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Law Office of Christopher E. Ward LLC
Law Office of Christopher E. Ward LLC


Do I need an immigration attorney?


I'm 18 born in US fixing to be 19 on January an my girlfriend bearly turned 23 an from Mexico she's been here illegally for almost 4 years we want to get married in a few months what must be done?


Christopher Ward: Is she EWI or an overstay. Either way she will need to hire an immigration attorney. If she is EWI she will need to file an I-601/A, once approved have a consulate interview in her home country.The 601 is used to prove an extreme hardship on a qualifying relative and is time consuming, detailed and complicated. Furthermore, it only waives the bar on unauthorized presence not other inadmissibility grounds.





I just got married to my husband.. he got a dui a few months back and went to court and they said that if he has to serve a few days in jail that Immigration might put a hold on him. he has 4 kids with his ex wife that he pays for and i am disabled. Is there a way to keep him from being deported?


Christopher Ward: Normally one dui doesn't constitute a CIMT or aggravated felony. With that said, as mentioned, there are numerous other factors involved. You really do need to contact an immigration attorney.



If I marry my American girlfriend in the States, even though I have overstayed when can I go back to UK? how long do I have to


wait here before I can go back? Also instead could I marry her in the UK and have her apply for me to get a spouse visa/green card?


Christopher Ward: Really depends on what type of visa you entered the US with and how long did you overstay. Furthermore, an evaluation would be wise to determine your admissibility if you should leave to marry in the UK. You should contact an attorney to evaluate what is the better path based on your particular circumstances.



On which United States visa I can live up to 5 years until I get U.S. citizenship?


Hi sir, I am Bhushan patil from India, I am just high school passed guy, I am 12th Junior collage educated. I am here just do labor work. I have to come united states for to live as permanently over there (permanent immigration and citizenship of United states).I have sufficient funds to live in United states without doing any job in United states, and because
I want to ask you some questions regarding about United states immigration visa and process. I don't have work here in India. I know it gets 5 year of residence in United states then I will get citizenship. so my 1 question to you are as follows:
1. If I come in United states for to live as permanently, on which visa I will have to stay In Unites States until I get United citizenship?(up to 5 years)


Christopher Ward: A little clarification: You have to become a legal permanent resident for 5 years, 3 years if by marriage, to become a US Citizen. But the trick is how to come to the US - employment base or family base. You would be well advised to speak with an immigration attorney to evaluate if either of these options are available to you.



Can I get a removal case open with out having to go back to haiti. Married to an citizen and have a child. Married 8 years


I came to the United States at the age of 4 years with out my parents. I was granted status at the age of 16 when at the President Clinton pass the "Ref fa Act" it was for children under 18 who came with out there parents. I was suppose to get my green card through the act. I miss my interview when I move to NYC. After that 2,years later there was a deportation order for me. However I amortized to American citizen I have a 2 year old son with him. I have been grated tps each time I apply for it. Does any lawyers in Atlanta do pro bono deportation cases? I have never left the USA since the day I enter. I also have my Fioa file.


Christopher Ward: There are organizations and law firms that handle immigration cases pro-bono. Your case can get very complicated very quickly and require a lot of hours to resolve. You can search online for the organizations handling immigration matters, I believe the catholic church has one such organization. As for law firms, you will have to call and ask. Many lawyers will do pro-bono work but of course have to limit the amount based on their work load with paying clients.



B2 visa after SB-1 visa rejection, out of USA over 1 year with green card holder


I have been out of the USA for over one year after I got my green card. The returning resident (SB-1) visa I applied was denied. I am planning to visit the US in January 2014.

1. If I abandon my green card in a consulate in Taiwan (where I'm currently living), should I apply for a nonimmigrant B2 visa? The purpose of the tour is to take my kids (US citizen) back to school in USA.

2. If I can apply the B2 visa, what risk I need to know before I apply it?

3. To abandon my green card, what kind of document surrender printed in the I-407 form would be accepted and approved?

4. Does the nonimmigrant visa application affect my green card application in the future?

Thanks for your answer.


Additional information


I married with my husband (US citizen) when I hold a J-1 VISA into USA in 2006.
I came back my country to work and took our 2 kids with me. My husband stay in USA.
in 2010, I got my nonimmigrant visa B2 for visting USA temporarily.
In 2012, my husband filed my green card and I got it.
I still have a job in my home country.


Christopher Ward: If you intend to re-enter the US to live then you will have to get another I-130 approved. Understanding why they denied your SB-1 will be helpful in this endeavor. If you intend to drop the kids off but continue living in Taiwan then file your B2. Most consulates and CIS don't like playing games. You filed for a B2 in 2010, 4 years after getting married, then for legal permanent resident in 2012 while still living in Taiwan. Only file your I-130 and I-485 when you have decided to live permanently in the US.



Cuban National and his wife (kazhakstan national) asking for asylum at the border. Got separated by border and customs


MY friend is from Cuba and has a wife, that holds Kazakhstan passport. They had visa issued for Canada. While in canada, they went to US border and when crossing it, asked for refugee status. My friend, being cuban national was allowed to enter the country and wait for the decision on his status. While his wife was send back to canada/kazakhstan (denied entry to us). Since then, they are separated. She cannot open even tourist visa, as they claim she was an intention to immigrate. They have not seen each other but on skype since december 2012. Is there any way she can get to be reunited with her husband?


Christopher Ward: Your friend needs to contact an immigration attorney. There is a considerable amount of information left out of your fact pattern to determine if there is a possibility of reuniting the two in the US.



Marriage whilst visiting under the VWP


If we were married under the VWP, but my new wife did not wish to become a citizen or immigrate, but rather just visit on the VWP twice a year- would this pose an issue at POE? The reason why she doesn't want to become a citizen or immigrate yet is because she has small children in Australia and doesn't want to leave them behind. But we want to get married to have that bond and closeness. So can we marry and her visit twice a year under the VWP, and we apply for her greencard when she's ready to live here in 5 years or so?


Christopher Ward: Yes, as long as she doesn't overstay and doesn't accumulate more than 6 months in the US during any 12 month period. More than 6 months tends to raise the suspicion of the inspector, even though it may not be fatal to an entry.



Divorce or citizenship?


Hey, My question is i have a green card for 10 year which i got through marriage. I hv a 5 year old son. Bt me nd my wife r separated since last 2 and half year. Can i apply for citizenship without her or should i get divorce? I have no idea where my son is or my wife. We hv no contact with each other.all i know is she staying somewhere in an other state with somebody nd having an other kid from him. Whats best for me to do now?


Christopher Ward: As previously mentioned, you can naturalize based on the length of time you have been an LPR. As another poster mentioned, your current family/child condition might be raised as to whether there has been an abandonment issue or support issue. A good evaluation by an immigration attorney would be helpful in avoiding the pitfalls.



I got married with GC holder Girl in chicago 2 months ago, I live in pittsburgh due to my Job. Impact on my file process?



Hello Respected lawyers,
I got married through Arrange marriage (Indian Tradition), it is a Genuine marriage and we see each other once a month. i am on n F-1 visa.
She filled i-130 last week, what will be the impact on my green card process if we are not living together due to Job situation? (planning to be together soon if job things worked out well)

What I need to do in order to prove we have genuine marriage even if we stay apart temporarily?

Is USCIS officer understand the way some Indian got marriage through families knows each other? I have not dated her before got married.

Thank you.!


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, it is somewhat more difficult. I have represented clients in similar circumstances and have been successful. The main emphasis is on the bona fide marriage, not on current cohabitation circumstances. You will need to retain a lawyer to help guide you through the process. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to prove the marriage is bona fide.



Can one fill an I-864 (affidavit of support) form with an i-92 (waiver fee form)?


My wife filled my I-864 affidavit of support form but she is not making over 150 % and receiving the means tested benefit. I the husband an immigrant have over 30,000 dollars in medical fees from an injury I sustained. ..will I be granted a waiver because clearly I cannot pay the immigration fee. My wife is a Citizen.
Question 2
Will my waiver fee be rejected if I let say add another sponsor to strengthen the AFFIDAVIT.


Christopher Ward: First your I-912 waiver. For the I-485, there are approximately 6 categories eligible for the waiver. From your short description it doesn't seem you fall into any of those categories. Those mostly deal with being victims of a crime, a VAWA petitioner, asylum petitioner, or maybe from Haiti or an interpreter for the US government in a nasty part of the world or you came into the country prior to 1972. If any of these seem to apply you should probably talk wit an attorney. As for the affidavit of support, as a fellow attorney stated, you will need a sponsor.



Can I re-enter the US without any problems at the CBP?


I am a visitor of the US so a non US citizen and was arrested for possesion of a controlled substance in the 7th degree. Agreed on a ACD, so the case is pending and will be closed. So not guilty and free to go. The case is that I need to travel to Canada in the beginning of next month. Will the CBP question me thoroughly or deny me access to the US? Or how long will it take before this doesn't show anymore at CBP?



Christopher Ward: You might have some problems. INA 212(a)(2)(A)(II) states a violation (or conspiracy or attempt to violate). I'm not sure what "7th degree" means but the statute is pretty clear about violating, or attempt to violate, any state law regarding a controlled substance. This doesn't mean you can't re-enter the US, only that, as the other responder mentioned, you should be prepared to prove you didn't violate any state law dealing with a controlled substance.



Can I apply for a green card through marriage if I entered the country illegally as a child and how much does it cost?


I entered the country illegally at 9 yrs old; I'm 23 now and married to a U.S Citizen. I am covered under the Deferred Action Program and qualified for a job permit. I'm wondering if I can do the process by myself since I can't really afford a lawyer at the moment, but I'm scared I'm going to mess up and be sent back to my country of origin.



Christopher Ward: You have a very complex issue and yes, as the other respondents have stated, you will need an attorney. With that said, you entered the country illegally and have accrued more than a year of unauthorized presence. Unless something happens to change the current immigration laws and barring any family violence issues, you will have to return to your home country for a consulate interview. You have a 10 year bar on being admitted into the US. You will need to apply for a waiver to re-enter. Starting in March/2013 you can apply for the I-601A Provisional waiver before leaving. The pulling together of a waiver package is complex and certainly involves more than an answer here can provide. Again, find an attorney.



I am a DEFENDANT in an upcoming frivolous Temp. Protective order hearing. What is a good example of an OPENING STATEMENT?


The protective order is out of DeKalb Superior Court in Dekalb County, GA
Wife MAY NOT even show up to the TPO hearing, as she has absconded to another state with NO plans on returning. JUSSSSSSST in case she shows up, what is a good example of a DEFENDANTS opening statement? The TPO was file using FALSE accusations of SEVERAL incidents of abuse. NONE of the alleged incidents were reported to the police. 911 was NEVER called. Back in April she called the police in a fit of rage and they responded. I was arrested for simple battery. However, she IMMEDIATELY wrote to the Asst. Solicitor and BEGGED him to "Nolle Prosse" the case, which HE agreed to do. In her letter she stated that SHE was the aggressor and that I was NEVER abusive and she DOES NOT fear me. Anyway, what’s a good opener??


 Christopher Ward: Hire an attorney and allow him to decide how he wants to proceed. That is why you are hiring an attorney.



My Husband has full custody of my ss 7. How can I go about adopting him in the state of GA without having to pay over $500?


I want to adopt my SS who has been living with us since he was 5. Me and my husband have been married for 5 years. I would like to know would I have a good chance at being able to adopt my SS if BM denise to sign the petition and I would have to see if the judge will terminate her rights? Since we have been married for almost 5 years, my ss has lived with us since he was 5 and he is now 7, BM only has supervised visits and married to a guy who is unfit and consider a danger to my SS and the fact BM has not paid CS in 4 months. Bm will go 2-3 months before visiting her son. Will any of that help determine if the judge will terminate her rights? Can I also get help from Legal Aid about adopting my SS?


Additional information


BM does not pay her child support and already months behind.
BM only has supervised visits and does not visit like she should.
My Husband has full custody.
The Lawyer we hired when we got full custody told me I could adopt him in the future.
I read a answer on here to a question that was similar to mine that said they could contact legal aid for a attorney for little to no cost.
I also read a attorney on here tell that person that if a parent fails to pay child support or visit that there is a good chance they can have there rights terminated.


Christopher Ward: Based on the limited facts you have provided it would be difficult to terminate the parental rights of the mother without her consent.



