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Prove That You've Been in Valid Immigration Status

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Let's talk about proving that I've maintained my lawful status. Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our offices in St. Louis, San Diego, and Washington DC. When people apply for adjustment of status, obviously there's usually a US citizen petitioner and a foreign national who's applying for that benefit based on their marriage to a US citizen. Could be a parent, could be an underage child, or could be married to a green card holder where the green card holder is actually the petitioner, not a US citizen. In each situation, it's very important that when you file your application and when you go to your interview that you provide document that you have maintained your lawful status from start to finish. Some people are very good about this. Some people are very disorganized and not so good about this. It's very, very important though.

And it's especially important if you're filing as the spouse of a green card holder, as opposed to the spouse of a citizen. And that is because as long as you can show that you were validly inspected at the time that you came and you're married to a US citizen, that's all that really matters. Now, legally, that's all that matters, but it's still a good idea to be organized and to present proof that you've maintained your status throughout. Now, we've been seeing this more and more in green card interviews where they're asking to see, for instance, if someone was on an F-1 visa that they've maintained their I-20s and kept going to school and were in status at the time that the application was filed. Of course, if you're a green card holder, it's a good idea to maintain that status all the way up until the date of the interview, if you're married to a green card holder, I should say.

And so we're seeing this more and more. In every case, they're asking for your whole immigration history and of course, when I do a consult or if you see me or hear me on our Immigration Answers Show, I always go over the person's immigration status. And that's super important because there are things that might have happened in the past that might impact your ability to adjust status now in the present and so we, ourselves and USCIS themselves, we all go into the immigration status of the person right away. And of course, it's a really good way to demonstrate that you like to follow the rules and that you understand that the immigration laws are important by demonstrating that you've maintained your status.

Now, if you haven't maintained your status, you still want to bring documentation of whatever status you have. You want to make it easy for the officer. You want them to understand quickly and readily what your immigration status was, what it is right now, and what you're hoping it may be. So keep those records, organize those records, gather those records if you don't have them at the time of filing, and if you didn't submit them at the time of filing, then you definitely want to bring those to the interview. This is another one of those documents that if you have originals, you want to bring the originals to your interview. They like, even if we submit copies sometimes to go through it and make sure that the originals look authentic. Even though they were documents that were provided and prepared by the US government, they still want to see those originals.

So, if you have questions about this, if you're thinking about applying for a green card, give us a call (314) 961-8200. You can email us, [email protected]. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social, that you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and that you join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays in YouTube and on Facebook where we answer as many of your immigration law related questions as possible. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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