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Rules to Understand Before Considering Green Card Through Marriage

April 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 156

Before we understand the rules to obtain a green card through marriage, it's important understand the basics of what a green card is. A permanent residency grants an immigrant a permanent residency status in the United States of America. This allows an immigrant the freedom to leave or return back to the United States, pursue education without a need to obtain a student visa, seek employment (there are some exceptions where a citizenship is required), seek public assistance (i.e. government benefits), and special protection from deportation that are not available to visa holders. Green Card holders have many privileges available to American citizens. But there are some exceptions and it is important to understand that a green card is not a right to an unconditional permanent residency, and it can be revoked.

Obtaining a green card is the dream of many immigrants. It gives a permanent residency status and comes with a lot of benefits. The right to work and the right to move freely as mentioned above, and ultimately it creates a pathway to citizenship in the United States of America. There are many ways to acquire a permanent residency in the United States, and obtaining a green card through marriage is the most common methods used by many immigrants.

In order to obtain a green card through marriage, an immigrant will have to be legally married to an American citizen, and the immigrant will have to be single (or legally divorced) at the time of the marriage to the American citizen. Being married to multiple spouses is legally allowed in certain countries, but polygamy is illegal in the United States. So it is important for immigrants to understand that they cannot be married to someone else, even if that person resides in a different country. The immigrant must be single or legally divorced when applying for a green card through marriage to an American citizen, or their application will be denied. This is very important to understand because falsely claiming to be single while still being married is a violation of the law, and it will result in the revocation of the green card and deportation, even after a permanent residency has been issued. This is one area where many people mistakenly believe that they won't have to worry about such false claims once they have obtained their green card. A permanent residency can be revoked if the immigration officials determine that the immigrant lied about his or her marital status during the application process.

In addition to the above, the immigrant must be free of criminal records, both in the United States and abroad. Even minor violation that might seem negligible could get an immigrant into trouble. Many people think of crimes such as murder, terrorism, rape and sexual assault, drug trafficking, and violent robberies as the obvious violations of the law that could jeopardize an immigrant's ability to obtain a green card. But there are many other violations of the law people think of as negligible and overlook. In addition to criminal violations, an immigrant should be clear of the following:

  • Lie to get immigration benefits
  • Lie or violate immigration laws to help someone else get immigration benefits
  • Lie to get public benefits
  • Be a habitual drunk or a recreational illegal drug user
  • Get arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Get arrested for assaulting or harassing someone

If you are interested in acquiring Green Card through Marriage, please contact a competent immigration attorney. Immigration laws are very complicated, and it is better to have an attorney represent you than to fight your case alone.

Mike Gani is the founder of Immigration Lawyers LA

Source: EzineArticles
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