What happens when I apply to renew my country's passport when I am out of F1 status in the US?


I have been out of F1 status for sometime in the US. Since my country's passport is going to expire I wanted to know whether my embassy will report me when I go in to have it renewed.


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, ask your embassy.



After 180 days in Immigration Detention Center what is the next step?


I have been in the Immigration Detention Center now for 180 days and I want to know what to do in order to get out. I have no criminal record and I have had good behavior since being in this facility and have cooperated with giving them what they have asked for still I have not gotten any response on getting back home to be with my family


Additional information


The judge ordered some time ago an order for removal. My travel documents have been destroyed by my ex-wife and ICE have not been able to obtain them. I was informed of the 180 day process that ICE have to release a detainee if they are unable to obtain their travel documents. Please can you help me with finding out the proper documents I need to obtain in order to have this process enforced

Answer this question


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, you need to get an immigration attorney. With a previous removal order and no motion to re-open and motion for a bond hearing after 180 days of detention, your options are becoming severely limited.



Reapplying for green card after abandoning it (person worked and accumulated wealth in a foreign country as NR alien.)


I and my husband have been permanent residents of US since 2009. At the end of 2011, my husband left the US to seek employment opportunities overseas (as he was unemployed in US) and abandoned his green card. He has been a non-resident alien between 2011-2013 while I maintained my permanent residency in US. He made some money through his business overseas but because he was NR alien, no tax filing was done. Now, I want to sponsor him for a green card because l am having a hard time taking care of our kids when he is away. He is okay with abandoning his business overseas but is also worried that IRS will tax his current savings when he becomes a permanent resident again. Will IRS will investigate his earnings? Is there any risk of this being perceived as tax avoidance and denied Green Card?


Christopher Ward: I don't think the tax issue is the biggest problem. You are an LPR and he abandoned his so would need to refile. He would be an F2A and subject to waiting for a visa number. You should consult an immigration attorney.



I am considering divorce, we have been married for 15 years, with no children, does she qualifies for alimony?


I consider divorce I never knew she lied to me about her age and number of children she had not knowing she wanted marriage to use me for her green card. If I had known this I could have consider an annulment, but dis not know until her mother broke the fact to me with number of children she had (5) had told me 3 with 1 deceased. When she got her green card, everything had changed.


Christopher Ward: A large part of my practice is immigration law. Is she still an LPR or a citizen? If LPR, did you file the I-134 or I-864 with the I-130 (one is enforceable the other isn't)? This can impact alimony as well. After 15 years of marriage, immigration is a non-issue.



Fiancee Visa Denial


When consular officer gives you denial letter saying that, "Based on the interviews and documents submitted at U.S Consulate General, we will be returning the petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for review and possible revocation. " My questions are (1) Are they suppose to write section in the denial letter? (2) If not, how they determine section at the USCIS? (3) Does this denial statement falls under INA Section 221 (g)?
Please advise, Thanks


Christopher Ward: The gist of the denial is the consulate officer was not persuaded of a future bona fide marriage unless there were some other inadmissibility issues involved. The consulate office will probably be returning the petition to the Vermont center for review but no they are not required to tell you which CIS office they are returning your petition to. Doubtful they will be returning it back to Dallas. There are several INA sections a denial may stem from depending on the circumstances but yes, 221(g) is most probable. There are several different avenues you can take with benefits and risk associated with each. You should probably contact an attorney for a consultation.



Why the Atlanta USCIS office are so slow?i filed my AOS by marriage july12,biometr august13th,EAD-AP sept.7th,.......




Christopher Ward: Currently your time period isn't out of the norm.



Can my Spouse be deported?


I am a US Citizen and my Wife is from Germany. She had overstayed her Visitors Visa 4 years ago due to personal tribulations which weren't her fault. We got married a week ago but I am afraid to file for the Spouse Visa since she counts as illegal here in the US due to overstaying her Visitors Visa. How can I adjust her status without her been deported? What can we do?


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, you should contact an attorney to sort through the facts and create a path leading to a favorable outcome. She entered with inspection and that is a positive.



Was my adoption legal even tho I was 18 and from Europe? Am I legal or Illegal?


I came on a student visa and it had expired and was I denied for another, my american born brother in-law adopt me, a judge signed the papers and everything and knew I was 18. I have never been in trouble with the law or anything of that matter, My record since I've been here is clean, I just want to start my life, but need to know and understand my standing here.


Christopher Ward: My fellow attorneys are correct, your adoption doesn't help you with your current immigration status. The denial of your F1 renewal or extension, without any further basis of being in the US, means your status is an alien who entered the US with inspection and, from the expiration of your F1 and when you turned 18, started accumulating unauthorized presence in the US.



Is being Ordered (2004 Court Order) to pay half medical bills is this the same as child support?


Ordered to pay $0 in child support since we both had 1 child. Was ordered to pay half of each child's out of pocket medical expenses. I filed bankruptcy 2004 and listed the medical expenses due to my ex-husband for the child, the court discharged the debt.I have court order that states in one section no child support and in another each of paying half of the medical bills for each child.In 2010 we went to court and it was the first time I was ordered to pay child support. I currently owe $483.00 in arrears because I lost my job, he says he is going to filing contempt on all of it. Now ex-husband claiming that the medical payments were child support and could not be discharged, even though the court order differentiated between child support and paying half of out of pocket medical.


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, you should try to pay on the $483 in child support arrears. There doesn't seem to be a dispute concerning those monies being court ordered child support. The medical payments are separate maintenance monies for the children and apparently dischargeable in 2004 during bankruptcy. If he does follow through on filing a contempt action, then you will probably want to consult and attorney.



Can I come back United state, if my Case Denied ? Or I will be Deported from the airport ?


Rite now I am in United States, and my status is pending ( testing & interview) for past 4 months
Interview happen in month of May 2013, but no result ..

My advance Payroll is valid till 2014 ..

I would like to travel outside United state for 2 weeks for some work.

So During the time I am not in united state and meanwhile USCIS announce result as a denied ..So can I come back without any problem ? ( I filled I-130 , I131 ,I485 , I765 ) I heard USCIS give 30 days time after announcing result to leave country or reply them ...

Kindly help me.


Christopher Ward: Simple answer - don't leave the country until you have an answer from USCIS. If it is a "must" to leave, consult an attorney.



When illegal immigrant mother from Canada gets deported can she take her US born children with her?


When illegal immigrant mother from Canada gets deported can she take her US born children with her. The Canadian mother she is less than 100 miles from the Canadian border. The European father left the United States when his visa expired because he did not want to violate US immigration law. This is because the European father did not want to be bared from entering the United States in the future. Will the US government make it easy for her to take her US citizen children with her to Canada.


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, the biggest hurdle is the passport. If there isn't an issue with the traveling documents than there shouldn't be an issue with her children going with her.



Can I still get a green card, with second wife, if petition with first wife was denied because we provided false rental agreement


and we were accused of getting immigration benefits (not fraud marriage )? Thank you.


Christopher Ward: You have certainly created a problem for further immigration petitions. As the other attorneys have suggested, you need to contact an attorney for any further actions with USCIS.



My Husband’s ex-girlfriend is now seeking child support from him.


They have an agreement where the child stays with her one month then stays with her father one moth as we all live in the same vicinity. She has placed my name on the child support judgement and may be seeking me to pay child support for their child as I am the only one in the home that is working at this time. Question is this possible? I believed that the people who laid down and created this child are the ones responsible for the care and upbringing of the child. This girl is back and forth to jail she is always harassing us she is texting me all the time she has been threatening me. she has been following me and now she is trying to say that the police will be coming to pick me up from my place of employment for back child support. Can she do all these things?


Christopher Ward: Short answer, No. Is there a court order for child support? If so, she may file a contempt action against your husband but not you.



Can a parent sue an adult child for parental support?


I was a single parent with 3 boys all are adults now. I have one adult child that thinks I was not a good parent during his upbringing. He continuously states how he was deprived, for example not going to his high school prom and not going to the same high school as his brothers. In so many words he stated that I was the reason that his father was not around when he was young. Be mindful his father wanted to me have an abortion. His father never offer to come or spend time with him while he was younger. He never paid child support. So after finally spending time with his father I know that his father has basically threw me under the bus.


Christopher Ward: No, just added effect to a previous reply.



I married an Egyptian 13 years ago in Egypt and I haven't seen him since, are we divorced?


The man I married is in Egypt and he just called me 13 years after I left Egypt. He has remarried and now he is telling me that we are still married, and he can go to the US Embassy and say he wants me transported back to Egypt, can he do that? He told me in our last conversation he was getting a divorce from me and I thought that was that. Can he make me come back to Egypt, I thought we were divorce for 13 years. Please help me.


Christopher Ward: No, he cannot force you to leave the US. No, the US Embassy will not help him. As for being divorced, haven't the slightest clue what is required to get divorced in Egypt. You might want to contact a friend or relatives to find if a divorce was granted in Egypt. They do keep those types of records there. If you do find out you are still married, contact an attorney to help you get divorced here.



Hey good morning. Is an immigration hold still valid even though original arrest was wrong cause we were not even marandized?


We were all arrested because they found drugs in the car this new to us the search started cause one out of us 4 in the car had a warrant the girl that had the previous warrant had the drugs cause nor my brother or myself had them nor my fiancia so it only left her which she had a warrant for not completing probation on previous charges of the exact same drugs. So we are all seated aside while they arrested her in then they ask to check my car which I accepted right of the back in they found the can with drugs on her side on da floor of the vehicle this not being enough we all get told to drop to the floor in put in handcuffs in tooken to jail never being Marandized .. a thing that the girl did get.. not that only beiing that myself in other have a clean crimanal recored..


Additional information


Is it possible because we all 3 besides the girl where (Hispanic) in she was a White female that racial discrimination took place since she was the only one marandized before getting arrested at all ? Myself and the 2 others before after during in no point in time did we get our rights read to us.


Christopher Ward: You will need to contact an immigration attorney. The information needed exceeds what can be done on the website.



My fiancee's visa denied at Mumbai saying:"Based on the interviews and documents submitted at U.S Consulate General Mumbai...."


Please advise, I would be really appreciate. My fiancee was keep saying that we did not marry because only the reason that he did not receive his divorce decree until he left India when officer was keep asking that if you want simple court marriage in the US than why didn't you marry in India. I was in India from March 4th to April 10th 2013 (38 days). My divorce finalized on February 22nd 2013 but upon agreement, my X-wife was not signing until I came back to the US, so I received divorce decree on April 12th. I have all the fact that I filed. Once again how can I prove that I am honest and I am not lying.



Christopher Ward: There are several different avenues available but more information is needed to determine which would have the better opportunity for success. You will need to have a consultation with an immigration attorney. It isn't possible to cover all that is necessary to reach such a conclusion on the website.



Is my husband eligible for provisional waiver?


Arrested for driving with no license detained by ice released by them without out bond went to court applied for prosecutorial discrection and was approved his removal proceedings are closed but I’m wondering if he is eligible for 601-a even if was just arrested that one time for driving with no license...


Christopher Ward: The provisional waiver (601A) is a complicated creature and, as others have mentioned, you should consult an attorney. It is not uncommon having to repair mistakes for individuals trying to do this themselves.



Can I apply for green card?


I don't know if it was a deportation or voluntary deportation because It was not court involved it was when I was 15 years old like in 97, I came back to United States in 2002 and 2005 I was working at Walmart and I got caught I was on probation for 1 year 28 days I finished with it. And paid everything there was no deportation involved. I was already married to my husband during that time. Now we have been married for 9 years he is American citizen, we have 5 girls and we want to apply for my green card am I eligible.


Christopher Ward: You need to consult an attorney. If you entered without inspection you will eventually have to return to your home country for a consulate interview. Even if you were successful in getting a hardship waiver approved to waive the 10 year bar on admissibility you still might be inadmissible due to other grounds such as the reason you were on probation for over a year. If you entered with inspection there are still problems depending on what you were caught for. Again, before doing anything consult with an attorney.



Can you get in trouble if a person called immigration on someone and now he/she are trying to help get them out?


The person that is in hold with immigration is father/mother to the child that the other parent called immigration on. Now, the parent wants to help he/she get out but doesn't want to get in trouble if so is there away?


Christopher Ward: Your fact pattern doesn't help. If the father/mother is in detention, then the person (parent) that called (immigration) should hire an attorney to represent the father/mother that is being detained.



