Immigration and Family Law

Immigration and divorce negotiations - mediation frederick md

Wise Family Law Division dedicated exclusively to the practice of family law in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and at the highest level. Their attorneys are regarded as leaders in the field and recognized for their expertise and ethical standards. The firm is dedicated to helping clients and their families overcome whatever challenges they might encounter including potential immigration matters. Wise Family Law Division has made a commitment to maintaining close relationships with the best legal professionals in every significant practice area so that they can make confident referrals and know their clients will be protected.

When a client has a possible immigration issue, the attorneys at Grossman Law, LLC serve as a trusted resource. Grossman Law has generously outlined the following general considerations for when immigration and family law converge:

The process of divorce and separation is trying on all parties. But when one or both spouses are not U.S. citizens, the immigration consequences of the failed marriage may make matters even more complicated. Grossman Law attorneys are well versed in the immigration consequences of separation and divorce and are available to guide clients through these difficult times.

You may need immigration counseling during the following stages of marriage, divorce, and separation:

Marriage-Based Immigrant Visa Petition:

A U.S. citizen may petition for a green card for his/her foreign-born spouse. As part of this process, U.S. immigration authorities will interview the couple to ensure that their marriage is “bona fide,” meaning generally that the couple loves each other and intends to build a life and a future together. Grossman Law regularly assists couples in preparing both the forms and documentation to help support a marriage-based petition for green card status. We will also prepare couples for their marriage-based interview and assist during the interview if requested.

If a couple separates or divorces prior to the approval of the green card application, it will impact the non-citizen’s ability to receive his/her green card. Grossman Law assists non-citizen Clients facing these types of issues. Often, this requires a comprehensive consultation to ascertain if the non-citizen is eligible for another alternative basis of obtaining immigration status in the U.S.

 

Removal of Conditions on Permanent Residency:

If a couple has been married for less than two years at the time the foreign spouse’s marriage-based immigrant visa (green card) is approved, the green card will be considered “conditional.” It will be valid only for two years (rather than for 10 years) and will require that the couple return to US immigration authorities two years later to request removal of the “conditions.”

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To remove the “conditions” on the foreign spouse’s Permanent Residency, the couple must jointly file supplemental evidence of the “bona fide” nature of their marriage, prior to the 2nd anniversary of the foreign spouse’s green card issuance. If the couple cannot file this petition together, this process becomes more complicated. It is possible for a foreign spouse to remove the conditions on his/her residency alone, in certain circumstances, including:

  • Death – the foreign-born spouse must prove that the marriage was valid and bona fide at the time it took place, but the U.S. citizen spouse has since passed away.
  • Divorce/Dissolution – the foreign-born spouse must prove that the marriage was valid and bona fide at the time it took place, but has since been legally terminated.
  • Abuse – the foreign-born spouse must prove that the marriage was valid and bona fide at the time it took place, but the U.S. citizen spouse has since abused or battered the foreign spouse.
  • Extreme hardship – the foreign spouse must establish that his/her removal would result in extreme hardship, meaning hardship at a level significantly greater than that encountered by other foreign nationals removed from the US. USCIS will only consider evidence arising during the two-year period of conditional residence.

Derivative Visa Status:

In marriages where both spouses are foreign-born, it is possible that one spouse’s immigration status derives from the other. Divorce will nullify the “derivative” spouse’s immigration status. When divorcing, the “derivative” spouse will need to evaluate how long s/he has to remain in the U.S. after the divorce is finalized. S/he will also want to evaluate if s/he has any other options to remain in the United States.

For example, consider the hypothetical case of Jane and David – citizens of South Africa who have been married for five years. When USCIS awarded Jane an H-1B visa based on her work as a chemical researcher, USCIS awarded David derivative (H-4) visa status, to enable the couple to come to the U.S. together. David’s visa status is based on his wife’s visa, so if Jane and David divorce, David will lose the basis for his visa status and will no longer be eligible for the H-4 visa.

Grossman Law attorneys help non-citizens facing the same situation like David, and help them explore other options to remain lawfully in the United States.

Domestic Violence:

Abused spouses or children who are not U.S. citizens may be eligible for a few different types of immigration relief:

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – where the abuser is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, the foreign spouse, child, or stepchild may self-petition for an immigrant visa and may be eligible for lawful permanent residency. VAWA beneficiaries are also eligible for waivers on certain grounds of inadmissibility. Despite the name, both men and women are eligible for VAWA status.
  • U-visa – If the abuser is not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, the noncitizen may be eligible for a different form of relief if s/he contacts law enforcement and assists in an investigation and, if necessary, criminal prosecution. (This relief is available to unmarry domestic partners as well as spouses). The non-citizen must show that s/he is the victim of a certain qualifying crime, which can include domestic violence or felonious assault. S/he must also obtain a certification from the relevant law enforcement agency or court to confirm victimization and helpfulness.

Additionally, a non-citizen who is charged with domestic violence – either criminally or in a civil protective order case – may find him/herself facing removal from the United States. Perpetrating domestic violence is a ground of inadmissibility, which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may use to initiate removal proceedings against certain immigrants.

 

Compliance with Custody Orders:

Violating a custody order and removing a U.S. citizen child from the United States may be considered international kidnapping. A parent who engages in these kinds of actions may face both criminal and civil immigration consequences (if the parent is not a U.S. citizen).

What Is an Ex Parte Custody Order? | legalzoom.com

Federal law prohibits a parent from removing a child from the United States or keeping a child outside the United States to interfere with another parent’s custodial rights. If convicted, the parent may face fines and imprisonment for up to 3 years.

