Jamaica Magazine

Immigration: The Top Three Things that Will Have a Positive Impact on Obtaining Permanent Residence "GREEN CARD" for a Spouse.

You all know the story. A United States citizen meets a wonderful person from foreign country and they fall madly in love. The couple now wants to build their life together in the United States. Now while most couples are aware that they will need to apply for permanent residence for the foreign spouse they are very unaware of just how involved Immigration will be in their romantic relationship. Moreover the United States citizen spouse has usually never had to apply for immigration benefits and therefore he or she is not aware of the best ways to obtain permanent residence for the foreign spouse. However, despite this issue the pathway to permanent residence for the foreign spouse does not have to be fraught with worry and uncertainty. The best ways to get your spouse’s permanent residence “green card” case approved begins before the couple says their  “I dos.” Every day we show our clients the best ways to get their immigration cases approved the first time while reducing their processing times and helping them to avoid the immigration red flags that result in denials and deportations. In this month’s article I have listed the top three things that you can start doing today to get your case on the road to an approval so that you and your spouse can enjoy your “happily ever after.”

Safiya’s Tip Number One: Document Your Courtship.

When most applicants apply for permanent residence they provide Immigration with documentation that they have acquired after they are married. This action appears to be the most logical thing to do since the application for permanent residence is based on marriage to the United States Citizen. Consequently,  most applicants are not aware that Immigration is not only interested in the couple as a married couple but also Immigration is interested in the couple’s life before marriage. Therefore my first tip is that the couple keep careful records of their relationship, their courtship, and engagement prior to their marriage. At our first meeting with a couple we do our best to get to know more about the couple’s relationship so that we can provide customized advice for their specific situation. Not every couple’s relationship is the same. 

Safiya’s Tip Number Two: Assemble Your Personal Documents.

Normally a couple’s first discussion about the foreign spouse’s immigration status usually begins after the couple has already gotten married.  Rather the best time to talk about the foreign spouse’s immigration status is when the couple has decided that they wish to build a life together. It is important know how and when the foreign national entered the United States. The couple should also start assembling or obtaining their birth certificate, divorce decree(s), passports, I-94 card, and visa stamps.  

Safiya Tip Number Three: Consult with an Immigration Attorney

Finally, it is never too late to start planning a successful immigration case. The best time to consult with an immigration attorney is now. Your attorney will be able to streamline the process for you with regards to processing times, fees, the requirements of the law, and the things you can do right now and throughout your case to drastically increase your chances of an approval.  With regards to Immigration the best medicine is always preventative medicine. We provide customized advice to our clients that encompass their entire case and their relationship.

For more information about permanent residence for your spouse you may contact our office at 404-992-6506 or via email at: [email protected].

Disclaimer: This article is provided as a public service and 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 founder and senior partner of the Law Office of Safiya Byars. She is a native of Kingston, Jamaica. Attorney Byars’ firm works exclusively with couples, families, and individuals to create a clear path to their permanent residence “green card” by teaching them the best ways to get an approval while reducing their processing times and avoiding red flags that result in denials or deportation.  Her office is located at 160 Clairemont Avenue, Ste. 200, Decatur, Georgia 30030. Attorney Byars handles all immigration matters, deportation defense, family law, and criminal issues. Attorney Byars can be reached at 404-992-6506/678-954-5809 or via email at: [email protected], www.byarslawgroup.com.

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].