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US Citizenship application, Legal permanent residency, and more

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by  Kieran C. O’Sullivan

Immigration Counselor
 
We had a number of interesting cases at our recent legal clinic at the Banshee in Dorchester.
 
US Citizenship
 
One lady who attended our legal clinic was present for a review of her N400 US citizenship application. We always advise people to have these application reviewed by attorneys before mailing to US Citizenship and Immigration Service. (USCIS) A small error on such an application can result in a delay of some months in the process.
 
Chris Lavery reviewed her paperwork and she was cleared to submit her application for US citizenship. If approved, she will likely be a US citizen within six (6) months. After mailing the application, we reminded her she will receive notifications from USCIS to report to one of their application support centers for biometrics.
 
Legal permanent residency 
 
We had three (3) marriage related immigration cases at the clinic. Jack is scheduled to have his interview for legal permanent residency next week. His application is based on his marriage to his US citizen wife. They had filed about six months ago with our assistance at a previous clinic. At this week’s clinic, the attorney prepared them for their interview by reviewing all of the paperwork they were going to present to USCIS as evidence of their valid marriage. While they are well prepared and have their file in appropriate order, there are still a number of items missing and it has been pointed out to them by the attorney. They left the legal clinic fully prepared for their interview with a check list of items to include with their file.
 
Review of conditional status
 
We also had a case at the clinic involving a USCIS review of an I-751 application. This is the application to remove the conditional status on permanent residency. If an immigrant gets legal status based on marriage to a US citizen (as in the case of Jack above) if they were married less than two years at the time of USCIS interview, the first green card is valid for two years. Within the 90 period prior to the two year expiration of the card, they have to file an I-751 to remove the condition. USCIS look very closely at these cases to make sure the marriages were valid and not entered into for the purpose of getting a green card.
 
Evidence has to be submitted with the I-751 to convince USCIS that the couple is still together and that the marriage was real. Updated bank statements, utility bills, car and life insurance policies, mortgage/rental leases, tax returns and photographs are among the evidence presented to support the application. The couple who turned to us at our clinic for help lacked a lot of the usual evidence required by USCIS for approval of an I-751. In fact their application was sent back to them by USCIS requesting further evidence. Because of the seriousness of their case, they were advised to retain an attorney for full legal representation in the case.
 
Free Legal & Immigration Clinic - October
 
Our next legal clinic will be on October 1, 2013 at the Banshee in Dorchester. Pre-registration is not necessary. Clinics take place at The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester at 6:30 pm Immigration attorneys will answer questions on visas, green cards, and US citizenship. We will also review paperwork for people filing with USCIS.
 
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.

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