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Asylum or Marriage

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Asylum or marriage, which is better for the long-term immigration process? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego, California. I was doing a consult the other day, and I came across a fact pattern that we’ve been seeing more and more of. Asylum cases are taking longer than ever. They’re taking four or five years. We have people who applied back in 2015, 2016, and still have not had their interview. Well, as you might imagine, these people living and walking among us, while their asylum case is pending at the US CIS Asylum Office, sometimes they fall in love. Sometimes, they fall in love with a US citizen. The question is, should they try to proceed on the asylum case or should they try to get married to the person that they love and have that person file for a green card petition for them?

Now, this is a interesting question, and I was quite surprised that someone did ask me that. I do want to make this video just because we’ve been seeing so much of this asylum, asylum, asylum pending forever, and then getting married. People have different ideas about that. Those factual situations can cause different issues or problems. The first thing you need to know is, if you have a long pending asylum case, and you do fall in love, and you get married, and it’s a real marriage, and it’s for love, you absolutely should file for a green card. You’re going to be on much safer ground, and you’re going to get a green card much faster through marriage than you would through asylum.

Now, I will say that if you have that asylum case, you may be inclined to want to dismiss the asylum case and work on the green card case. I wouldn’t do that. I would leave the asylum case pending, and I would leave the asylum case pending because you never know what’s going to happen with the marriage. If the green card case begins processing and it goes through to completion, you will then withdraw the asylum case. Don’t listen to an officer who tries to force you to withdraw the asylum case. Sometimes they’ll say, “Well, I can’t adjudicate this with you having a pending asylum case.” That is untrue. They can approve it, and we’ve had many approved like that.

Now, having that asylum case floating out there can slow down your green card case. That’s okay, because the whole shooting match is the green card based on merit. That’s a much stronger case. So many asylum cases that have wonderful merit are getting denied now. And so, because the asylum rates are so high, you’re going to be on much safer ground, and you’re going to go through a faster process if you do the marriage route versus the asylum route. Don’t dismiss the asylum case until your green card is in hand. At that point, it’s okay to dismiss the asylum case and proceed. Now you’ll have your green card and you’re on a much better path.

These are the kinds of things that we think about. Every case is a little bit different. There is one scenario where you might want to keep the asylum case and probably should keep the asylum case going, if it’s a strong asylum case, and that is if the petitioner, I’m sorry, the beneficiary, the person receiving the green card or who’s applied for asylum, if that person entered the United States without inspection, a grant of asylum followed by a green card a year later would cure the entry without inspection. If you do it the marriage route and the person entered without inspection, they’re going to need a waiver. This is a tricky scenario. I can’t give video advice about each and every scenario. For the most part, if you were properly inspected, applied for asylum, your case is still at the asylum office and you marry a us citizen, you’re going to be better off proceeding on that green card application than you are on the asylum case. If you entered without inspection, the analysis is a little bit different.

Either way, you probably need the help of an immigration lawyer, because this is a little bit tricky. Having two cases pending at once can sometimes confuse the system. Like I said, the officers sometimes try to encourage immigrants to withdraw their asylum case while the green card case is pending. And that’s a bad idea, so don’t do it. If you have any questions, give us a call (314) 961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. We’d love to have you in there. We are talking to immigrants all around the world every day. We also have our YouTube channel that you can subscribe to. That way, whenever we make our daily video, you can get alerted to it. You also get alerted when we go live on our immigration answers show, which is every Tuesday, Thursday, usually at noon central time on Facebook in our group and on our YouTube channel. We hope to see you there. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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