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What steps do I need to follow to get my husband his green card? I am a Us Citizen and my husband has lived here for 6 years.

Denver, CO |

Me and my husband have been married for a couple months. My husband has been here for 6 years now he came to do US unlawfully.and on April of last year he got a DUI. He just finished paying, doing his DUI classes and everything has been done and dismissed. I want to start the process to get his green card but am not sure what exactly to do. WHat forms do I need? I also want to apply for the I601 A. Would I qualify for that if I have a child from a previous marriage who cannot leave the coutry and I am her primary caregiver.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Does your husband have any other criminal issues? He came to the U.S. for the first time 6 years ago, is that correct? Any problems at the border? How, exactly, did he enter (I know it was unlawfully, but there are different ways of entering unlawfully)? Has your husband ever lied about his immigration status for any reason, including claiming to be a U.S. citizen? Do you have any criminal record? Were you married before? Was he married before?

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37 comments

Asker

Posted

My husband does not have ANY other criminal record. He came 6 years and has been here ever since, he has had no problems with immigration. He paid someone to bring him over the border without being seen. And he has not lied about his immigration status ever, when he was in Jail for his DUI he thought he would get deported but for some reason they let him out instead and put him in probation for a year. Like I said he paid all the court fees and did everything he was asked to clear the DUI.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Was he scheduled to see an immigration judge?

Asker

Posted

No he never was scheduled for any of that. I have no criminal record and have never been married before

Asker

Posted

he has not been married before either

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Well, you're going to start the process by filing an immigrant visa petition for him, on Form I-130. You will be attempting to prove to immigration that your marriage is real, and not a fake marriage designed just to get him a green card.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Now, what you'd LIKE to do is have him file an application for a green card in the U.S. on the basis of your approved I-130.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

But he's not eligible to adjust his status in the U.S. because he was not "inspected and admitted or paroled" the last time he entered the U.S.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Instead, he's going to have to apply for an immigrant visa from abroad.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

But there's this horrible Catch-22 in the immigration laws.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Someone who has been in the country unlawfully for a year or more who then departs the U.S. is ineligible to return for ten years. We call this the ten year bar.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

The bar applies EVEN IF the person leaves the U.S. to apply for an immigrant visa, like your husband would be doing.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Fortunately, there's a waiver, so SOME people may be able to return in a shorter period of time.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

The waiver is not designed to help the immigrant.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

It is designed to help certain "qualifying relatives" who will face an extreme level of hardship if the immigrant is not allowed into the U.S. for ten years.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Qualifying relatives include a spouse or parent who is a green card holder or citizen.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

You are a qualifying relative.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Now, the way the process used to work is this:

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

The person would go to his home country and apply for a visa. He would be denied, because of the ten year bar. He would then be told to come back in a couple of days and file a waiver. In some rare cases, the waiver would be approved on the spot, and the person would return to the U.S. as a green card holder in a few days.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

But in the vast majority of cases, the waiver application would need to be reviewed by the government.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

And the review process itself could take several months, or, in some cases, even years.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

So, you had this ill-designed system where, even in cases where a waiver was actually approved, the visa applicant was still separated from his "qualifying relative" for a significant period of time.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

In other words, the waiver system,which was designed to prevent hardship, still caused signficant hardship.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

The process I just described was the one involving the "normal" ULP waiver, or the I-601.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Just recently, the government announced a new way of doing things for certain immigrants.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

In those cases where the only "issue" in the case is the ten year unlawful presence bar, the visa applicant will now be able to apply for the waiver first, before he leaves the U.S.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Once the waiver is approved, then he finally leaves the U.S. to apply for the actual visa.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

This is the I-601A process.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

It makes so much more sense because the visa applicant knows ahead of time that he's almost certainly going to be let back in, and the separation from loved ones is minimized.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Now, in your husband's case, the DUI could be problematic.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

It is not an automatic disqualifer.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

But if USCIS thinks it might trigger another ground of inadmissibilty, then it won't consider the provisional waiver,and your husband would have to to the "normal" waiver.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Is any of this making sense?

Asker

Posted

Yes it ask makes sense..... Its pretty much what i had read.... We wee told that usually one Dui does not affect, that it takes 2 DUIs. But ago the steps to take for the I160 would be to file that now before filling for his visa or anything else? And what would be an estimate of cost for ago this process..... And since you are here in Colorado, what would be the cost to meet with u? Could you help us with the info i have shared with u?

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

The DUI issue is one that is still not completely clear. On the one hand, a single DUI is generally not something that will prevent someone from getting a green card. But USCIS won't be looking for absolute bars, instead it will be looking for a "reason to believe" that the Department of State MIGHT turn down a visa application for a reason other than the unlawful presence. So, in that sense, I disagree with Ms. Pollak who says that a DUI creats an absolute bar to going through the I-601A process. It's an issue, but not necessarily one that will lead to a denial of the I-601A.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

The first step in the process is to file the I-130. This is the relative petition, in which you'll attempt to prove to the government that your marriage is real. Only if that petition is approved would you proceed to the provisional waiver.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

The filing fee for the I-130 is $420.

Mark Robert Barr

Mark Robert Barr

Posted

Yes, we could handle the case. I'd ask that you call to make a consultation so that we could meet you and your husband and review the matter in more detail.

Posted

Your husband does not qualify for the 601A as he has a DWI. He could apply for the 601 waiver possibly. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

What is the difference between a 601A and a 601 waiver.

Posted

To start the process, you would first have to file an Immigrant Petition on your spouse's behalf and get that approved. Please consult an experienced immigration lawyer about the process.

Contact immigration attorney Gintare Grigaite, Esq. at 201-471-7989, located in New York and New Jersey. Contact immigration attorney Gintare Grigaite, Esq. for a free consultation about new Immigration Reform policies. Answers on AVVO do not constitute legal advice and do not form attorney-client relationship. Always consult an attorney for a legal advice.

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