Green Card Approved for Same Sex Marriage Adjustment of Status for Laguna Client
We recently received an approval for a marriage-based adjustment of status for a Laguna Beach client. He had been in the US for almost ten years. He was the victim of attorney fraud in another state and he pursued a U visa based on extortion among other crimes. He moved to California and hired another immigration attorney to handle the U visa, but he did not fulfill his promises and the U visa case languished for several years.
Originally, he hired me to take over the U visa case. While I was representing him in the U visa case, the laws on same sex marriage changed when the Windsor decision was announced. At that point, I advised that my client and his long-time partner could marry and he could adjust his status to lawful permanent resident. The couple married (as they had wanted to do for some time), and we started the adjustment of status process. A few months later, we attended an interview at the Santa Ana office of USCIS. I was afraid that the age difference between the two men would be problematic, but the officer did not raise serious objections in that regard. She asked my clients standard questions which they were prepared to answer. At the close of the interview the officer advised that she was inclined to approve the case, but she needed to receive the U visa file from the Vermont Service Center of USCIS. She told me Vermont would not transfer an open file, so we should withdraw the U visa case on our own. My client was initially reluctant to withdraw the U visa case, because we did not have any guarantee that USCIS would approve the marriage-based green card. I explained that I trusted the officer not to sabotage us like that and we really did not have many options for keeping the U visa pending while we awaited a decision on the adjustment of status.
We withdrew the U visa case, and within 60 days the USCIS officer in Santa Ana approved the green card. My client received his conditional resident card this week. Now, he and his husband can live in Laguna Beach and know they do not need to worry about deportation. He can work legally in the US and even visit his family in his home country for the first time in many years. He can introduce his spouse to his family in person as well.
If you are in a same-sex marriage and considering the adjustment of status process, contact Nelson & Nuñez to schedule a consultation. Nelson & Nuñez will personally meet with you privately to discuss your options and how we can help. We have worked with many LGBT clients with many different types of immigration cases such as U visas, marriage, domestic violence and asylum.
Categories: adjustment of status, green card, I-130, I-485, immigraton attorney, Laguna Beach, LGBT, Orange County, same sex marriage, U visa, visa petition, Windsor
Jay authors these blog postings. Please contact Jay with any questions.