Engaging in “international child abduction” also renders a person inadmissible to the United States, and may impact his/her ability to return to the United States, even if the person is a lawful permanent resident.

Grossman Law, LLC is a full-service immigration law firm located in Bethesda, Maryland that provides top-notch, professional, and compassionate legal advice and client service in all areas of immigration law. Whatever your immigration issue, Grossman Law attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and reputation to provide you with the quality representation you deserve.

For more information on how a divorce or separation might affect your immigration status or your family, please visit our website or call our office to set up a consultation: 240-403-0913.

Choosing Immigration Attorneys in Utah

Many people migrate to other countries for some reason. Some individuals relocate for employment, whereas others change the country for business purposes. No matter the reason, moving to another nation isn’t as easy as it appears. A ton of legalities and formalities need to be followed. A single mistake on your part could lead to problems. Your whole legwork will go waste when your application gets denied for mistakes or non-compliance. In such a situation, the services of immigration attorneys in Utah turn out to be life-saving. These experts will streamline your immigration process as desired.

Tips on choosing immigration attorneys in Salt Lake City Utah

Many potential migrants understand the importance of an immigration lawyer. Yet, most of them fail to pick the best one for the job. Why? Many folks make a hasty choice. Not all attorneys are worth your attention. When it comes to immigration lawyers, you only want the best. If you select the wrong attorney, you’ll find yourself in problems. Instead of making a hasty choice, it’s best to act sensibly. Here’s what to consider when assessing immigration attorneys.

Do some preliminary work

Migrants hardly do any legwork regarding the choice of the lawyer. They decide the new location for their specific purpose and focus on packing their belongings. When the time comes, they assess a couple of immigration attorneys in Utah and commit to the one they think fit. However, such a choice isn’t advisable.

You ought to do some homework on your end. For instance, collect all papers that determine your identity and credibility. Your birth certificate, tax ID, social security number, passport, and employment card could come in handy on this matter. Other important documents include your bank information, family details, real estate you own, and movable securities.

Above all, make sure you concentrate on specialized immigration attorneys. For example, if you wish to migrate to England, consider lawyers that specially deal with European immigration. Your little bit of legwork and attention will avoid hassles and save time later.

Prepare a list

Remember, immigration is a lengthy process. Too much is at stake. As such, you should only go for the best lawyer. To do that, cover the maximum number of immigration lawyers in Utah. The more experts you explore, the better the selection will be.

First of all, seek help from your close contacts. Those who’re familiar with reputed attorneys should come in handy. In addition to offering the necessary info, these folks could offer valuable insights into the immigration process. Plus, they might help you pick an ideal attorney.

As folks in your relations and acquaintances could be trusted, you might compile a big list of immigration attorneys in Utah through their help. Local directories, yellow pages, and travel magazines are also helpful. Scan popular magazines and directories and you may find a few reliable lawyers.

In addition to this, don’t miss out on the big net. Today, many people rely on information available online. Hit the web with suitable search words. Within moments, you may compile the names of trusted immigration attorneys in and around Utah County.

Credentials and experience

Many people, at this point, think that their job is over. They try to make a random choice. However, the search is finished, but the selection is not yet finalized. Unless you do that, your whole attempt will go in vain. Your job is actually half done.

You need to check the qualifications of immigration attorneys in Utah. While each attorney possesses the necessary qualifications, some lawyers are better than others. Go through the credentials of all attorneys minutely. Find out lawyers that carry a degree or a specialized course in immigration.

In addition to this, scan the experience of each expert. Are the attorneys fairly experienced? Never work with an immigration lawyer that’s new in the arena. Rather, focus on highly-qualified attorneys that carry a fair degree of experience and expertise in immigration.

Reviews and testimonies

Okay, you’ve verified the credentials and experience of immigration attorneys in Utah. Now what? Should you make your final choice based on qualifications or experience? No! Rather, you should proceed further with your selection process. Check the reputation of lawyers in your attention.

To do that, surf verified review sites and read reviews in the right category. Find out how people rate attorneys on your watch-list. Also, check the testimonials offered by each lawyer. Contact those testimonies and find out how the immigration process worked for them. Based on reviews and testimonials, narrow your checklist to highly-rated attorneys.

Support

When it boils down to moving to another nation, you need persistent support. Immigration is a tedious process and the formalities thereon could be daunting and cumbersome. You could get lost during the whole process. To ease your stress and legwork, you need someone who could offer continued support.

So, check the support of immigration attorneys in Utah. Find out how they respond to your queries. Also, figure out ways to contact them. As a general rule, concentrate on lawyers that offer immense support throughout the immigration procedure.

Fees

Cost could be a concern for many potential migrants. A higher cost could hold you back from choosing the best immigration lawyer. However, the wrong choice could lead you into problems. You might end up expending too much later. So, don’t make your final decision on fees alone. Rather, try to balance fees and service quality.

Furthermore, you may cut down your cost by comparing the charges of reliable attorneys. Obtain detailed estimates from various attorneys on your final list. Go through their service terms and clarify possible doubts. Finally, choose the best attorney that offers top of the line immigration services at the most economical charge.

Bottom line

Choosing the best immigration attorneys in Utah could be a task. Many points need your attention before making your ultimate choice. However, you may ease the legwork by adhering to the above advice. With helpful tips in your hand, you could easily choose the best lawyer dedicated to immigration.