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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28813
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I have a two year card, and I am filing I-751 Remove

Customer Question

I have a two year green card, and I am filing for my I-751 Remove condition. My husband and I are not living together anymore, we are not legally separated. I was a student and he did not make much money so we never had a loan or a credit card together.
We have letters from people stating that we married in good faith, bills, and a lot of photos. I just got documents back saying that I need to send more documentations, divorce papers and more proof that we married in good faith. I will try to get more bills
and photos and maybe somebody else to write a letter? But we have not divorce yet and not legally separated. A lawyer told me to get a divorce and in that way it would make it easier. But what if we do not want to divorce? We are just having a lot of issues
in our marriage. Please advice. Thank you kindly, Linda Edling
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

Hello Linda, my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions today. I have 35 years experience as an immigration lawyer.

Unfortunately the law does not allow you to request a waiver of joint filing unless you meet certain conditions. The law is very strict and you can only get a waiver if:

1. If your spouse died;

2. You were abused and have proof of physical abuse such as police reports and restraining orders or if emotional abuse, a report by a licensed therapist;

3. Your marriage has been terminated.

Since you do not seem to fall into any of the exceptions, you cannot qualify to request a waiver and to file jointly you must be living together in a real good faith marriage, not living apart. It is irrelevant whether there is a legal separation or not. The law requires you to be living as a married couple to file jointly or terminate the marriage.

Here is the USCIS Memorandum instructions on filing the I-751 during a separation and the requirement that USCIS request evidence of termination of the marriage within a specified period of time in the RFE = Request for Additional Information.

http://www.ilw.com/immigrationdaily/news/2009,0723-neufeld.pdf

I understand you hold hope for a reconciliation with your spouse and do not want to terminate the marriage but the law does not give you that option.

So if you want to remain in the US you need to comply with the law's requirements and get a very quick divorce.

The lawyer whom you consulted did indeed give you the best advice. Not only will a divorce make it easier, it will make it possible. Currently your marital status will not permit approval of the I-751 and you do risk being put into removal proceedings.

Keep in mind the law is written to cover a broad spectrum of applicants and does not always allow for consideration of one's individual circumstances. Unfortunately, you fall into the broad category requiring termination of the marriage to qualify.

If you feel you will qualify for asylum based on fear of persecution in your home country you can request asylum at your removal hearing.

Otherwise, there is no basis for you to remain in the US based on the marriage.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. Understand, it is my job to be honest and truthful about the law and sometimes the law does not give you the solution or options you want. Kindly give me a positive rating when you are done. If you feel I earned a BONUS, I am grateful. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Judith

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your prompt reply.
So the best option is to get a divorce?Like I mentioned earlier we do not have any loans or big financial things together. My husband was not good with money and did not have credit so when I started from scratch here we took baby steps.I have papers that I'm on his bank account, bills, letters from his mom and a friend, a lot of photos.
What else do you recommend me to have?
Also, I already filed without a lawyer, is it possible to get help now from a lawyer and is that something that you would recommend me to do?Thank you
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

Yes,divorce is the best option.

At this point in time you cannot turn back the clock and create documentation to prove a bona fide good faith marriage but here are some suggestions of documentation you may not have considered and do have:

Love letters or cards that you received from your spouse while in the relationship.
Letters from people addressed to both you and your spouse, or in which the person who wrote the letter refers to both of you as a couple.
Any types of documents that have both your names on them that show that you bought a car, a house, furniture, or anything else together.
Any rental or lease agreements for your home or apartment with both of your names on it or a letter from the building manager or owner proving that you lived together.
Bank or financial statements that show that you had or have a savings or checking account together.
Any insurance documents that show that you were or still are covered by your spouse's insurance plan, or that your plan covers or covered him or her.
Bills, such as electricity, water, heat, cable TV, phone, or others that show both you and your spouse's names.
Jointly-filed Income tax papers (both your names).
An identification card that shows that you use your spouse's last name.
Membership cards for video clubs, grocery stores or similar businesses, that show joint membership.

If you are not able to come up with further proof and are on good terms with your estranged spouse having him write a letter that the marriage was entered into because you both were in love but that following the marriage you and he found irreconcilable differences that lead to a break down of the marriage but you still remain on good terms as friends.

These cases are always difficult and having an attorney assist you with the response to the RFE so that you get to an interview stage in the process where they accompany you would be very beneficial to you.

Perhaps you could even get your ex to accompany you on the interview as further proof of your and his good faith intent at the time of the marriage.

I see this is the first time you are using JA and I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face, but more importantly, I want you to come back to the site for all your answers from over a 100 categories of experts!
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.

Judith

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will give you a good rating! Thank you!One more question, will everything I send to them in the beginning of the year still be in my files?
Or do I need to send everything again?Thank you
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

You do not need to duplicate any documentation already sent. It is part of your file. Only send new documentation in response to the request for evidence.

Thank you in advance for your good rating.

If you have new questions, you can begin a new question thread with "FOR JUDITH" and I will be your personal expert.

Best!

Judith

Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

May I answer anything additional for you to earn your satisfaction. I strive to give good customer service and comprehensive answers. I feel I have failed you. Please tell me what additional information would be helpful.
Judith

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