Oh my, the 5:00 a.m. wake up call.
Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. People don’t know that much about the 5:00 a.m. wake up call. It might be at 6:00 a.m., might be at 5:30 a.m.
What I’m talking about today are spouse-based marriage cases where the couple has filed for a green card for a foreign national based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. In some cases, certainly not all the cases, certainly not many of the cases, USAS does site visits, and sometimes, oftentimes, when they do do a site visit they like to do it very early in the morning. Why do they do that?
Because they want to see who is where, who is where, who is where. Are the couple in bed together when they wake up when the officers knock on the door, are they both living at home? Do they have driver’s licenses that say that address, and is there evidence around the house that both the foreign national and the U.S. citizen live in the house?
These examinations, or raids, can go very badly if the officer shows up, or usually there are two officers, if they show up and there’s no evidence of the foreign national, or there’s no evidence of the U.S. citizen. That can cause a problem with the marriage, the case getting approved. So, you want to make sure that if you are going through the immigration process, obviously you don’t want to submit a case that’s fraudulent or fake, but you also want to make sure that you live together, that USCIS knows your proper address, that the address where you sleep at night, the address where you lay your head on the pillow, that’s the address you want to use.
You don’t want to be using somebody else’s address, some friend’s address, some address in another more favorable jurisdiction that you think, or whatever. You want to use the address where the two of you live together every night, and that’s the most important thing. That’s why they come out at 5:30. They want to see if the relationship is legitimate, and what better time to check on a couple than early, early morning.
So, I imagine these officer’s like doing these in the morning. They get to catch people unaware, but they do have the right to come visit, because you have to prove the validity of the marriage. A lot of times when we see them we’ll see the USCIS Fraud Unit show up at somebody’s house to check on them. I always caution people when we see them to make sure that they’re not having any funny living arrangements.
Now, if one person’s at work, or if they have unusual circumstances, that’s okay as long as you document it and prove up the case. If you’re acting like you two live at one address and they come to that address and you’re not both living there that’s where the problem lies. So, don’t submit fraudulent cases. Make sure that you submit the strongest case possible and do everything you can to make sure that you are ready.
If USCIS shows up and knocks on your door. They have the right to talk to you. They have the right to look around. You should be proud to show them around, and that you should be ready to answer their questions, and to not be nervous, and to hopefully get your case approved.
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