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An Old USCIS Trick is Back

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An old USCIS trick is back. Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri. I've been going to more Green Card interviews lately and I've noticed that an old trick, that I haven't seen in a while, is back. Now, maybe that's because I hadn't been doing so many Green Card interviews, but I don't think so. I think this new Green Card trick is back.

Did I say I was from St. Louis, Missouri, and San Diego, California? If not, sorry. You know me, Jim Hacking, Hacking Immigration Law, soon to become Hacking Immigration Law, LLC, practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri, and San Diego.

So, we've been seeing this resurgence of a new trick, and what I mean by that. When a couple gets married and they apply for a Green Card, sometimes these interviews can take 12 or 14 months, 16 months. Especially if you live in a popular place like New York City. We had one recently in New York that took 14 months. We had one in San Diego, I'm sorry, San Jose, that took 12 months. So we're seeing long and long delays on these Green Card interviews. But the one thing that we've been seeing, and this is where the trick comes in, are very fast interviews for very young couples. Here's the fact pattern: college student, never really had a job before, falls in love, marries their college sweetheart. They get married right after graduation or right even before graduation. And they file an application soon after the young people graduate. They get married and then they go ahead and file. What we're seeing more and more is very fast interviews on these cases.

I used to wonder why in the world would USCIS handle these cases so quickly. You know, when you file those cases, because a couple had just recently got married, and they don't have long established lives, they don't have a long earning history, there's usually not a lot of documentation that goes along with the initial submission. In most cases, you're not so worried. Obviously your clients want to have their interview quickly, but usually you're not so worried about a long delay, because the one good thing about a delay between the time you file and the time you have your interview, is that's the great opportunity to develop evidence to bring to the interview. If USCIS can compress that time, they can have young people, and newly married people, in their office a whole lot sooner, and it then cuts out from underneath them, the opportunity to develop evidence.

Does this make sense the way that I'm explaining it? Let me try it one more time. Let's say that you're USCIS and you're having a board meeting, and you're saying, "What are all the ways that we can cut down on marriage fraud or to deny more marriage-based Green Card cases?"

"Well, hey boss, we get a lot of these cases where someone just got married and they don't submit a lot of evidence with their initial submission. So let's try to put the screws to them. Let's try and set them up for failure, by scheduling their interview as fast as we can."

There's no doubt that on cases that are well-documented and the couple that have been together for a long time, those cases take longer than cases where the couple just joined up together, got married very quickly and submitted just a little thin amount of evidence.

It's sort of interesting. People always want to have their interview very quickly, but sometimes you need that extra time to get that documentation. It's better, it's the difference between having one or two months of phone bills, and 12. And you can do that for every utility or even just life things, like pictures together and all those things. USCIS is definitely scheduling people who've been married for a short amount of time and submit a case with a little bit of evidence. They're definitely scheduling, when they can, those cases very quickly.

You really need to be ready. You need to develop as much evidence as you can before you file, to hopefully have a regularly scheduled interview. And to give you enough time to develop the evidence that you need to get your case approved at the interview. Hope this makes sense.

I was a little jumbled up. It's early in the morning, and I only have one more video to do for this week. Thanks for tuning in. I really appreciate it. You can always call us 314-961-8200. You can email us [email protected]. We have our Facebook group called Immigrant Home. We'd love it if you joined us in there. We're answering immigration-related questions in there all the time. Also, we have our YouTube channel and we put a new video in the YouTube channel every single day. Tuesdays, Thursdays, noon Central, most days, most weeks, you'll find me in there answering as many of your immigration-related questions as I can, in one hour. Hope to see you there.

Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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