Immigration question- I went to court for a master calendar hearing in August 2013 and the Judge told me that


there had been a previous approved i-130 petition back in 1997 which my father had sent in. After my 1-130 approval I went to my home country (Mexico) and during the interview I told them truthfully that I had once used marijuana. I was denied adjustment of status. Since that time I was convicted in San Bernardino county in 2012 of misdemeanor child endangerment. I have also been married to an American citizen since 2011 and have three U.S Citizen kids. I now have a 245i problem according to the judge I saw recently in court. What should I do next? Should my wife submit a new i-130 and an 1-601?


Christopher Ward: You do have some issues. Based on your mentioning of the I-601, you entered the US without inspection and will need an I-601 or I-601A. How your conviction effects the process is dependent on the state statute and how it correlates with the US federal sentencing guidelines and/or if it is a CIMT. I would suggest you get with an attorney you can visit and have a face to face interview with.



If I applied for DV lottery visa and I am not selected, will that be a problem when applying for an F-1 later?


I got my BA degree from an US university and returned to my county after OPT. I remained on status the entire time. I am thinking of applying to do an MBA next year. If I applied for DV lottery visa and I am not selected, will that be a problem when applying for an F-1 later? Because it shows immigrant intent.


Christopher Ward: It shouldn't. I say it shouldn't but there are some consulate offices that might very well apply the DV intent to an F1 application.



I do not have a criminal record (nor does my fiance), can Children's Aid legally apprehend our baby?


My fiance was a key witness in a trial involving her former boyfriend (whom she has a son with) and is currently eight and a half months pregnant. Her boyfriend was extremely manipulative and abusive and their infant son was taken into foster care due to being severely injured. The former boyfriend was the one being tried..NOT her! Now, my fiance and I are about to have a child of our own and Children's Aid (due to what happened with her son) are involved in our life as well. I have cleared my police background check, as have my parents and everyone in her family. So why does Children's Aid seem to be able to dictate how we will live? What are my rights in this situation, as this seems very unlawful?

(PS - I am writing from Canada, not a city called Canada in Kentucky)


Christopher Ward: Do not stir the hornets nest. Your fiancee's child was taken into foster care for a reason. The father of that child is where? in jail, why doesn't she have that child back? Did the fiancee decide to stay with the boyfriend versus leave the boyfriend and keep her child? Where is that child now? On the bare minimum facts that you have given, there are questions. They probably have questions.



Hate speech in Canada for American citizen.


I am an American citizen and have a website that is critical of Islam. The website is very well-known, major organizations have condemned it for "hate speech," and it is known that I run it. Furthermore, I sell through the website materials that have been purchased abroad and likely violate Canada's "hate speech" laws.

If I were to visit Canada, could I--as an American citizen--be arrested there for my activities in the U.S., or would it be more likely that they'd just refuse me admittance? How can I check to see if a warrant has been issued for my arrest in Canada? How can I check to see if I have been banned from Canada?


Christopher Ward: A good answer is to contact a Canadian lawyer. Based on your fact pattern, running such a site in the US shouldn't (I emphasize shouldn't) break Canadian law. The Canadian viewing your site might be. Selling your products online, in itself, shouldn't break Canadian law but when you send your product to Canada is the most probable event of breaking Canadian law. Again, you will need to contact an attorney to evaluate your speech and products to Canadian law, International norms, and any treaties between Canada and the US.



The justice department/board of immigration appeals remanded my case. Can I get my voluntary departure bond back and ICE bond?


I am a US citizen and I filed a I-130 for my husband after he was granted a voluntary departure and the case was under appeal. The decision came back they granted a remand because of the rule change to get a I-601a waiver. So, now can he get his voluntary departure bond back and the $7500 ICE bond?


Christopher Ward: Here in Atlanta, probably not. You can call and ask but the case was remanded back to the immigration judge. You will probably need to get a 601A approved and the case remanded to CIS.



How do I get my brother out of jail for violating terms of a probation that he did not know about?


My brother was arrested in Fulton County after getting into a car accident. When the police arrived, they said that he had been driving without a license. We live in Rockdale County. He had received tickets early last year, but they had already been paid off. When I tried to bond him out, Rockdale police had placed a hold on him, stating that he had violated the terms of his probation. He did not know that he was even on probation. He was not read his rights, nor was he informed of what he was being arrested for until he was taken to the detention center. He is currently waiting to see a judge in Atlanta.


Christopher Ward: He is going to have to wait until he sees the judge. He will have his opportunity to explain to the Rockdale judge why he violated his probation.



How do I legitimize my daughter? I am still with her mother but I am not on the birth certificate, and I have the mother’s consent.


 How much does it cost?


Christopher Ward: Both parties agreeing, the superior court clerk’s office will probably have forms you can fill and file with the court. Cost, the filing fee.



 Is it illegal to take back a truck that is in your name?


Wife recently left and she took the truck that is in both of our names. Can I snatch the truck back from the parking lot while she's at work? I need a vehicle to get back and forth to cancer center.


Christopher Ward: If there hasn't been a petition filed, no court orders, etc. then it isn't illegal but not a good idea, especially if she has no other means of getting home from work.



What if the petitioner of a TPO contacts the respondent after filing the TPO?


My wife filed the TPO at the courthouse at 3pm on Friday then she contacted me via email at 8pm on that day I did not respond does this invalidate the TPO?


Christopher Ward: It doesn't invalidate a TPO petition but it doesn't make it any easier for her when the hearing is held.



Green Card Status- Exclusion


My father was on prohibition after he was out of the jail. He went half way and went back to India since my grandmother had cancer and passed away. Since then he didn’t return, I check his status on 800 number, the court ordered exclusion in 1997. What can be done to bring him back, his whole family is US citizen. Can he use the old one or can I apply for him a new one?


Christopher Ward: You will need to schedule an appointment with an immigration attorney. The answer to your question far exceeds what can be done on website.



I am 15, turning 16 in January. I live with my mom but I want to live with my dad. What do I have to do?


I really would like to live with my dad, but I doubt that my mom would agree to it. Staying with my dad is so much easier than with my mom, there is so much drama at my mother’s! I understand that I am a minor and we have less rights than that of adults... I'm not even allowed to legally own my own property until I'm 18. What the heck? Anyways, my dad agrees that I should live with him also. My dad lives in Clayton County though, and my mom and I live in Henry County. Can anyone give me a good lawyer for my father to work with? And would the lawyer have to be one from Clayton or Henry County?


Christopher Ward: A 16 year choosing to live with the non-custodial parent is a change in material circumstances allowing the non-custodial parent to file a child custody modification petition. It would relieve everyone of a significant amount of stress and substantially lower the cost if the custodial parent would consent but it isn't necessary. There is a considerable amount of work involved and it is normally something one wouldn't do without retaining an attorney. Your dad should consult with an attorney.



Hi ... I applied for both TPS and Asylum and both have been approved. I want to travel


so should I apply for travel document or advance parole or it doesn't matter? Advance parole takes less time?


Christopher Ward: Would need to know more you and you asylum case before I would answer your question. The answer might be you shouldn't travel at all.



Will illegal use of vehicle conviction in Australia, almost 60 years ago affect application for citizenship/ I am 77 years old.


You can see I was only 17 or 18 when it happened.


Christopher Ward: Depends on what happened 60 years ago. They will probably want the details but I doubt it should cause too much of a problem.



Can I travel back to my home country with my immigrant visa if I have not yet received my green card?


I entered 29 days ago to usa with my immigrant visa. I paid the $165 fee before coming to United States. It says in the immigrant visa in my passport that "Upon endorsement is valid for 1 year as i551". I assume the endorsement is the entry stamp with my A number that immigration officer put in my passport when I entered. Due to an emergency I need travel and I have not yet received my green card. Can I just travel back to my home country without problems? Thank you for your help.


Christopher Ward: You might try filing for travel authorization but, depending on the emergency, wouldn't go until you have been granted you LPR status.



I-751 waiver


Good evening atty pls help, how long does it take before you receive the actual green card after the interview approval? Thank you so much.


Christopher Ward: Usually within 30 days.



In 2011 my ex/baby mama filed for child support thorough the county. An old child support was in place already and they started


the child support based off of that order. She got angry for whatever reason and stop letting my child visit. I then filled with the court in 2012 for visitation/legitimization rights but had to also fill out a child support worksheet. I put down my income but she would never give me hers. So the child support was based solely off of my income. She told the mediator that she has no money and is not working. I now have evidence that she was working and she filled a return. Would she have to pay back child support to me. We are now going to court for child support modification as she wants an increase. Please help!


Christopher Ward: As mentioned several times, you need to retain an attorney.



How do I go about getting my house in my name?


Wife left and agreed if I sign the truck over to her she will sign the house over to my name. We are not yet divorced, how do I go about doing this, does it have to go in front of a judge? If I do agree to this, can she still fight for the house if it's in my name during a divorce?


Christopher Ward: There are several differing aspects to the deed and mortgage of a house the two of you own. As mentioned you might consult with an attorney as to the particulars of your situation and the advantages of dealing with this through a divorce action.



How can I figure how much child support I will be paid in the state of GA?


My husband is the one that is leaving me and our 3 daughters. He does make more than I do but not that much more. He wants joint custody every other week but I don’t want that. I want him to only have the girls 2 days a week.


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, the child support guidelines are online. There are permissible deviations but must be explained and approved by the court. As for a parenting plan, your attorney will need to file one with court. After the arguments, the court will order visitation in the best interest of the child.



Why will my lawyer not listen or put a child first, especially when he is in danger?


Going thru divorce. I'm a good religious person. ex and his family have issues such as mental, verbal, physical abuse. Drug problems, alcohol problems.


Christopher Ward: If you are not getting adequate representation then fire and hire another attorney. But understand your soon to be ex-spouse is, I assume, the father. Many times the court hears allegations from both parties and will need to hold a hearing as to what is in the best interest of the child.



What are the chances of getting a second F1 visa after Overstaying the first one?


Due to a misunderstanding between me and my DSO I overstayed my visa with almost 6 moth and when I tried to apply for reinstatement I got denied because my overstay passed 5 months. Now I got a new admission from a new university and I was wondering If I apply for a second F1 visa what are the chances of getting it and If I got it will be able to enter the US with no problems at the port of entry?
I left voluntarily and didn't do anything illegal during my stay in the states.


Additional information


My last day at school was MAY 5th 2013 and I left the country on October 31st 2013.


Christopher Ward: It doesn't seem you broke the 180 day unlawful presence invoking a 3 year bar on admissibility. With that said, overstaying is a serious violation leading to a denial. You can bolster your case by getting a letter from the previous DSO explaining their mistake or the reasonableness of the miscommunication. You should consult an immigration attorney to help guide you through the process.



Hi, I need help in AOS forms, I-864 and I-864a. Plz help me, me and my spouse are filling tax returns jointly from last 4 years.


I did file joint sponsor for my parents, but NVC sent me check list about mistakes in both forms (in form I-864 from me).
PART 6 question 13.a .1-the income u entered must match the total gross income on your most recent income tax return, if you filed the form 1040EZ use the adjusted gross income instead.
Should I enter joint gross income amount? I did check this amount is same on my (W2) which I entered in this question.
(FORM I-864 A part 1)
question 11, I did add my wife short term disability w2 income with her regular gross income, and NVC said about this question (name xxxxxxx, income indicated on line 11 of the I-864a does not correspond to the shown on the most recent tax return and w-2(s)
Should I enter just her regular gross income without short term disability w-2?


Christopher Ward: You need to have a consultation with an immigration attorney. It is difficult to evaluate your question without reviewing the documents in question.



What should I do?


I have been living with my fiance for 6 years. He has always allowed me to use his social security debit card. He passed away and some relatives of his are mad at me and are saying they are going to open an investigation saying I fraudulantly used money. Can they really do that and I get in trouble?


Christopher Ward: Yes, they can complain. Of course the merits of their complaint is something altogether different.



How do I get my brother out of jail for violating terms of a probation that he did not know about?


My brother was arrested in Fulton County after getting into a car accident. When the police arrived, they said that he had been driving without a license. We live in Rockdale County. He had received tickets early last year, but they had already been paid off. When I tried to bond him out, Rockdale police had placed a hold on him, stating that he had violated the terms of his probation. He did not know that he was even on probation. He was not read his rights, nor was he informed of what he was being arrested for until he was taken to the detention center. He is currently waiting to see a judge in Atlanta.


