Peruvian Immigrant Removes Residency Conditions On Green Card Without Husband
Georgina met Alexander as she was working at a department store in her home town of Lima, Peru. He was shopping with his brother and sister-in-law, who was a frequent customer.
A few days later, Alexander asked Georgina to join them for dinner.
They got along well and Alexander began calling her on a regular basis.
Since he often traveled to Peru and other Latin American countries on business trips, they began informally dating.
As they began to grow closer, he started calling her every day. At the end of one business trip, he took her on a vacation to Brazil for a week.
After Being Granted Entry To U.S. As Fiancé, Peruvian Immigrant Spouse Wins Marriage-Based Permanent Residence With Conditions
There he proposed to her. About a year later, he filed a K-1 fiancé visa for her and a K-2 visa for her son.
They were approved. They moved to Chicago, where Alexander’s parents and extended family lived.
Since their marriage was less than two years old, conditions were placed on Georgina and her son’s green cards.
This meant, at the end of her second year of residency, Georgina and Alexander were required to jointly file an I-751 petition to remove the conditions, in order to change the immigration status of Georgina and her son to regular lawful permanent residents.
Related Reading: 10 Facts You Should Know About I-751 Petitions To Remove Conditions
Soon after their marriage, Alexander’s daughter from his earlier marriage began experiencing drug problems. His ex-wife blamed him and his “Peruvian immigrant mistress” for their child’s deterioration.
He began to drink heavily and started physically and mentally abusing Georgina.
Georgina became pregnant but she was afraid to tell Alexander.
He had planned a skiing trip to Colorado. She did not attempt to cancel the trip. Once at the resort, Georgina told him that she was too afraid to ski due to the pregnancy. He became hostile and did not talk to her much during the remainder of the trip.
He told her that he did not want a child. A few weeks later he flew with her and her son to Menifee, California, where her sister lived, supposedly to visit her relatives.
The next morning, he woke up earlier and drove away in the rental car. He flew back to Chicago.
Beyond the marriage, Georgina feared the impact of divorce upon permanent residence for her and her son.
When he called her, he gave her an ultimatum: get an abortion and leave her son with his aunt in California or he would file for a divorce.
Georgina refused to agree to his demands. He began the process to terminate their marriage. The stress of the situation caused her to have a miscarriage.
As the divorce was pending, Georgina and her son’s periods of conditional residency were nearing expiration.
To remain in the United States, she needed to file a joint I-751 petition with her husband, attesting that their marriage had taken place in good faith.
Alexander would not help them.
Despite U.S. Spouse’s Refusal Of Assistance, USCIS Approves Removal Of Condition For Abandoned Peruvian Immigrant Wife
About ten days before the expiration date, Georgina decided to explore if she had any options to win a green card and remain in the United States.
She feared the consequences of being charged as an undocumented Peruvian immigrant without lawful status and deported back to her home country.
A neighbor, whom we had assisted about five years before, told her sister to call us and find out if we could help Georgina and her son.
An appointment was arranged to meet with Carlos that same evening at our Hemet immigration law office about 8:00 p.m., after he had time to arrive back from court in Los Angeles.
She understood that the I-751 was required to be a joint filing by husband and wife. Without his help, she feared she and her son would have to move to Peru.
After Carlos learned about her immigration history and her brief marital relationship with Alexander, he explained her options for removing green card conditions without a spouse. Based on her circumstances, he suggested seeking a domestic violence exception to the joint filing requirement.
(The short video below shares explains how waivers excuse the I-751 joint filing requirement for removing conditional residency conditions.)
Carlos told her because there was only about one week to get everything ready and submitted on time, his staff would have to go into overdrive to develop the evidence necessary to win the waiver.
Carlos emphasized that he would need the full cooperation of her, her son, and her family. She agreed.
About eight months later, after Carlos and USCIS exchanged various documents and legal motions, the government approved the joint filing waiver based on domestic violence. Both Georgina and her son were approved for unconditional green cards and lawful permanent residence.
Today Georgina has her own small cosmetology business. She lives in Palm Springs, California with her son, a sophomore at a local junior college.
No matter how difficult the road ahead may seem, do not give up without exploring all your options. This series of immigrant success stories is dedicated to those who refuse to stop believing that some day, somehow, victory will be theirs.
This article about removal of conditions and green card issues is Example Number 7 on the different types of challenges and obstacles which immigration lawyer Carlos Batara has helped immigrants overcome.
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