Married But Never Filed For Adjustment Of Status, Will Wife Be Denied Green Card?
This is actually something that happens quite often to couples who enter on a K-1 visa. Your number one priority should be to file for adjustment of status as soon as you get married. If, for whatever reason, you do not file right away, you then run the risk of your new spouse being out of status in the U.S. Although the USCIS does not have a specific filing deadline for adjustment of status, it is important to file soon after the wedding because it may take months to process.
There are many reasons for a couple to not file for adjustment of status on time:
- Money – if money is a concern, you can apply for a waiver of the filing fee if you can prove you need financial assistance.
- Forgetful – if you forget to file – well – that’s just ridiculous after all the immigration paperwork you have already had to file by this point. Get it together!
- Vacations – if you and your spouse went on a long honeymoon, this would delay your filing but not by much.
As you can see, most of these reasons are not sufficient to really cause too much of a delay. If it has only been a few months since you married, it is best to begin putting all the paperwork together now and file as soon as you can.
My Wife Has No Green Card And Has Been In The U.S. For Years
The fact that you wife has been in the U.S. for so long and has not needed a green card to work, travel and drive is impressive. In this case, your best bet would be to gather up your documents and file adjustment of status for your wife as soon as you can. Without a valid green card, your wife will not get all the benefits of living in the United States.
If money is an issue, you may need to file a waiver of the filing fee if you qualify. Otherwise, borrow money from family or friends to get the process rolling. Do not hesitate to file adjustment of status because of lack of money! Immigration benefits are so important for your spouse and it should never be taken for granted.
Most, if not all, immigrants want to get their green cards once they arrive in the U.S. It would allow them to live a normal life (legally) and be able to do everything that any other U.S. resident can. Your wife will also be able to file for citizenship after the 3rd anniversary of her green card, which would then give her the right to vote and apply for a U.S. passport.
My Husband Refuses To File For Adjustment Of Status After Marriage
In some cases, the U.S. citizen/LPR is the cause of the delay to file for adjustment of status and this could be due to a number
of reasons. One of the most common reasons is control. Yes, control.
It is a sad reality that some American husbands want to have complete control over their foreign wives so that they have little chance of asking for a divorce. Many men believe that they can bring a woman to America as their household servant and cook, clean and care for them. This type of relationship is very toxic and the wife needs to look for other options.
If you are being verbally, emotionally or physically abused by your husband, there is a way out. You need to contact your local police station and file a complaint. Then look for local women’s shelters or stay with friends or family in the area to protect yourself from immediate danger.
Once you are safe, you can begin to gather evidence of the abuse for your VAWA case (violence against women act) with the USCIS. You do not need your husband to file for adjustment of status if you were abused. This act was put into law to protect family members from being at the mercy of their abuser during the immigration process.
If you can, contact a local immigration lawyer and see what other options you may have. Some lawyers offer a free consultation that will give you some helpful advice. You may also be able to get assistance from low cost local attorney’s that work with low income individuals (some may be law students).
You also don’t need to worry about having a long period of overstay (being out of status) because it is automatically waived when you file for VAWA.
Never Filed Adjustment Of Status And We Are Now Separated
This is a situation that many couples find themselves in, and the solution can be complicated. First, is this separation going to be permanent? If not, wait it out and go to counseling to work on your marriage before filing for adjustment of status. If you are headed towards divorce, then applying for adjustment of status will be more difficult.
Once divorced, you (the immigrant) have no right to a green card or to stay in the U.S. This is why it is so important to apply right after marriage! Filing for AOS on your own after divorce will be nearly impossible to get approved because the reason you moved to the U.S. was to be with your partner. If this reason is no longer valid, why would you want to stay?
The only thing that would save you is if you have plenty of evidence of a bona fide marriage during the period after marriage. However, this still does not guarantee that you will be approved for a green card. Without a green card, you would not be able to work, get a drivers license or travel outside the U.S. Essentially you are considered an illegal resident and can be deported at any moment.
If you have children, it is best to seek the advice of an immigration attorney that will give you all your options. Do not ignore the fact that you need to adjust your status one way or another. You cannot marry a different U.S. citizen/LPR and expect to be able to adjust your status with them. It does not work that way, you need the original petitioner.
Now if you have evidence of abuse, you can adjust your status through VAWA but this is a long process and you are required to provide a lot of evidence to get approved. This situation is serious and you definitely need people around you that are supportive and loving. It can cause a lot of stress, heartache and uncertainty.