Jamaica Magazine

Immigration: Part II: "Green Card" Permanent Residence (Frequently Asked Questions)

Written by Safiya Byars, Esq

For this month we will be discussing some common questions that we receive from prospective clients who have already filed their permanent residence “green card” application and their case is still pending.  

1. Question: My husband and I have already attended my green card interview. However, we just received another notice for a second interview. What is going on? Why does Immigration want to interview us again?

Answer: This is a very common question because Immigration is now requiring more second interviews. The second interview is normally known as the fraud interview. This means Immigration does not believe that there is sufficient evidence or testimony from you to prove that you and your husband have a genuine marriage. Every year Immigration has the task of trying to determine which marriages are real and which marriages are fraudulent. Marriage fraud is an  immigration violation and it can result in civil fines and jail time. In other words if your case denied for marriage fraud it will be very difficult if not impossible to obtain immigration benefits in the future. In addition, marriage fraud can lead to deportation. At this point, you will need to rebuild your case to now convince the Immigration Officer that you are in fact a real couple. This is a very high burden. You should consult or hire an attorney immediately. We handle “fraud interviews’ on  a consistent basis and we have been successful.

2. Question: We have completed our green card interview but Immigration has not made their decision and our case is still pending. Can we find out why Immigration has not made a decision? Can we expedite Immigration’s decision?

Answer: Once your green card interview(s) are complete you can always inquire about your immigration case by sending a written letter or visiting your local Immigration office where you were interviewed. In order to visit the local immigration office you will need to make an appointment via the infopass system that is listed on the USCIS’ website. http://infopass.uscis.gov/. This infopass appointment will allow you to speak with an Immigration informational officer who will provide you with the status of your case.  If you do not receive a decision it may be necessary to speak with an Immigration supervisor. Supervisors usually only discuss cases with attorneys.

3. Question: My permanent residence “green card” application is still pending but my employment authorization “work permit” card is about to expire. Can I receive a new card?

Answer:  Generally individuals are eligible to receive a new work permit card as long as the green card “I-485 application” is still pending. In addition, you will need to include written documentation that your “I-485 application” is still pending. In the event that you have committed any criminal violations while your case is pending or if you are being investigated for marriage fraud or immigration fraud this may delay your work permit card or make you ineligible to receive a new work permit card.

4. Question: At the end of my permanent residence “green card” appointment the immigration officer gave me a notice and told me to return the notice and documents to their office within 30 days. Does that mean that Immigration will make a decision on my case in 30 days?

Answer:  Generally no. The 30 day deadline is a standard deadline that Immigration gives you if you need to submit additional documentation after your permanent residence “green card” interview. The key is that you must return your documents before the 30 day deadline expires. If you fail to do this then Immigration now has the opportunity to deny your case. If your case is denied you will have no option but to re-file your entire case and repay all of your immigration fees. As such, it is important to fully respond to Immigration will all the requested documents before the deadline expires. Once Immigration receives your information they will put your case back in their system to be reviewed. Immigration may then send you a decision within a few weeks or months. If 3 months have elapsed since you provided all your documents to Immigration it would be best to schedule an infopass appointment and have your attorney speak with a supervisor about your case.

Disclaimer: This article is a broad overview and is provided as a public service. This article is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Any reliance on the information contained herein is taken at your own risk. The information provided in this article should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed. 

 

About the Writer:
Safiya Byars ([email protected]) is the senior partner and owner in the Law Office of Safiya Byars (www.byarslawgroup.com). She is an active member of the Caribbean and International communities in Georgia. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Montevallo and received her law degree from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Her office is located at 160 Clairemont Avenue, Ste. 200, Decatur, Georgia 30030.  Attorney Byars handles all immigration matters, deportation defense, family law issues, and business formation/litigation. To discuss you case, contact Attorney Byars at 404-992-6506 or 678-954-5809.

About the author

Safiya Byars, Esq

Safiya Byars is the founder and senior partner of the Byars Firm. Attorney Byars serves as the Chair of the Family Immigration Continuing Learning Education and the Vice-Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. She is a native of Kingston, Jamaica. The Byars firm is located at 3720 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Suite D2, Chamblee, Georgia 30341. The Byars Firm handles Immigration, Family, and Estate Planning matters. We can be reached at 678-736-5600 and email: [email protected]