Christopher Ward: He is going to have to wait until he sees the judge. He will have his opportunity to explain to the Rockdale judge why he violated his probation.



My husband has to pay half of medical bills for his children.



My husband’s court order states he is to pay half of his children's medical bills. He pays half of the insurance as well. His ex-wife took his daughter to an eye doctor but had already used the one time a year covered visit by the insurance. His papers say the ex-wife is to notify him first about medical issues before doctor’s appointments and they are to discuss it first unless it’s an emergency which she just had a watery eye. She for one didn't notify him and didn't go to the pcp before going to the eye specialist so she paid cash. He called the insurance company and they said they would have covered it 100% had the mother got a referral from pcp (that's their protocol for coverage). Is the mother able to not use insurance he pays for and not follow court orders?



Christopher Ward: The short answer is no and based on your fact pattern she might have a difficult time getting reimbursed.


Can I get my fiances residence after us being married?


Well, I am going to marry my fiance next week, but I was wondering what I had to do getting his residence, how long will it take? What are the requirements? He has never entered the US illegally b/c he currently has a visa. Btw I am 18 years old.


Christopher Ward: You being a US citizen, after marriage, file an I-130, I-485, the attaching required files, and a package of evidence to prove several differing requirements. The question you asked requires a much more detailed answer that is not possible on AVVO. You will need, at a minimum, to have a consultation with an immigration attorney. Feel free to contact me after the 21st.


Ex-wife will not sell the marital property after 6 years.


My ex-wife will not sell our home and the decree said for it to be sold 6 years ago per the divorce agreement. My name is on the mortgage and when I dropped my girls off at her house she got crazy because I was late and called the police. She asked the officer to give myself and my wife a criminal trust pass warning. I now have a house she won't sell and I can't even go onto the property. What can I do to have her sell it?


Christopher Ward: You should consider consulting a local attorney and allow him to review your decree. There might be justification in filing a contempt complaint but based on the facts given it isn't possible to determine if there is any merit in doing so. The criminal trespassing looks negatively on your ex if you end up in court, at least on the facts you gave.



I just found out a child support arrears judgment from Superior court judge, of over $60k, may have been changed to ZERO.



I just found out a child support arrears judgment from Superior court judge, of over $60k, may have been changed to ZERO via ADMIN Hearing, 3 1/2 years ago. I turned my case over to CSS for enforcement (already included Superior court judgment & hundreds of certified court documents, that detailed years frustrating attempts to collect support) I wasn’t notified, CSS was at hearing, I am not listed as party, but NCF 'claimed' she paid me, and since I was not present, judge found NCF credible. My CSS case still active just reflected the arrear change 2 weeks ago. Went in office and after 2 lengthy trips to supervisor, audit(?) I was sent away and told the State CSS Atty was being sent the case for 'review'. I was given a copy of the 'order' from 2010, which was a fax not cert? HELP.



Christopher Ward: Find an attorney, let him review your documents and if necessary file a contempt action.



I am 18 years old on deferred action with an approved I-130 and also visa number current. My mom who petitioned is permanent res.



My mom petitioned for me when she became a green card holder. I am currently living with my mother in the states. I moved to this country along with her in 2002. She got her permanent residence through my US citizen sister. I came to the country legally however ran out of status and ended up applying through deferred action in 2012. Please let me know if i am able to adjust my status now since I have I -130 approved and visa number current in my category?



Christopher Ward: Depends on when she filed your application. Contact an immigration attorney for a consultation.


My fiance is in jail with an immigration hold.


3Rd deportation he has 2 American citizen children.


Christopher Ward: You need to contact an immigration attorney. The answer to your inquiry depends on a substantial amount of information that cannot reasonably be given on website.


I am under deferred action and getting ready to get married to a US citizen. Can I adjust my status?


I entered the country illegally, but was listed on an I-130 as a dependent of a beneficiary in April of 2001. I think I qualify for the waiver of illegal entry. The issue is that I left the country through advanced parole this past summer and came back with no issues. I am engaged to a US citizen and wanting to know if I can adjust my status. I've been married once before but my divorce has been finalized. What type of documents will I need? Can we do a fiance petition possibly?


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, the fiancé route isn't the best option available. Since an application was filed on your behalf before 04/30/2001 you can file the I130/i485 along with the accompanying documents and evidences. Get an attorney, is it expensive, yes, but not as expensive as making mistakes and then getting an attorney to clean up the mess.



Can I submit my own travel request from Federal Court to visit my home country? I am on Supervised Release.



I am not in Removal Proceedings according to ICE. How long does it take? It is for urgent matters.



Christopher Ward: I'm somewhat at a loss as to who and what you intend to submit. You will need to contact the officer overseeing your supervision.



What are the odds of approval for Green Card with a small size company?



I am trying to change to a consulting company for green card purposes and there are 2 companies
company A -- small size around 20 employees
Company B -- big around 200-500 employees

I know GC has 4 stages

1) Labor
2) I140
3) I485
4) EAD
I heard Labor approval iss dependent on candidate profile
so I assume it doesn’t link with company but my resume

I140--- depends on company,,,,,, am I correct??
If so what are the chances of approval with 20 employee company and revenue is 2 million per year?
This company didn’t sponsor any GC before for anyone, I will be first if I join and all other are h1B visas.
Will company have quota? 2 million a good revenue?

Suppose if this 1140 gets approved
is it a smooth path after that?


Christopher Ward: About the same.



Can I enter USA on 4/30/14 if my 6 yr H1B term in not completed yet and have H1B visa stamped in passport valid till 07/21/14?


By error I got my H1B visa, I-797 and all legal documents valid till 07/21/14, but my 6 year term will be completed on 3/2/14. I have applied for PERM on Aug/1/2013 which I ASSUME will be approved on 3/28/14. Planning to apply for I-140 under premium processing and will know the result 3rd week of April. And then apply for H1b extension. I am planning to leave the US on 2/2/14 and return 4/30/14 and recapture 30 days. My question is, can I enter USA with my old I-797 and visa which has July/21/14 as the visa expiry date which was approved by mistake or should I have to apply for 3 year Hib extension, get it approved and enter the country with new I-797? I was thinking that since my 6 year term will not be over on 4/31/2013, I can enter US with old 7/21/14 approval date documents? Help pls.


Christopher Ward: Karen is dead on concerning your perm app and time expectation. As for admissibility, using an entry document with an error on the expiration date can still lead to a denial of admission.



I am admitted into MUM univ for MBA.I am on h4 and its valid till may2015.COS will be applied in jan2014.Will my F1 be approved?


Course duration is 2years and 7months. Out of which 7months is on campus and 2 years of cpt.
My valid H4 Visa is upto May 2015 only (my spouse's 6 years on H1 are completing on may2015).
I need F1 to complete the course. Will my F1 be approved seeing the case that my course duration exceeds my H4 validity?


Christopher Ward: File your I-539 and send in the requisite fees and evidences.



My Green Card expired 14 days ago.


I am currently waiting on SSDI benefits. I will not be able to renew it until January 15 due to Financial Hardship. Can I get deported for that? I have been a Permanent Resident since 1989.


Christopher Ward: You are an LPR independent of your card expiration date. You can get your new card or as mentioned apply for naturalization. If you have worries or issues pertaining to a naturalization filing contact an attorney for a consultation.



I am a US citizen born outside US. I currently live outside US. Although I have visited US but have not lived in US. I am married


US citizenship for my daughter born outside US.


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, there are some eligibility issues to be determined. Contact an immigration attorney for a consultation.



Is there anything I can do to get my kids for the time I’m allowed per court order?


I live in Georgia & my kids live in Michigan. My court order states that I get my kids Dec 26-Jan 3. I told their mother that I was paying for their round trip tickets on a plane & that they would be flying by themselves as (Unaccompanied Minors) she said she wasn’t comfortable with that, and she was not going to put them on a plane. My attorney in Michigan filed an emergency motion. Court was today, the referee & the assistant thought it was crazy of me to want my 5yr old & 8yr old to get on a plane by themselves & told my attorney the judge was going to see it the same way as the mother. We went before the judge & my attorney couldn’t even plead my case before the judge stop him & said, "I’m not going to force a mother to put her kids on a plane if she doesn’t feel comfortable"!


Additional information


For me to buy 3 round trip tickets is astronomical during the holidays, so escorting them was not a option. Driving down 12 hrs there & 12 hrs back on xmas & during my time with them on the highway was not an option, either.


Christopher Ward: Buy yourself a round trip ticket and escort your kids to Georgia.



Do I need a lawyer for this court case? Should I even go?


I was previously in an abusive relationship and we lived together. I left after he hurt me one night and he threw all my belongings out in the rain. He is now sueing me for not paying the termination fee at the apartment but he as already paid it. I am not sure if I should just accept it even though I don't have any money for him to take or if I should fight it. I'm not sure if I have a chance.


Christopher Ward: I don't think it would be worth the cost of hiring an attorney. Show up and tell the judge what happen.



I am illegal here in the U.S. How can I become Legal?


I came in 2010 with legal entry and I overstayed till then, so kindly let me know how can I become legally? If I married with a US citizen girl would I get Advance payroll can let me know.


Christopher Ward: With an entry with inspection (entered the US legally), marrying a US citizen allows you to file for a permanent residence status without the need to return to your home country for a consulate interview. There are several forms to file with each form having its own requisite forms and evidence requirements. I recommend that you have a consultation with an immigration attorney.



What to do after an answer has been filed to contempt charges.


I filed a contempt charge against a parent not following court orders. They have answered to the contempt but their answer does not relate to the issue on the contempt charge. What do I need to do or file to notify the judge that the answer the defendant gave is not true/correct or relevant to the contempt?


Christopher Ward: Serve discovery and start developing your case for court. Consider retaining an attorney.



I would like to know if I'm eligible to apply for U.S. Citizen or not.


Here is my condition:

1. First time arrival to United States: July, 2004
2. Departed (first time) US - Thailand: September, 2006 - March, 2007
3. Departed (second time) US -Thailand: February, 2008 - September, 2010
With approval of "Re-Entry permit" Application for Ins Travel Document (I-797C, Notice of Action)
4. Departed (third time) US - Thailand: September, 2012 - February, 2013
5. Stay in US until current.

Additional information


I got my 10 years green card from my mother and will be expire on September 14, 2014

So basically, I stayed in US for almost 39 months subtract 5 months from my third departure, equal 34 months since 2010.

Thank you.


Christopher Ward: If you were an LPR since your arrival in 2004, then you are getting close. Furthermore, did you receive your LPR status based on a marriage?



How can I get a mis. VOP warrant dropped if I can prove I did not violate and if it’s caused dfcs to place my kids in foster care?


My po has issued a vop warrant on me and I've not done anything wrong I'm on prob for violation of school attendance law and my sons are on juvi prob and we have active dfcs case therefore we've been in steady contact and doing as expected. We had a juvinille court follow up hearing on Monday in which due to my fear of being arrested for the warrant I became aware of the day before I didn't go to court and judge ordered my kids into foster care assuming I was incarcerated and said upon my release they can be returned to me at next hearing Feb 2..there of course is much more detailed pertinant info I just need help to get through this and back with my sons asap


Christopher Ward: Sounds like a considerable history being played out here. You might consider contacting an attorney who practices in Gainesville and has developed a relationship with the Judges there.



How long does it take to apply L 1 visa? What are the attorney fees?


Hello, I am here in USA for past 4 years, and now I want to call my wife from India, so what is the normal procedure? How much does it take? What’s the fees for the attorney? What are the things I should be aware to apply l 1 visa for my wife? And what is the difference between L 1 A visa and L 1 B visa and L 2 visa? Thanks.


Christopher Ward: Would need to know what your current status is in the US. Would help determine if you are attempting to bring your wife into the US as a derivative of your status, using a family status, etc... As previously posted, attorney fees are not something discussed on this board, you would need to contact individual attorneys for their specific rates on what you are asking them to do.



Can I ask judge to review my wife's expenses & spending habits if it is blatantly obvious she is not spending money on the kids?


Wife receives enough monthly to cover rent and all utilities. She has gotten behind on the rent twice in 7 months and I have stepped in and caught the rent up. Now she has moved out of state without telling me because she got behind again. This money is supposed to be used to take care of the kids.


