by: Elizabeth R. Blandon
Q: Are cases where a foreigner is sponsored by his or her U.S. citizen son or daughter ever denied?
A: Rarely, but there can be delayed. Cases can also become complicated because of arrests and convictions, issues with the parent’s prior immigration history (such as overstaying on prior trips to the U.S.) and public charge issues. In other words, if the U.S. citizen does not make a sufficient income, the parent must demonstrate through extensive financial documents that he or she will not become a public charge to the U.S. government. If the parent cannot, or does not provide the correct documents, the case will be denied.
Q: My spouse sponsor case was not approved, but the officer said it was not denied either. Why?
A: The answer may lie in the difference between a fraudulent marriage and a case with insufficient bona fides, meaning insufficient proof that the marriage is valid. If the marriage is fraudulent, the case is denied and the foreigner cannot obtain residency in the future. If insufficient evidence was presented relating to the marriage, or if the couple misrepresented the truth relating to the marriage, the case may be delayed or denied. In the latter example, the U.S. citizen can file a second case for his or her spouse – and should do so with the help of an immigration professional.
Q: What temporary immigration options are available for businesspersons, other than investment?
A: The United States opens its welcoming arms depending on the work experience and education of the foreigner. If the applicant cannot invest substantial sums of money, other options include stays for persons with extraordinary ability, professionals, transferee from a foreign company to a U.S. affiliate, an exchange visitor, and a business visitor. Each category has different lengths of stay and different requirements for approval.
Q: I have an arrest. Can I become a U.S. citizen?
A: Yes or no, depending on what the charges were, the acts that occurred, whether the person was convicted, how long ago, and what the sentence was. Because a legal permanent resident applying for naturalization may be removed from the United States even for misdemeanor crimes, it is vital to consult an immigration attorney BEFORE applying for naturalization.