Attorney Mooradian recently obtained permanent resident status for a TPS holder from El Salvador. Attorney Mooradian’s client, a woman from El Salvador with a 20-year history of residing in the United States, recently became a permanent resident. The case presented numerous questions and obstacles along the way, but through argument and numerous responses to the USCIS Lawrence Field Office, Attorney Mooradian was able to obtain permanent resident status on behalf of the client.
The client came to the United States and received Temporary Protected Status. However, TPS for El Salvador is set to expire in the coming months. The client, who has been married to a United States Citizen for a decade, began to wonder whether or not she might be able to obtain a green card.
Attorney Mooradian advised the client the she was indeed eligible for a green card because she had departed the United States and had been lawfully admitted per advanced parole. The client was eligible based on that entry to adjust her status pursuant to a one-step adjustment of status.
In analyzing a one-step adjustment of status, in addition to admissibility concerns like criminal activity or national security and fraud issues, the agency looks to two main factors. First, they look to whether or not the marriage is bona fide. In this particular case, the clients were able to show that the marriage was bona fide, and not solely for the purposes of immigration benefits, by demonstrating evidence of their lease, photographs together, and Facebook postings detailing travel together. Indeed, the long duration of their marriage and their filing of taxes together bolstered the argument that the marriage was true and not just for the purposes of immigration benefits.
Next, the agency considered the ability of the U.S. Citizen to sponsor the beneficiary. USCIS sent numerous requests for evidence and closely scrutinized this factor. Attorney Mooradian was confident that the U.S. citizen was eligible to sponsor his spouse despite the fact that his income came from social security. Indeed, the beneficiary was also working, and her income, given that it was earned while working with authorization in the U.S., could be counted toward the household income. USCIS sent numerous requests for evidence expressing their intention to deny the case. Attorney Mooradian each time returned further evidence of the couple’s financial ability, along with citations to USCIS’s own regulations and form instructions, insisting that the couple met the financial requirements as detailed in form I-864P, i.e., the federal poverty guidelines.
Finally, after much persistence in responding to these repeated requests, the agency scheduled an interview. During the interview, the officer reviewed the evidence of a bona fide marriage that had been submitted. He also interviewed the client concerning the information provided on Form I-485, and finally granted her permanent resident status.
Now, instead of wondering about the fate of TPS for El Salvador, the client is able to remain safely in the United States, enjoy time with her spouse and family, and is on a path to United States Citizenship. Given that her marriage has been in effect for more than two years, she is eligible to receive a ten-year green card instead of the two-year conditional resident card. Additionally, she may apply for citizenship once 2 years and 9 months from the time she received her green card have elapsed.