Christopher Ward: Leaving the State, as you have described, is a change in material circumstances allowing for a child custody modification petition. If she is being financially irresponsible, it may give credence that a change in custody would be in the best interest of the children. You should consult an attorney to fully understand the differing options available for you.



Can a person born in India, residing in USA on a L1B visa seek divorce from his spouse residing in India?


Details: The marriage happened in India in Feb 2011. Both the boy and the girl don't have good terms right from day one of their marriage and are living separately for the more than 2 years except boy 4months stay (Feb-2011 to May-31-2011) in India and girl 1 month stay in USA Atlanta (OCt-2012).
The girl is in India and works for a software company and the boy is working in USA. The girl is very adamant used to harass the boy every day after their marriage. She is a total mess. The boy tried to adjust a lot and finally gave up after unsuccessful attempts to make her be good to him.
Can you please suggest what are the good options for the boy to seek divorce while he is still in USA. Considering that Indian law is more protective for women, please advise what would be better steps.


Christopher Ward: International law is an extremely complex area of law entailing the Hague convention, international agreements between the primary countries, and certain residency requirements of one or both parties, not to mention the differing laws of the countries involved. Considering the non-immigrant status of the boy and only a one month stay of the girl in the US, a Georgia divorce probably wouldn't be worth the paper it is written on in India. You need to retain an attorney and allow him to gather all the pertinent facts to determine if there are any avenues allowing for a divorce in Georgia to be recognized in India.



Can my husband apply for his residency through marriage while his deferred action case is still pending? Please advise!


My husband was waiting on his deferred action petition to be determined and we decided to get married. I am a US citizen; therefore, do we have to wait until USCIS gives us an answer or can we go ahead and file for his permanent residency through marriage. He submitted his DA petition back in August (biometrics done as well) and his status still appears as "initial review". I don't see why we have to wait since we are married now. Please advise. Thank You!!


Christopher Ward: You can file the I-130 prior to a DACA determination. If he is EWI he will have to have consular processing and get a waiver for unlawful presence if he has been in the US for more than 180 days. Consult with an attorney to help with eligibility issues besides unlawful presence and with the waiver.



Visa Bulletin Predictions for F2A in next 3 months (February, March and April)?


Can you tell me when F2A category will be moved - F2A was no movement in last 4 months (October, November, December, and January). I am expecting F2A will be moved at least 1-2 weeks in next 3 months.


Christopher Ward: Very slow movement, but any predictions as to when the visa bulletin moves is just that, a guess.



Does getting engaged jeopardize F-1 student status?


I am a Canadian graduate student studying in the US. My American girlfriend and I have been dating for two and a half years and intend to marry, but we are worried that getting engaged would pose issues for my student status. I have to return to Canada and re-enter the US once every three months for health insurance purposes so I do not want to be barred from the country if CBP notices a change or if they directly ask me if I'm engaged. We plan to move to Canada after my program is over, or after I work a year on OPT if possible.


Christopher Ward: Congratulations on finding the love of your life. No, it shouldn't be a problem getting engaged for re-entry purposes or effect your F1 status.



How long does the whole process take and what are the steps involved before one is granted a spouse visa or green card to join my husband in the USA? I am applying from Africa.


Christopher Ward: It does take a while yet I have seen it done in less than a year. But you should be planning on at a minimum 12 months.



I was allowed to have my baby in the USA and my visiting visa cancelled. How can I go back to the USA with my baby to live?


I came to the USA with a visit visa to have my baby. The baby’s daddy is an American citizen but we were just dating Cus I was going try a divorce. I was almost sent back at d airport but later given an asylum case no. I had my baby and left USA voluntarily refusing asylum and left before the Court date with my baby. My divorce is final and I want to return with my baby to see the dad in the USA but my visa was cancelled. Please what do I do as I don't want to raise my son all alone by myself here. What are my options to getting back to the USA?


Christopher Ward: You are in a difficult position. Marrying your US citizen boyfriend will allow a petition to be filed as an immediate relative.



Can I ever come back to the US if I choose to leave after 14 years of being undocumented?


I entered the US 14 years ago with a tourist visa and overstayed. I have decided lately to just leave voluntarily to my country after waiting for immigration reform to pass for the last 10 year and it never happened. No one ever filed or petitioned me. Do I have any options? If I decide to leave will the 10 year ban apply to me even I stayed here for 14 years?


Christopher Ward: Because you have over one year of unlawful presence, once you leave the country the 10 year bar for admissibility will apply. As for options, are you married? Do you have parents in the US? Are you a victim of a crime? You might consult with an attorney to vet out if there are any options available but based on your limited fact pattern, you wouldn't be able to return for 10 years.



Can I file a motion of contempt for matters concerning my divorce even though I have moved out of State?


My divorced was finalized in May 2013 and I moved out of State before that and have had no contact with my ex-spouse. Will I be able to file a motion of contempt from a different State? I hired an attorney and was unable to do so before due to my ex being out of the Country which he has now returned and I would like to proceed. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you in advance.


Christopher Ward: Are you asking if you can file a contempt action in an out of state court? The answer is no.



I came here with my two sisters and mothers two months after I had turned 16 and we overstayed our visa, now I just turned 18.


I turned 18 a few months ago, I don’t have a criminal record or misdemeanors or anything of the sort, I’m currently in a community college, I graduated from high school in the U. S., neither I or any of my family members with me here are legal as we have all overstayed our visas. What I really want to get right now is a work permit and driver’s license....of course, citizenship is my main goal. Is there anything at all right now that can help me get a work permit or driver’s license in the U. S. or should try getting a prosecutorial discretion? Thanks.


Christopher Ward: Based on the information you have given so far there isn't much you can do at this point. You might consult with an immigration attorney to completely vet out your particular circumstances to determine if there are any available avenues for you.



Married name on passport and maiden name on I797. Will it be a problem while going for stamping?


My wife entered the US on a L2 Visa and later she switched to a H1B on October 2013. Recently we applied for a new Indian Passport and she changed her last name. Now the I797 has maiden name and the new passport has the new married name. We are planning to visit India in February and also go for stamping. Will it be any problem because of different name on approved I797 and passport? We have all supporting documents like marriage certificate, old passport with maiden name etc. I know her employer will not file a complete new I129 as per the new name as that is a huge cost. Is there any way to update immigration records or get an amendment on the I797 or all this is not necessary and we will get Visa stamping as per new name on passport.


Christopher Ward: With the supporting documents you shouldn't have a problem.



Filing Legal Residency For My Niece & Nephew who are Orphans

Hi, I have a niece (16 years old) and nephew (17 years old) who live in Tanzania, East Africa and are Orphans. Currently my mom is a legal guardian to these kids. Not knowing that she was legal guardian, I filed for her G-Card early this year and she already got her perm resident card. Now she did not mention in her papers that she had those kids while filing for her residency. I want to pursue and help these 2 kids with getting their permanent residency here in the US. What should I do? Since mom is 68 years old and not working here in the US, is it possible for her to do anything toward requesting for their residency here? Or do I need to take full responsibility? I need to start this process asap b4 my nephew turns 18 in Sept, 2014. Please advise. Thanks.


Christopher Ward: You need to meet with an immigration attorney to vet any further information that might be important. As it stands, based on the information given, there are some problems with your niece and nephew getting a visa.



Is the wife in VIOLATION of a Divorce Standing Order by NOT returning children back to home state?


I have filed for divorce. I understand there is a STANDING ORDER in DeKalb County domestic cases such as divorce. She removed the children from the jurisdiction of the court BEFORE being served with the divorce complaint, summons AND standing order. My question is this: Will she be in violation of the standing order by NOT returning the children back to DeKalb County AFTER BEING SERVED with it? The Sheriff’s Office in her "new" state has received the documents and are out TODAY to serve her. Doesn't the standing order REQUIRE the return of the children back to the jurisdiction of the court?


Christopher Ward: It depends on why she left the state and whether she knew of the pendency of the action and the accompanying standing order. If you haven't retained an attorney, you should give serious consideration to doing so.



Can my settlement be taken because of child support arrears?


I filed a civil suit against my previous employer. Their attorney and my attorney reached a settlement agreement for $63,540.53 plus attorney fees. I owe $57,000 in arrears for child support. I was told that once the settlement is finalized, GA Child support will take $57,000 and only leave me with $6,540.53. In addition, I also have to pay taxes because the settlement is for compensatory damages. This is not fair! Is there anything I can do to avoid having child support take so much of my settlement?


Christopher Ward: You probably will not like the answer, but child support services will probably seek the full back owed amount of child support. The rationale is that as a parent you have a duty to support your children which they will argue you have not been doing.



My nephew is 19 years old and back in August 2012 he was caught shoplifting for 70 dollars I believe the total.


My nephew is 19 years old and back in August 2012 he was caught shoplifting for clothing that equaled up to 70 dollars total. After that he got a letter in the mail from Palmer, Reifler and Associates saying he has to pay $425.00 for civil damages. Why is the price so high? Also, he got a letter just last week stating tom appear in criminal court on Janurary 10, 2013 . We he called down to get a lawyer, they said it was felony case but how if it that true if the merchandise was up to $70.00? Also does he get the lawyer the day of the trial?


Christopher Ward: Don't worry about the demand letter. As to whether it is a felony or misdemeanor, there are some circumstances where shoplifting is a felony, Daniel spelled them out, as to the information you have given, can't give you a definitive answer. Contact an attorney in Albany.



What happens if no indictment happens in 180 while you are incarcerated in GA?


My boyfriend has been held in Hall county for 180 days and there has not been an indictment yet.


Christopher Ward: Should be able to get a bond.



Is there a statue of limitations on a misdemeanor probation?


With a year left on my boyfriend’s probation, he made an unauthorized move to another state.


Christopher Ward: There is no statute of limitations on probation. He should consult with an attorney and try to get ahead of any consequences.



I have to serve my ex-wife service of publication but she lives in a different county do I have the papers in court in the cou?


My ex-wife is not going by court order for me to see our son or phone calls. I have had the police to serve her at home and work. At home, she would not answer her door. At her job, she would not come out to see the police. I have to serve her by publication. We live in different counties in the same state. Do I do the paper work in the county of the court and put in the paper where she lives.


Christopher Ward: You should consider hiring an attorney. If she is playing difficult now, it won't get any better later.



Should I go to Juarez or is it better to reschedule my appointment?


I have a ASC appointment on January 8, 2014 and my appointment to Juarez is on February 10, 2014. Should I go to my appointment to Juarez or is it better to reschedule my appointment to Juarez and wait until my I601A is approve?? Please give me an advise. Thanks


Christopher Ward: First, you should schedule an appointment with an immigration attorney. What you are trying to accomplish is an extremely complicated waiver and the question you asked is indicative of not fully understanding your current predicament.



5 years bar inadmisible


I´m inadmissible under section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) 5 years bar, I want to know if after the 5 years bar I will need a waiver to apply for a visa or I can get a visa without the waiver?


Christopher Ward: If that is all there is after 5 years you don't need a waiver, but as Mr. Caprioti stated, you should consult with an immigration attorney to ensure there isn't any other inadmissibility issues.



I seem to have posted this in the wrong section a few times, but please bare with me. I did contact a lawyer, but I need more.


Hi! I am a legal permanent green card holder with a 10yr green card. I have been in the US since 1986.I received my conditional card in 2009 through marriage. During that time that I applied for the conditions to be removed and to get the 10yr card, I caught a felony charge. The charge was claiming to be a citizen with my local DMV in getting a driver’s license (on a 2008 application). After I bailed out of jail, I received my 10yr card. I got a lawyer and they accepted a first offender with a 5yr probation and fine. I am half way through the fine and 15 months into the probation. After 29 yrs in this country and never been back home, I need to go home and bury my DAD.I am getting a travel permit from my probation officer. Am I looking at my green card being taken away from me, and possible PARO.


Christopher Ward: Sorry for your loss. You will probably be denied entry with the conviction for claiming to be a US citizen.



How can an illegal underage person become a legal U.S. citizen?

I am currently an underage (almost 16) high school student. I am illegally here. However, both my step-father and half-brother are legal U.S. citizens. What would be the quickest way to become a U.S. citizen for me and how do I apply?

Christopher Ward:You need to consult an immigration attorney. Your unlawful presence doesn't begin accumulating until your 18th birthday. Your step-father may be able to petition for you but such a determination really involves a lot more information that can be given on a website.


