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What are the income requirements for marriage green card?

In order to obtain a green card (legal permanent resident status), the green card applicant must submit an affidavit of support by a sponsor.   The sponsor must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident, 18 years of age, domiciled in the and have an income 125% above the federal poverty line. In 2020, an income 125% above the federal poverty line for a household of 2 people is $21,550, for a household of 3 people $27,150 and for the household of 4 people is $32,750.   The income of certain household members may be included.  If the sponsor cannot meet the minimum-income requirements, (s)he may provide evidence of assets that are readily available or seek a joint sponsor.  The affidavit may not be necessary if the green card applicant already has 40 quarters of earnings in the US.     

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline one aspect of the marriage green card process.  If you would like us to obtain a marriage green card, call our experienced marriage green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online

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How long does the adjustment of status takes in Phoenix?

My clients met online and at the end of the foreign national US visit, they decided they don’t want to be separated any longer and got married.  We filed the petition with the USCIS and an adjustment application last July and the adjustment interview was scheduled for March.   In this case, it took7 months to have the adjustment application approved.  

The USCIS average processing time of the adjustment applications in Phoenix is now 9.5 – 29.5 and it’s been updated regularly.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline one marriage green card processing time.  If you would like us to obtain a marriage green card, call our experienced marriage green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online

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Self-petition of abused spouse of US citizen (VAWA) approved


This case originally started as a regular marriage green card case.  US citizen husband filed for his foreign spouse and their child was born.  Soon after the birth, the US citizen started to abuse his wife verbally and physically.  She tried everything, but at the end had no choice but to leave the household.   We documented the abuse, filed a self-petition for her and have her petition approved.   She can now safely raise her child without worries about her abusive ex-husband. 

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline one case of an abused wife of a US citizen who we helped to get her green card.  If you are subject to a physical or psychological abuse by your US spouse and need help with your green card process pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”), call our experienced marriage green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online

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Fiancé visa during COVID-19 pandemic

We started this process when a US citizen came to my office a year ago to petition for her fiancé in the Middle East.  They met online and have been communicating remotely for several years.  Last year, her fiancé traveled to the US and they met in person, which allowed us to file the petition for her fiancé.  It took only 3 months to have the petition approved by the USCIS.  Then, the case was sent to the National Visa Center and in four weeks the National Visa Center sent the case to the US Embassy in Jerusalem.  The interview was scheduled in 10 weeks and the visa was approved.  Then, the US Embassy put the case in administrative processing. At the end, the fiancé visa was issued, the fiancé entered the US and just married his fiancée and we are getting ready to file the adjustment application. 

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline the marriage green card process and discuss the processing time of the marriage green card. If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for a marriage green card, call our experienced marriage green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online

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How long will it take to process your EB-5 green card petition?

Last year the processing times of EB-5 petitions drastically increased overnight, jumping from a range of 20.5 to 27 months to a range of 29 to 45.5 months. Today, the estimated processing time is between 46 and 74.5 months and for petition to remove conditions between 27 and 48.5 months.

One potentially positive development is that the USCIS has proposed significant changes in how it will prioritize the EB-5 petition adjudications. On January 29, 2020, the USCIS announced that starting March 31, 2020 it would no longer continue its “first-in first-out” approach to adjudications, and instead would shift to a visa availability approach. Applicants from countries where visas are immediately available will now be better able to use their approximate 700 visas annual per-country allocation of EB-5 visas.

In August 2014, the U.S. Department of State, announced the first instance of EB-5 visa unavailability in the EB-5 program’s history, affecting investors born in China. Until recently, three countries face significant EB-5 visa backlog: China, Vietnam, and India. Chinese EB-5 visa backlog rose to a 16.2 year wait prediction in an October 2019. Vietnamese investors were predicted to wait 7.1 years. Indian investors filing in October 2019 had roughly 6.7 years’ worth of EB-5 visas “in line” ahead of them. Now, the EB-5 visa backlog for Chinese investors is less than 5 years and 3 years for Vietnamese investors. There is no longer backlog for investors born in India.

Despite the large amount of registered China fifth preference demand, currently there are not enough applicants who are actively pursuing their EB-5 case to fully utilize the amount of numbers which are expected to be available under the annual limit. Further, the spread of COVID-19 could also sap visa demand along with suspending visa services. Long waits may also become commonplace for all future investors if Congress enacts country cap removal legislation. Chinese investors would stand to gain from country cap removal legislation, whereas rest of would face longer wait times.

Please note that this articles does not constitute a legal advice.  We provided some insights into EB-5 processing. If you would like to discuss if you may qualify for EB-5 investor green card, call our experienced EB-5 visa attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.  

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New areas (TEA) allowing lower EB-5 investments

On November 21, 2019, new EB-5 regulations became effective. They brought some changes to the EB-5 program.

One of the likely consequence of the new EB-5 regulations is that the Targeted Employment Area (TEA) designation (enabling a lower investment threshold) will be harder to get and urban TEAs will be driven to lesser-developed locations.

In order to be designated as a TEA, the EB-5 project must be located in either a rural area or in a location that has high unemployment. 

Prior to the effective date of new EB-5 regulations, the TEA designation was made at state level and most states had very liberal TEA’s designation policies, even in economically robust urban zones. Consequently, more than 95% of EB-5 investments were made in TEA-located projects. Under the new EB-5 regulations, USCIS is no longer deferring
to TEA designations made by state and local governments and is
directly reviewing and determining the designation of high-unemployment TEAs.

Under the previous regulations, it was quite common to aggregate census tracts to create Regional Center EB-5 offerings even in some of the nation’s most high-priced neighborhoods. Census tract combination for high-unemployment TEAs is now much more restrictive: census tract aggregation is limited to the project tract(s) plus some or all of the tracts that are “directly adjacent” to the project tract. Utilizing census block groups (a census tract is made up of several block groups) is no longer allowed. 

