife can be denied a green card if you do not meet the poverty guidelines for income. You can get a joint sponsor who is a citizen or permanent resident that does earn sufficient income to joint sponsor her. Once the 485 is filed she will not have to continue going to school. Consult an experienced immigration attorney.
Best wishes with your upcoming marriage. Generally, a foreign national who has entered the U.S. lawfully and with inspection, such as with a student visa, and who later marries a U.S. citizen, may apply to adjust status in the U.S. to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (to get a "Green Card") regardless of whether she may have overstayed her visa. Upon filing an application for adjustment of status, the foreign national's status will become "applicant for permanent residence," entitling her to remain in the U.S. while her case is pending. An application for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD or "work permit") should be filed simultaneously with the application for adjustment of status, and if she is in valid status at the time of filing, she also may apply for Advance Parole (a "travel document") for use while the case is pending.
It is not uncommon for a couple to become married while both are students. Where the U.S. citizen spouse does not have sufficient income to meet the requirements, a joint sponsor will be needed to supply an Affidavit of Support. The joint sponsor generally may be any U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident with sufficient documented income who is willing to agree to safeguard the U.S. government from having to supply needs-based assistance to the new Permanent Resident for 10 years.
Especially with the complication of needing a joint sponsor, it would be wise to engage an immigration attorney to assure that the marriage-based case is properly prepared and persuasively documented. Many immigration law firms, including mine, offer legal representation on a "flat fee" basis so that a couple can know and budget for the total costs from the very beginning of the project, and a few immigration law firms, including mine, offer an initial consultation free of charge.
[Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]
David N. Soloway
Frazier, Soloway & Kennedy, P.C.
1800 Century Place, Suite 100
Atlanta, Georgia 30345 www.fspklaw.com
404-320-7000 * 1-877-232-5352 * firstname.lastname@example.org
You will need a joint sponsor. Yes she can stay once the application is filed. However, if for some reason she was denied, she would need to leave the country. Of course you can reapply, but you're rolling the dice-- like shooting craps in Vegas. One option is to stay in school-- the conservative option.
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