Custodial parent is jobless but going after the non-custodial for child support.

My fiance's ex has filed for child support on him. He has 2 kids with her and she is jobless has been since she quit her job back in July of 2013. She is now pregnant with another man’s baby and still doesn't have a job. Will the court put in consideration that she doesn't have a job and not even looking for one or will they up his child support even more because of her not having a job? Mind you that we do have a small baby at home that needs to be taking care of, too.

Christopher Ward: The court will consider the circumstances of her leaving her job, may input a minimum wage or the salary she lost when leaving her employment when determining any child support redetermination. Based on the information you provided, it is difficult at ascertain what will happen. You need to consult with a local attorney.


If I-130 approved for USA, can Australian husband fly in and out of the USA for his job in Australia?


Hi, my husband and I currently live in Australia. We want to move to Georgia, however, my husband is not a USA citizen yet but I am. We plan to file a I-130 when we arrive there in a couple of months. My husband is staying to get us settled and then returning to Australia for 5 months for work. He plans on keeping his job in Australia for now as he is on a high income and taking annual leave back with us in the basically he is in Australia for 5 months then back in the USA for one month. My question is if he does get approved for I-130...will his being in and out of the USA for his job cancel his permanent residency visa? His employer is Australian by the way. Housing is just too expensive in Australia and we can buy a better home in the USA. Thanks.


Additional information


I forgot to mention we have an 11 year old son and have been married for 17 years, have joint bank account and also both our names are on our lease agreement we have right now.


Christopher Ward: Why file the I-130 if he is planning on working in Australia for 5 months out of every six? But, you can file for advance parole to re-enter the US while the I-130 is being adjudicated. You might contact an attorney to discuss whether it is a good idea to file an I-130 and how your husband intends to be in Australia for 5 out of 6 months and what effect and repercussions for the future it might have.



My girlfriend is divorcing her illegal husband. If she took him to court over custody what would happen?


He's threatened her and kept her away from the child for a week.


Christopher Ward: As mentioned, your girlfriend needs to get an attorney. As for the husband's current immigration status, the courts have held it is not a relevant factor in determining the best interest of the children.



What will the judge do on a comp tempt order 15 times in 12 month?


preventing me from getting my son, had to involved the police 2x to make him follow the court order, as well as the principal of my son school had to get in the middle as well, when he has baseball the whole season, he wouldn't let my son take his uniform with him, made him change at the field before and after before he went home with me ........


Christopher Ward: You need to contact an attorney and have all the facts evaluated. A contempt action including a change in the visitation orders or a petition to modify custody might be in order. Judges do not like having their orders ignored nor do they like having children used as weapons in some petty vindictive actions.



My daughter married to US citizen guy now guy not going to call her by last 4 years and not giving divorce what to do?


Us citizen guy married to Indian girl and took money and gold and ran away from India to USA now they want more gold and money to (DAVADI) he married in 20 January 2010 4 yers gon they both separated from 2 march 2010 girl is staying in cacada what to do for divorce and to calacat her ornament and expense of marriage. Thank you.


Christopher Ward: Your question is missing a significant amount of information for a basic reply, except consult an attorney. Is your daughter a citizen of India, what is her status in Canada and how long has she been there, is the husband's location known, does your daughter have any status in the US? The answer may well be for your daughter to file for divorce in India. India courts are more lenient to the wife and may order the return of the dowry paid to the husband.



Evidence for I751 RFE letter


Wife is divorced during I751 process because marriage was not in good faith. Received I751 RFE letter to provide evidence of marriage in good faith, joint bank a/c, joint financial commitments, joint insurance and living together evidence before the final date. We didn't have any of those mentioned and final date is passed. Received another letter after the final date requesting the same thing to present at interview. The interview letter is not received.
What happens if I the spouse do not show up at interview if a letter is sent for interview? Is she going to lose her green card or she will be deported? Please advise what action the immigration will take in this situation.


Christopher Ward: A little confused as to who is asking this question. Are you the US citizen who divorce the foreign national? If so and if you do not show up for the interview and she hasn't filed for a waiver of the joint filing requirement, then the petition will be denied and a NTA will be issued for her appearance in immigration court. If you are the foreign national, then you should file for a waiver of the joint appearance requirement and be prepared to show substantial evidence the marriage was entered in good faith.



Will I have problems IF someday I remarry and file for another Adjustment of Status after divorcing my current wife?


My wife and I already filed for my AOS. We are awaiting our interview date. But we are having serious marital issues and I don’t think our marriage will last much longer. My question in detail is, what would happen to me after getting a divorce from my wife? If I were to stay in the US and remarry some new lover in the future, will I have problems with AOS because of the problems and withdrawal of my first and now current marriage? Or would immigration not care about my first marriage? Please help.


Christopher Ward: You need to contact an immigration attorney for a consultation. First and foremost you will have to prove your current marriage was entered into in good faith, meaning if you divorce make sure to keep the requisite proof of the bona fides of the marriage. During a divorce such proof is lost and difficult to recover.



Is it legal to test for semen on ladies underwear to use in court?


If so should I tell her if results are positive before consulting a lawyer?


Additional information


This is related to a man who is trying to find out if his wife is cheating.


Christopher Ward: Adultery is difficult to prove but if you suspect your wife is sleeping around contact a good PI to investigate, take pictures, etc.. They also make good witnesses. You will also know it she is or isn't. If she isn't you may have to explain were the money went or have to deal with her consulting a lawyer.


Hello, I want to bring my mother with me in USA to take care of my 1 year old baby, how can I do this? Thanks.


My mother is living in country Georgia. I am USA resident. I have been living in USA since 2010 and I have a green card.


Christopher Ward: For your mother to help she would have to apply for a B@ visiting visa. If she does she should be firm in her response that she is not going to the US to act as a care-giver, cook, house maid, etc. but to visit daughter and grandchild. She should be prepared to prove that she is rooted in her community such as employment, home, family, contracts still to perform, or other means to prove she will be returning back to her home country.



Which option will make my Immigrant visa process faster 1-marrying in the US 2- marrying outside the US?




I am a US citizen marrying a non citizens are both here in the US.



Christopher Ward: The benefit of marrying in the US is your new spouse would be able to stay in the US while the application is being adjudicated. This presumes he meets the eligibility criteria of being able to AOS in the US. Otherwise there really isn't any significant time difference for either.



Currently in removal process. Married to citizen and received Notice of Intend to Deny letter for my I-130 application.




I was put in a removal process while I was in college. Long story short, my wife, girl friend back then, and I got married and filed I-130 and I-485 together. The judge informed me that my removal case would be terminated once my I-130 is approved. We just received I-130 Notice of Intent to Deny. I consulted with a lawyer who said my current lawyer did not file I-130 waiver when I filed my I-130. So she recommended me to file DACA for I am well qualified to terminate the case and start my green card process. The lawyer said she would take my case, but the cost is way beyond our expectation. So I was hoping to learn whether my case could be terminated when I apply for DACA. I graduated from a respectful 4 year college and do not have any misdemeanor.




Christopher Ward: Getting married while in removal proceedings requires a higher standard of proof to prove the bona fides of the marriage. (goes from preponderance to clear and convincing) As mentioned, the NOID should have stated the why's and a time frame to respond. If you entered without inspection there will be a 601 waiver needing to be filed and some courts will required it's adjudication before remanding the case to USCIS. Good luck and the DACA filing is a no brainer.



My spouse’s I-130 has been approved so what's the next step? She’s currently in Mexico voluntary departure.




I received a letter from USCIS saying I-130 is approved for my spouse it didn't give me many details on what to expect next besides pay for consular process.




Christopher Ward: Pay the fee (make sure to print a copy of the receipt of payment), if not already filed, the request for the affidavit of support and DS-260. Depending on the reasons of the VD and if based on unlawful presence and how long, you should start preparing the evidence for the I-601.


Would an illegal living here in the U.S. but has a valid El Salvador passport have trouble going thru security at a US airport?


He is afraid to fly because of fear of deportation. Please help.


Christopher Ward: The airlines shouldn't have an issue but care should be taken due especially at the designated ports of entry.


If a tpo is issued, is the respondent required by law to appear?


Christopher Ward:The respondent should answer and appear. If s/he doesn't the petitioner will have a much easier time.


I got married in US and Brazil w same man. I divorced in Brazil. Do I need to divorce in US too or brazilian doc is valid here?


I got married in US and then in Brazil, because we did not validate the American doc, and he needed it to be a Brazilian resident. I am Brazilian and will apply to green card anytime soon, so I would like my status to be updated. Thank you!!


Christopher Ward: Depending on the laws of the state where you were first married the validation was the ceremony itself. Meaning your marriage probably became valid in the US. The US normally will recognize a divorce in a foreign nation as long as it doesn't violate the US public policy. If there is property or children involved, the US recognition of the foreign court adjudication is complicated and very fact based. Filing for AOS can be complicated and your fact pattern doesn't give enough detail as to which route would be most beneficial for you.


Shoplifting for stolen a TV about 2 years ago.


Hello, I was charged with shoplifting for a TV I bought at a discount price at Wal-Mart back 2012.I went to jail for 1 day, I went to pre-trial and a $500 programs. I get my Expungement done already, I want to know will it still show in immigration because I apply for my Alien Card but they asking me for paper that show the case was dismiss or they will decline it. They decline it because I didn't have that paper, now it's 2 years later and my Expungement is done. Will I get approve if I apply again or immigration will keep asking me for dismiss paper? In other work will my theft record will still show in immigration record when they check my background?


Christopher Ward: You should probably speak with an immigration attorney versed in crimmigration. First offender status or pre-trial diversions are usually not a benefit in the immigration world. Furthermore, for immigration purposes, you don't need a conviction per say, just admitting to the crime or admitting elements to a crime suffice for immigration purposes. Expungement doesn't help.


Name Change for Conditional Permanent Resident


Was advised by a Social Security officer to have my name change because my first name is too long and it does not fit the first name field, which might lead to some problems. (additional info: I have three names for my first name. My middle name is my mother's last name when she was single. Catholic thing). My question is, how do I proceed with the name change? Currently I am a conditional permanent resident. No specifics needed, just an outline will be good. Thanks!


Christopher Ward: Changing your name is not a difficult process. But as mentioned, you will need to do it through the state court system then you can inform USCIS.


Am 27 yr old citizen, am I eligible to bring my older siblings to United States?


I have spent more than 5yrs in United State. Am 27yrs old citizen. Please, what can i do to bring my siblings here because am always lonely.


Christopher Ward: You can petition for your siblings. To see the wait time for their area of the world run a search for the visa bulletin. Please note, your siblings will not receive a priority date until you have filed for them.


How do I do it legally?


I am a father that wants to take care of his child but the mother is refusing, I have the history of via text messages where she is refusing help, visitation, or even for me to communicate with the child. I am the biological father through dna test. She has filed child support and I have yet to find a job, I am still fighting with unemployment, learning the ups and downs, its my first time doing it. The judge has told me about the legitimation act, still reading info about that. I am getting the worst of both worlds, I am a father who wants to take care of his child but is treated like one who does not. My family has offered assistance also, my brother leaves on deployment and offers anything he can for the child.


Christopher Ward: To begin the path of having the legal right for visitation is to file a legitimation action. You should also be prepared for the imposition of child support even though you are currently unemployed. There are several organizations that offer pro bono services and many law offices offer what they can. Best of Luck.


Changed status and something going wrong


I'm applying to change status on January 2014 (B1 to F1), now its processing.

1. I told my family that I stay in USA to study, on December 2014 , they renew the US visa and then told to officer that they wanna renew visa to come visit me in US , at that time the officer can't check my application on system .

2. That why they rejected my family's visa?

3. Is it effective on my visa in feature?


Christopher Ward: Many large universities have an international office that can assist with the I-539 and I-20 filings. Neither will probably be impacted based on the family's B2 denial. Your family should consider the evidence produced and what is available to overcome and satisfy the consulate office of their non-immigrant intent.


If you just do biometrics and renew your green card. Can you have problem with biometrics for citizenship?


Had shoplifting records.


Christopher Ward: Your criminal record may or may not be problematic for your naturalization. You should consult with an immigration attorney before filing.


Can my son be enrolled and attend high school while I-130 and I-485 is pending?


