Is it too late to marry a US citizen if I am in removal proceedings in Texas?

San Antonio, TX – When an immigrant is placed in removal proceedings, there are several defense strategies they can use to be allowed to stay in the US and eventually get a Green Card. One such defense is adjustment of status on family grounds, which includes being married to a legal permanent resident or US citizen. Is it too late to marry a US citizen when you’re already in removal proceedings?

It’s not too late, but you’ll need a very good San Antonio immigration lawyer to help you and you’ll need him right away, as there’s not much time before your hearing.

How can you get married when you’re in removal proceedings?

The most difficult situation is whether or not the immigrant was arrested by the ICE. When an undocumented immigrant is sent to a detention facility, you must get them a seasoned Texas deportation lawyer right away. You may have some trouble locating the exact facility where they are being held, but once you find them your lawyers must try to obtain a bond hearing for them, as this is their only chance to be released.

An undocumented immigrant may not be granted a bond hearing if:

  • They have deportable offenses on their record
  • There’s an outstanding deportation order on their record.

If the immigrant is granted bond and can afford to pay it, he or she will be released and they should get married to their US partner immediately. The next step is applying for adjustment of status.

How to prove your marriage is not a fraud?

When a US citizen or legal permanent resident wants to sponsor their foreign-born spouse for a Green Card they will have to prove theirs is a bona fide marriage, not a scam.

First, you have to deal with the red tape, namely filing Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and the adjustment of status application (I-485) with the US Customs and Immigration Services. When the foreign-born spouse is already present in the US you can submit the two forms at the same time, but you’d better get a lawyer to help you with that.

Form I-130 alone has over 100 questions and sometimes it’s tricky to tell what is the right answer. Also, you cannot afford any mistakes as this would cause unnecessary delays and you have the Immigration Court hearing to consider.

What should you expect at the Green Card Interview?

Once submitted the documents, you will be notified of the date and place of your interview. If you’re in Texas, the interview will probably be held in San Antonio.

During this type of interview, the USCIS officer will try to assess whether it’s a marriage in good faith. If you’re already in removal proceedings, the interview will be conducted by an officer from the USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security unit (FDNS).

You and your spouse will be interviewed separately and your answers will then be compared for inconsistencies.

Be prepared to answer questions about how you’ve met and how long you’ve been together. You should show them photos of your time together, proving you’ve been dating for a while like any regular couple.

The officers may ask more intimate questions, like the type of birth control you use, or apparently innocuous questions about your favorite restaurant or the movies you like to watch together. These are not random questions and if they find enough inconsistencies between your answers they may call you back for a second interview.

However, if you do pass this stressful test, your immigrant spouse may be granted a Green Card and this would shield them from deportation.

If you want to marry a foreign-born individual, whether or not you’re in removal proceedings, get in touch with a seasoned lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen in San Antonio and let them help you stay in the US and obtain legal status.

Contact info:

Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen

206 East Locust Street

San Antonio, TX 78212

Phone: (210) 769-3273

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