IS THE CLIENT ELIGIBLE TO MARRY?

 

A “simple” spouse-based adjustment of status case may have its challenges in the eligibility of marriage.

 

If one of the spouses had previous marriages, it’s important to build a chronology and ensure that there was no bigamy along the way. Obtaining CERTIFIED copies of the divorce decrees is important. Mexican divorces are invalid if the person was not a legal resident of Mexico. If there is an invalid divorce or bigamy, the family law aspect of the case needs to be straightened out before proceeding with a spouse-based adjustment of status immigration application.

 

Also not a bad idea is to obtain the marriage certificates for the previous marriages. Sometimes what a client may call “marriage” may have been a common law marriage.

 

DOES THE CLIENT SPEAK ENGLISH?

 

If the client does not speak English the parties should not proceed to the interview without an interpreter. Sometimes a scenario occurs where an interpreter has been retained but simply doesn’t show up or calls at the last minute stating he/she can’t make it. It’s very tempting to move forward with the interview but it should not be done. The spouse who does speak English cannot translate for his/her spouse. The attorney cannot translate for the client. Simply ask the Deputy Adjudicating Officer to reschedule the interview.

 

AFFIDAVIT OF SUPPORT AND EVIDENCE OF SUPPORT:

 

If the U.S. Citizen spouse has income over the poverty guidelines, the case is a no-brainer. However, if there is no income, then assets must be considered. When the assets are held in a trust, the case becomes more complicated.

 

Evelyne M. Hart has experience with family law, tax and estate law and is able to bring that experience to her immigration practice.

 

Hart Immigration provides immigration services in Los Angeles, Orange County, and surrounding areas.