My son lives with his mother outside the US. He is turning 17 this year and wants to come stay with me in the US. I naturalized in 2012 and hold US citizenship. He has a tourist visa at present and has visited me a couple of times. When he visits me next I intend submitting I-130 and I-485 concurrently.
1. How long can he stay here while these applications are pending?
2. Can he be enrolled in and attend High School while waiting on the I-130 and I-485 applications to be approved and Green Card issued?


Christopher Ward: You do need to retain an attorney before making a doable situation into a much complicated matter.


Why is my case still pending for citizenship?


I filed n400 and did my finger print on 18th oc2013 I received a letter from USCIS on 12/2/13 saying this is not an interview but bring the following documents for interview when u are scheduled for interview. When I check my case online it says initial review I talked to USCIS customer service and they said they recently moved my case to local office. What should I do to get my citizenship appointment soon or findout what's going on in my case. I have been free card holder for more than 5 years.


Christopher Ward: Be patient. From the information you have given your case is moving forward. Trying to gauge a USCIS timeline is akin to foretelling the future through a hazy crystal ball.


My immigration case was administratively closed, can I apply for a green card under the I601A waiver?


I've been living in the U.S for 13 years, have a U.S citizen wife and two daughters, good job and never been in trouble with the law. I had a deportation in 2004 I was 15 voluntary departure, less than 30 days in Mexico before I came back unlawfully, and in 2011 ICE raided my work place and was sent to immigration jail, got out on bond and my case was administratively closed 8 months ago, I have the DACA permit, but I want to apply for a green card, I read there was a special unlawful waiver (I-601A) for people that had their case administratively closed and were applying for permanent residency? Do you think I might qualify or do I have other options to become legal? Thank you for taking your time to answer.


Christopher Ward: The admin closure of your removal is not a termination of the action. You have some rather complex issues to deal with: VD at 15, EWI re-entry, USC spouse with USC children plus adding the admin closure and DACA. I highly recommend you contact an immigration attorney in your area and although there are some procedures an individual might do pro se, yours is definitely not one of them.


Can I change my pending asylum status to green card because of my job?


I have applied for asylum and my case is referred to court, but in the meantime I got my work permit and started to work in a company. Now the company is willing to apply for me a green card. The question is, is it possible to change my status from asylum to green card?

Can I buy a house by loan while my asylum application is still pending? Do banks give me loan?


Christopher Ward: You are pretty much stuck with your asylum claim. As for the bank loan, doubt the bank will grant a loan with such tenuous circumstances.


I am planning to apply for vaccination waiver; if the waiver is not approved, can I then get vaccines and still get Green Card?


I came to the US on R1 visa. I will be applying for Green Card very soon. I do not get paid very much and so I will seek help from a non-profit organization to help me with my application forms. I am doing my research and need some advice.

I do not agree with being vaccinated and would rather not take vaccines if I can possibly avoid them. In the worst case that my vaccination waiver is disapproved, would I then be able to get vaccinated and request USCIS to reconsider my application for Green Card?

(I want to give it at least one shot. But want to make sure there is a second chance to get vaccinated and request reconsideration.)


Christopher Ward: If USCIS the requested waiver, then yes you can still proceed with AOS.


Is there any way to cancel a green card for dad when knowing he will apply for his 2nd wife & her daughters?


I applied and sponsored my dad and he got his green card last year. I regret doing that after he abused me when he came to USA and I knew he used me to come here and apply for his 2 daughters from the other wife (not my mom) (he has 2 wives back home) and then they will apply for their mom and stay here in USA. My mom has her green card too and staying with me now. So is there any way I can stop him from doing this or cancel his green card. In the same time I wanted to know if he did any illegal thing, could I be responsible for this because I sponsored him? Thank you.


Christopher Ward: First, you can't have two wives, if he didn't legally divorce your mother than any other marriage is not recognized by the US even if recognized in the foreign country. Second, you cannot cancel something you didn't give, USCIS issued your father a green card.


I had my biometrics like 7 months ago and haven't received anything after that by mail or email....what do I do?


I called uscis and they sent me an email saying its under adjustment.


Christopher Ward: It really depends on what you petitioned for. Some petitions take longer than others. Go to and check the time frame for your petition type and location. If out of the time frame, call the customer service number.


My husband is a current federal employee. He is 62, and plans to retire at 65. He is divorcing me. At mediation we agreed to


my receiving half of his TSP and also half of his FERS. Neither of our attorneys know how to go about getting valuations for these two items. I was granted no alimony, so this will be my only source of income for quite a while. I am at my wits end and terrified that I may have agreed to something without having full knowledge of it. Please help. Thank you.


Christopher Ward: Speak with your attorney concerning your worries. Many government retirement plans are not susceptible to a QDRO.


Can I travel back to India when my wife sent divorce papers as such I am not looking to fight for my divorce case in US?


I am an Indian citizen. Living in US since 7 years. I am on H1b Visa. my wife is also on h1b visa and she is Indian citizen. Married for 4 years. We have issues with our marriage. I am trying to work this out but she is not interested looks like. She is not willing to come back to our country to sort out where we married. I am afraid that she might send me the divorce papers, Since we have been married in India under Hindu Marraige act (HMA), Is it possible for me to leave US once my wife issues divorce summons? I really want to work out in India. Can she stop me from going to India? Do the US court has any jurisdiction on Indian property? As such my earned money is in India. Is there any law regarding US jurisdiction on Indian property. Can she claim this in US court?


Christopher Ward: As an initial thought based on the limited information available, you and your wife's H1's are probably getting close to expiring. Unless either one of you are attempting to AOS, by the time a divorce is filed, discovery, jury trial, etc. chances of a divorce getting to a finality probably isn't practical. With that said, she can file for divorce in GA, assuming she has been living in GA for 6 months and you both have cohabited in GA at some time. As far as real property in India, US courts normally do not have the power to enforce any order for a division of such property in a foreign state. With that said, in some foreign states, such an order can be introduced in the foreign tribunal for adjudication and enforcement. She cannot prevent you from returning to India. As mentioned, you might consult with an attorney dealing with both immigration and family issues.




I called BIA but they said they do not have a EOIR-29 file. Where could the file be?

Christopher Ward: You should contact the attorney that filed the -29.


Is there any possibility to get my I-601 waiver approved?


I was a LPR and was just get deported due to my conviction: conspiracy unlawfully transport aliens with sentence of 6 months jail and 4 months probation. My wife and two school kids is all U.S. citizen, they are all suffering extreme hardships: with her little income, my wife cannot support this family, my two children are with the reduced lunch meal everyday, my son need money to goes to special tutoring after school for the coming SAT tests and college education. My wife has neck problem and left arm pain causing her unable to drive. Sometime she has to stay at home unable to work, etc. I have very clear record before this conviction, and am always positive to my community, I swear.


Christopher Ward: You or your wife need to contact an immigration attorney for a consultation. The I-601 waiver will not help based on your fact pattern.


When after 18 would I trigger a three year bar? And would I have trouble at my countries consulate for being in the U.S?


I'm 17 and undocumented I'm married to my boyfriend he is a u.s citizen. We wanna file for an immediate visa since I'm under 18 can I wait here in the U.S while it's in process? When do I trigger the 3 year bar?


Christopher Ward: Your unlawful presence begins when you turn 18 years old. After the first 180 days you will have a 3 year bar, after one year there is a 10 year bar on admissibility into the US. Entering without inspection requires a consulate interview in your home country. If you hit either of the inadmissibility bars you will need to get a waiver of the inadmissibility bars to receive a visa to enter the US. You should consider contacting an immigration attorney.




My husband had a work authorization Visa as well as a visitors visa since 1993. He is a musician and has gone on tour all over the world. In 2009 he went to Jamaica to renew his visitors visa, since his work visa had expired. In 1993 he was arrested (small quantity of cocaine in his possession while stopped for a traffic offense, he gave a woman his coat that he met at a gig and he was driving her car with expired tags. When he got stopped she gave him back the coat, and she stashed the cocaine in the coat pocket) He got bail ($500) and he was suppose to go to court. He did not. When he went to the American Consulate in Jamaica to renew his visa he did not put on the form that he got in trouble with the law in 1993. He did the interview in 2009 and was told to pick up the visa..then he got a call a few days after and was told to come back to the Embassy. They told him he was denied entry to the states due to the 1993 incident and he did not note that on the application form. Right now it’s been FIVE years he is in Jamaica. I have tried to get him here under Humanitarian Parole, it was denied. We have two children that was born in the USA. I am now a US citizen. We have retained a criminal lawyer that when and if he comes back to the states he will represent him. The criminal lawyer made us aware that he will be able to assist since he did not go to court (warrant out for his arrest) and it is an old case (1993). I just want to know is there any hope for my husband?


Additional information

I forgot to add. The Interviewer at the Jamaican Consulate, made him aware when he went back, that, in order for him to come back to the states, he needs a waiver.


Christopher Ward: you will need to get a waiver to allow him to enter the US. It is extremely fact based and extremely complicated. It would be in your interest to contact an immigration lawyer for a case evaluation/consultation.


I am in removal proceeding and my I 360 has been approved. My husband is a citizen.

What is the next step to take?


Christopher Ward: Contact an immigration attorney. You next step is to file a joint motion to terminate proceedings and if eligible, file your AOS.


My bi/b2 visa was cancelled on my third visit to us because I overstayed previously, and now am pregnant.


On my second visit to the US, I was pregnant, I gave birth, paid my hospital bills and overstayed with 50days cause of my baby's health. I applied for extension of stay but left the US before it was approved. On my next visit I was pregnant again but this time with intension to give birth, but I was denied entry under section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I). After cancellation they discovered my extension of stay was actually approved. My question is: 1: what do I do now. 2: I intend to apply for student visa in post graduate study in Canada, will the US cancellation affect the approval of Canadian student visa?


Christopher Ward: The Canadian student visa application has its own eligibility requirements under Canadian Law and is governed as such.


Removal of 2yr Conditional Green Card Now Interview has been requested & my Husband and I are Separated.


I have been married to my husband since 2009. He has always worked in New York Ii worked in Atlanta. Our home is in ATL. We have lived in Atlanta he commute from NYC to Atlanta but he is always in New York. We filed to take of my conditions early last year. We we're told to send more information to show proof of our marriage which we did. However during that process I had found out that my husband had gotten a girl pregnant and he is still living with her. We are now separated but I recently received a letter stating that an interview will be required for us both. I have started and given everything up to start my life herein the US now what do I do, will they deny my Green card? Can I still keep my green card do I bring him to the interview to explain what happened? I am so confuse


Christopher Ward: You do have a problem and would be well advised to consult with an attorney as to which path would be best for you.


Wife served me with a motion for separate maintenance which I wish to contest. How do I go about this?


I live in Georgia. She lives in South Carolina


Christopher Ward: Of course you can answer and take your chances pro se. To give you better odds, hire an attorney, Good Luck!


If I become a US citizen can I apply for my mom who is here illegally for 15 years but entered legally?


My mom entered the US 15 years ago on a tourist visa and overstayed she entered legally and never committed a crime. I married my husband who is a us citizen 3 years ago and I'm eligible to file for citizenship in 3 months. Will I be able to apply for her is she qualified? Can she adjust her status while she is here or does she have to leave? And how long does the process take? Thank you.


Christopher Ward: Short answer, yes. Once you become a US citizen you can petition for your mother. Since she entered with inspection she would not need a consulate interview.


What legal considerations are there for a 17-year old to live with us his senior year? His parents are divorced.


We live in Georgia. His divorced parents live in different states. Mom has custody and dad has visitation rights. Concerned about medical care, traveling with this minor, possible repercussions if he has an accident (our liability). Any legal documents we might need to care for him and to protect ourselves. Thank you!


Christopher Ward: Temporary guardianship. You will need both parents to agree. The probate clerk should have the forms you will need.

Abandoned his interest of opportunity?


I haven't heard from my daughter's father in over a year and out of the blue I get served with legitimation papers. I have done what I could to prove that I would like for him to be in my daughter's life. He's been invited to everything from birthday parties to baptism to pre-k graduation and never showed. He's only seen her 4 times in her life and most of it was when she was a baby. He also signed an affidavit stating that he has tried to contact me and that I have moved and refused to give him my new information. He's behind on child support and doesn't keep medical insurance on her like he's supposed to. Not to mention that my child doesn't even recognize him as her father. Did he abandon his opportunity?


