If I have a legitimate marriage, why do I need an immigration attorney to help me apply for a Green Card? A Case Study

by Anthony Mance, Esq. and Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

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One of the most direct paths to a Green Card is by marriage to an American citizen. However, Permanent Residency is by no means guaranteed, even when the marriage is legitimate. Discovering sham marriages is a top enforcement priority of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). When a couple enters into a sham marriage for the purposes of committing immigration fraud, not only can the application be denied, but the U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident spouse can face up to five years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

Even if the immigrants themselves are not prosecuted criminally, they will in all likelihood simply be deported (removed) and never allowed to return to the United States, even if they later enter into a real marriage with a U.S. citizen. In order to distinguish a legitimate marriage from a sham marriage, it is crucial to work with an attorney to ensure that DHS is able to approve your Green Card application based on the evidence supporting the marriage’s legitimacy. The following case example illustrates the importance of this matter. Continue reading

First Same-Sex Couple Receives Green Card in Post-DOMA Landscape

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Same-sex couple immigrant receives Green Card through marriage

by Jennifer Grady, Esq.

The Supreme Courtof the United States struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26, 2013.  Now the federal government must recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples with regard to federal benefits, which includes immigration law relief.

Since July 2013, immigrant beneficiaries of petitions filed by their same-sex U.S. citizen spouse have finally been able to obtain a Green Card, which grants them status as a Legal Permanent Resident and a path to U.S. citizenship.

Some of The Grady Firm clients have benefited from the change in this law and have been able to file an immediate relative Green Card petition and adjust their status to that of a Legal Permanent Resident.

Learn more about Janet and Marisa from Long Beach, California. Continue reading

DOMA UPDATE: Three Immigration Success Stories for Same-Sex Couples Following the Repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq.

In light of the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States, which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on June 26, 2013, the federal government must recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples with regard to federal benefits, which includes immigration law relief.  Since July 2013, immigrant beneficiaries of petitions filed by their same-sex U.S. citizen spouse have finally been able to obtain a Green Card, which grants them status as a Legal Permanent Resident and a path to U.S. citizenship. Continue reading