Some EB-5 industry experts (analysts and economists) estimate that approximately two thirds of the projects that had qualified before will not qualify for TEA status under the revised standard.

Please note that this articles does not constitute a legal advice.  We outlined only one aspect of new EB-5 regulations and its consequences.  If you would like to get a green card through an investment (EB-5), call an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

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PERM notice during COVID-19 pandemic

An employer sponsoring a foreign worker for a green card (legal permanent resident status) needs to post the Notice of Filing for 10 consecutive business days at the worksite. During the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic questions arose how to satisfy the notice requirement when many offices are closed and employees work from their homes. On July 23, 2020 the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification confirmed that the PERM Notice of Filing requirement is flexible and employers could even satisfy it by posting it on the exterior door of its building, office, or front entry even if the work place is 100% closed and employees are 100% remote, so long as the business is operational (i.e., conducting business). 

For more information about sponsoring a foreign worker for a permanent position and PERM labor certification, click here. If you would like to discuss if you can sponsor a foreign worker for a green card, call an experienced immigration attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.

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Proposed USCIS filing fee increase

In November 2019, the Department of Homeland Security proposed to adjust USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 21 percent, add new fees, and make other changes, including form changes and the introduction of several new forms. For example, the filing fee for the application for naturalization is proposed to increase by 83% to $1,170, petition for H-2A non-immigrant worker by 87% to $860 (named worker), petition for L non-immigrant worker by 77% to $815 and petition for O non-immigrant worker by 55% to $715.

On July 22, 2020, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs completed review of a final rule increasing USCIS filing fees. The Federal Register will post a copy of the final rule for public inspection before publishing it officially. In the proposed rule, DHS noted that once the rule was finalized, it would not take effect for at least 60 days after publication.

If you are considering applying for a naturalization, green card or non-immigrant status, call an experienced immigration attorney at (480) 425-2009 or contact us through our website to schedule a consultation
before the filing fees increase.

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Why hire an Immigration Attorney?

Because so much information is available online, you may feel that you can figure out what you need to do using Google and other online resources. Also, there is a misperception that immigration is about filling forms and submitting simple paperwork. While you can certainly gain knowledge of different visa and green card categories and forms to fill, keep in mind that there is lots of misinformation on the Internet, some information may be outdated or would not apply in your case. Immigration law is constantly changing. Even a minor regulatory or policy adjustment affects thousands of people. You may not be aware how the latest policy change, order or decision affects your case.

An experienced immigration attorney is up-to-date with all the government rules, policies, regulations, and various other local laws that may affect your case. His or her extensive experience and holistic view of even complex situations make him or her the best asset for you and can make a profound difference for you and your life.

We regularly advise clients who have already filed applications on their own with inadvertent mistakes that caused serious consequences. They may have filed a wrong form, missed a deadline, received a denial following a Request for Evidence that could have been easily addressed, or filed for visa, green card or naturalization when they were ineligible and face the threat of removal. One simple mistake on the form may be interpreted by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services as misrepresentation or fraud with serious consequences. Your one mistake can make the process more complex and can even prevent your from ever achieving what you were trying to apply on your own (e.g., children may reach certain age, deadline is missed, etc.).

An experienced immigration attorney can get you the result that sometimes you would not be able to get on your own. An experienced immigration attorney can save you money, time, frustration, and anguish in dealing with a much harder case on your own. You have someone on your side ready to answer your questions, guide you and help you in every step of sometimes long and complex immigration process.

An experienced immigration attorney evaluates your situation, determines your eligibility and the best process to take to achieve your immigration goal, knows what forms you will need, how to fill the forms accurately, what documents to submit and how to best present your case . Therefore, when you hire an experienced immigration attorney, you will have peace of mind that this life-changing immigration process will be achieved successfully without unnecessary delays. In addition, unlike document preparers and various online immigration service providers, immigration lawyers have a professional and ethical obligations to ensure that they
competently provide legal services to you.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you achieve your dream of legally living and working in the U.S., call an experienced immigration attorney at (480) 425-2009 or contact us through our website to schedule a consultation.

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Irena Juras Gets Dreamer her Green Card

A woman that has been brought to the United States from Mexico when she was 3 years old (let’s call her the “Dreamer”) came to my office with her husband who is a U.S. citizen. They had been married for 2.5 years and have three children born in the United States. We discussed the Dreamer’s options and the Dreamer has decided to request the Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). She had a high school diploma and met the residency and other requirements for DACA approval. DACA was approved and she received her work authorization. Then, we filed a petition with the Dreamer’s husband as the petitioner. The petition was accompanied by supporting documents sufficient to rebut the presumption of marriage fraud. The petition was approved. Meanwhile, the Dreamer’s mother in Mexico was seriously ill and we applied for advance parole to allow the Dreamer to travel to Mexico to visit her mother. The advance parole was approved and the Dreamer traveled to Mexico, visited and helped her mother and entered the United States legally. Once the Dreamer entered the U.S. legally and met all other requirements for legal permanent residency, we filed her green card application. The application processing time in Phoenix is now more than one year. Finally, we attended an interview with the Dreamer and her husband, the application was approved and her green card has arrived. It was nice to see the happiness in her eyes to finally feel relieved that at age of 31 after living in the United States for 28 years illegally in fear, she does not have to worry that she will be deported and taken from her family. She is very appreciative for my help in guiding her through this process!
If you are facing similar circumstances or know someone else facing similar circumstances, call the immigration attorney Irena Juras at 480-425-2009 or reach us via email to schedule a consultation to discuss how we can help you!