Christopher Ward: Hire an attorney. Counterclaim for contempt for the child support and insurance issues. As for contesting the legitimation action, again retain an attorney to completely vet out your specific facts, but from what you have given it appears it would be a costly action with a low probability of success. Besides, filing the action sounds as if he wants to become more involved in his child's life, again based on the facts you have given, that doesn't sound like a bad thing.


My son's father refuses to sign for his passport. Both parents’ signatures are required for passports.


I live in Houston and he lives in MD. He refuses to sign for his passport because he is paying me child support and is very angry about it. He told me he would sign for the passport only if I stop the child support. I refuse to stop the child support. How can I get a passport for my son without my son's father's signature?


Christopher Ward: The issuance of a passport for a minor requires both parents’ signature or an affidavit if one of the parents is deceased or cannot be located. Dual parent signature requirement is not required if the filing parent was granted sole custody of the child. A parent, for justifiable reasons, can refuse to consent to the issuance of a passport for their minor child. There are several exceptions overriding the dual parent signature requirement such as exigent circumstances (the health or welfare of the child) or the SOS determines there are special family considerations. Additionally, this signature requirement is for children under the age of 16.
As mentioned, you can file in court asking the judge to order your ex to sign. This can become very costly very quickly if he decides to contest the filing. Essentially you are asking a State court to compel your ex to sign a federal application for a federally issued document. On another note, the parent receiving the child support does not, in some states, have the right to allow the paying parent to terminate their child support obligations. They may return the monies to the paying parent but cannot agree to the termination of the child support obligation. You need to speak with a local attorney about what options you may have in attempting to compel your ex-husband into signing the passport application or whether his signature is even required.


What's the next recommended step to take if your husband has a workers permit through the DACA?

I am a U.S. citizen and my husband has a worker's permit and I was wondering what would be the next step to make him a residence without him having to go back to Mexico for the pardon?


Christopher Ward: DACA itself is only the exercise of prosecutorial discretion not to remove individuals that meet the eligibility requirements. The DACA also allows for a work permit and driving privileges. If your husband entered the US without inspection and doesn't fall within an extremely narrow exception group, VAWA CAT or asylum to name a few, he will have to return to his home country for a consulate interview. I would advise seeking, at a minimum, a consultation with an immigration attorney prior to his leaving the US.


Can a person get vawa status with a state drug conviction from 2001 ? Would this first offender conviction bar a person?


Completed first offender probation from 2006 with no record of a felony can a person still get vawa immigration status.


Christopher Ward: Your criminal record may be a bar. You need to set an appointment with an immigration attorney for a case evaluation.


My parents received notice of potential interview waiver case for green card. Can they leave USA while they are waiting for GC?


I am US Citizen, sponsored my parents for Green Card 3 months ago. They received notice of potential interview waiver case for green card yesterday. Can they go out of USA while they are waiting for green card? The green cards will be delivered to my house and I can send them to my parents later. Can they still go back to the US with the green card I send them?

Note: my parents had the working permit for 1 year.


Christopher Ward: A shorter answer: NO unless they have advanced parole.


Motion to reopen


My asylum case got denied in Federal Court. It says on paper I can file within 90 days to Supreme Court. Now I don't know what way is better for me to do. I was married to my wife even before I have filed for Asylum when I came with student visa within a year. We have kids also, and now she is in process of getting her US citizenship. I was told to wait until she gets citizenship and then after I-130 gets approved to file for MTR and then I-485. I don't know how complicated this will be or how long MTR takes or will I have my work authorization if my asylum is denied. Or should I go ahead and file Supreme Court, so I can have my work authorization.


Christopher Ward: There is a lot of missing detail as to how to proceed. I highly recommend you make an appointment with an immigration attorney for a case evaluation.


My I-601A was denied due to "reason to believe". If I reapply what are the chances of being approved?


We tried to reverse USCIS's decision but they rejected it. Is I-601 process easier to get approved?


Christopher Ward: The problem with the I-601 is that you have to be out of the country to file it. The I-601A came into effect in March of 2013. It allows for the pre-approval of the waiver for unlawful presence prior to leaving for the consulate interview. Neither are easy to get and are extremely complicated arguments. If you didn't have a lawyer, you would be well advised to get one. The I-601/A only waives the 3 or 10 year bar on admissibility due to unlawful presence. There are a substantial number of other reasons leading to inadmissibility the I-601/A will not waive.


Can parents agree on a child support sum in the divorce or does Georgia require the use of the form?


My spouse would like to agree to a sum in an uncontested divorce. I believe the form is required.


Christopher Ward: You and your spouse can agree to a sum that may differ from the GA "form" you mentioned. But that doesn't mean the judge will accept it. Both you and your spouse should be prepared to explain the settled amount to the judge and the equities for the amount. You should also be prepared to inform the judge as to the GA scheduled child support and have the form ready along with your respective financial affidavits.


What would the consequences be for my son denying me court ordered grandparent visitation OCGA 19-7-3?


We, the grandparents, are currently getting 1 overnight visitation per month with a week vacation time during the summer and one holiday break. Our son is denying the week vacation time awarded us in the court order stating the children do not want to be with us for that long. He also is denying us permission to take them out of state although the court order does not specify that we cannot.


Christopher Ward: How old are the kids? As mentioned, you can seek contempt against your son for violating a court order but you might be better served by discussing your issue with an attorney.


Can my mother be eligible for citizenship after living 5 years in USA?


Can my mother be eligible for citizenship after a 5 years stay in USA? Since she doesn't speak English, is it possible to get her translator? She is 60.


Christopher Ward: Five years legal permanent resident and basic English skills. There is the exemption but, from your fact pattern, it appears she would need the basic skills requirement.


Can an ongoing baby qualify me for any removal proceedings relief???

My wife is pregnant but the baby is not born yet. She is 4 months now. She is due in November. Does it qualify me for a relief if I'm on removal proceeding? And also I'm not the biological father.


Christopher Ward: No. Having a pregnant wife, in and of itself, does not lead to a statutory relief ground. However, if your wife is a USC, then there are questions to ask. You need to contact an immigration attorney.


Points awarded

Other ways to earn

Married a US citizen after I was approved for DACA. Will it be easier to become a US resident?


I am 22 years old. I applied for DACA and was approved in 2012. I married a US Citizen a year ago and we have a 10th month baby. Will the process be the same? Do I still have to leave the country? Or will it be easier since I already have DACA?


Christopher Ward: it is dependent on how you entered the country, on whether a petition was filed on your behalf and when that petition was filed. The DACA benefits are limited to the ability to legally work in the US and prosecutorial discretion as to removal. It doesn't make it any easier to become a US resident. You will still need to petition and if you entered the US without inspection, you will need to get a waiver for unlawful presence and return to your native country for a consular interview. I would not advise you to do this on your own, the I-601 is complicated and in-depth. Furthermore, an immigration attorney will vet out any other possible reasons for inadmissibility other than unlawful presence that might complicate your return.


Just marry my wife but she has a tourist visa from Vietnam.


Well I met her while partying with some friends and they introduced us and at the time I didn't know that she was here just for a visit but we started talking and fell in love and flew to for fun and party in Las Vegas and decided to get marry I am a citizen and live in Georgia and a college student as well after we got marry she then told me that she had to leave in like 2 weeks but since we are now marry what are the next steps to take so she doesn't have to leave. Additionally no I did not know her before she came over here we met and decided to get marry after we found out that we had a lot in common and my parents also approve. And yes I look this up this is not one of those fraud marriage. I did not know her until she was over here.


Christopher Ward: Although more difficult to prove the bona fides of the marriage, such impulse marriages are permitted.


Removal proceedings


Once in removal proceedings. What is the time frame to leave the country? Thank you.


Christopher Ward: Depends. Have you already been to a master calendar, did you request or file for any relief. If none available, a removal order within 30 days or less and voluntary departure, if granted, 120 days or less.




I just found that My I-130 has been denied because of lack of evidences on February 2014; what are my options?


Christopher Ward: Your options are limited to appeal or file another 130. It would probably be in your best interest to hire an immigration attorney to help you through this second round.


Need criminal/immigration


I was deported n came back illegally was caught driving without a license and immigration didn't put a hold on me my question is do I need to be worried when I go to court or will they just give me a fine to pay or jail time?


Christopher Ward: Yes, you should be worried. Anytime you get yourself involved in the criminal system is cause to be worried. Driving without a license, if your first time, is a misdemeanor with a statute driven 2 days up to 12 months in jail. Yes, you should hire an attorney.


Attempt to Cross on Approved I-130


My husband left to Mexico on a Voluntary Departure. He has an approved I-130 and current Visa Ticket at Visa Center. We have 2 kids, one mutual. He has no felonies/criminal record.
My husband attempted to cross the US Border and he said the office was nice "trying to help him" and gave him a 2nd Voluntary Departure. When the Visa Center contacted us about his Visa Ticket, I commented his attempt to our lawyer and he declined to proceed with my husband's case. He was in US from 1999 to 2011. Finished high school. My question is: Can I proceed without the lawyer for his Visa Interview? If he ruined his case, what now? How can he adjust his status.


Christopher Ward: Would need to look at the record. Some preparation for the interview would be advisable but the consulate will either tell him he needs a waiver for the unlawful presence or he is ineligible due to his attempt to re-enter.


I-130 denial


I just received a denial letter in my mail, they are stating that my petition has been denied last February whereas I did not receive anything that month; also I tried to check the petition status through the USCIS portal and it looks like its pending. Is it a mistake? Or it has been really denied?


Christopher Ward: Contact an immigration attorney. Even if denial letter is a valid USCIS communication, it doesn't mean your case is a lost cause.


My husband was deported, does his family citizenship status make a difference?


My husband of 8 years was deported a month ago, my 6 children and I are U.S Citizens-He was a legal resident since 12/1997.He was deported for a felony charge of possession of cocaine; 1/4 of a gram at the age of 18 in Florida-he is now 30 years of age.


Christopher Ward: You will need to contact an immigration attorney. There are waivers but they are extremely fact based and complex.


Woman comes over from Britain at 3. She is now 32 with 3 kids and no husband. She is not a citizen. Now deport. What are options?


She works, pays taxes, her parents got her a ssc at young age. But got pulled over for speeding and ICE is talking to her...Court date June30th. Doesn’t have any clue about Britain and wants to stay here with family...SSC card maybe a fraud she doesn't know.


Christopher Ward: She needs to contact an immigration attorney. What relief she may have available isn't readily discernible on the limited facts given.


Can I file another affidavit of support for visitors visa while I have already filed for someone and has overstayed?


I had invited my uncle and aunt as a Visitor Visa and had filed form 134 (affidavit of support) for them almost a year back. But for some of their personal situation in their country, they are choosing to seek asylum and have already beyond their visa period. Now, I need to invite my brother in law and also have to file for affidavit of support for him. Will that create an issue since there is already 2 people I have filed affidavit of support but a year back? And if they did get asylum, would that stop me from inviting my relatives to visit the country? I already have green card.


Christopher Ward: The short answer is yes, you can file another 134. The B2 might be denied because of the previous family members overstaying and filing for asylum.


Form DS-261 what to expect


My husband and I received his i130 process approval. Now we got a letter from NVC for us to pay processing fee and for him to do the DS-261 online. Do I need an attorney to process that? What are the steps in the NVC process? What should we expect?


Christopher Ward: Check the consulate website for the home country. The 261 is normally filled out online and, unless there is a language barrier, should be submitted by the applicant. Once received the consulate office will schedule an interview. Make sure the fees are paid.


When to file the provisional waiver?


When do I apply for the provisional waiver for my spouse? He's currently in his country. He does not have an interview yet I have paid all nvc fees so do I wait until after the interview to apply for his waiver or do I do it before the interview? Nvc sent a letter stating they have received his paperwork so I needed to pay the processing fees which I did he did voluntary departure 14 months ago.


Christopher Ward: He is already in his home country and will need to wait for the consular interview for the filling of the 601. The provisional is for those in the US requesting a waiver of unlawful presence prior to leaving the US. Barring any other inadmissibility grounds, the consulate will request the filing of the 601 waiver. This waiver involves the establishing of extreme hardship of a qualifying relative. A spouse is a qualifying relative. They are fact intensive and complicated. You should consider contacting an immigration attorney now to begin the process of accumulating the evidences to prove the required hardship.






































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