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Never thought it would come to this…but.. [[Advice please]]

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Hey everyone! I was on this forum for a long time and I hoped the next time I had to use it would be to remove my conditions next April with my husband.. however things don’t always work out to plan…

So I have a few questions and I was wondering if anyone had any input

Firstly :

Even though we had a legitimate marriage, my husband was abusive and controlling (however I have no proof other than a no contact order from his unit) and did not allow me to be on any of the bills, statements or bank accounts, etc. Will this affect my ability to prove our relationship when i remove my conditions because I’m sure that’s what they look at the most, and I would hate to be penalized for not worrying at the time about how the relationship would look to immigration because I knew it was real and we would have no issues.

Also:

If either of us were to re marry before the conditions were removed and I received (if I receive) my 10 year green card will this have negative connotations on my case?

& finally what exactly do I need to disclose and what do I not need to disclose to USCIS (i.e do I tell them we are getting a divorce, that I have moved, etc)

Any input would be greatly appreciated as I have found a lot of cases like mine (I won’t go into detail.. it’s a lot more complicated that I’m letting on here which is probably why im asking generic questions that have been answered a million times and i do apologies .. my head is just all scrambled right now) and everyone advises a lawyer which I just can’t afford.

Thank you all in advance for any help!

Hope you have a wonderful day!


February 2010: Met online via social networking site

1st July 2010: Met for the first time in Lake Charles, LA [11 days]

9th August 2010: Got Engaged!

September 2010: Met for the second time in Lake Charles, LA [2 weeks]

December 2010: Met for the third time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

18th February 2011: Got Married!

May 2011: Met for the fourth time in London, UK [2 weeks]

CR-1 Visa

USCIS

21st July 2011 - 14th December 2011

September 2012: Met for the fith time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

NVC

4th January 2012 - 23th January 2012

EMBASSY

25th January 2012 - 23rd March 2012

NEW LIFE IN THE USA

5th April 2012: POE: Houston, TX, USA!!

7th May 2012: Greencard arrived in mail

Remove the Conditions on Residence Petition

USCIS

April 1st - Present

1st April 2014: Filed I-751 (with divorce waiver)

4th April 2014: Received NOA (1 year extension)

April 20th 2014: Filed for divorce

12th May 2015: Received second biometric appointment letter due to rescheduling my first appointment

May 28th 2014: Biometrics taken in Louisville, KY

October 31 2014: Received RFE requesting final divorce judgment

22nd January 2015: Received final divorce judgment & submitted to VSC

25th January 2015: Called USCIS Military hotline to enquire on gaining an extension in order to enlist in United States Army & was advised to make infopass appointment at local office as processing will take longer than 6 months on my application.

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1. my husband was abusive and controlling (however I have no proof other than a no contact order from his unit) and did not allow me to be on any of the bills, statements or bank accounts, etc. Will this affect my ability to prove our relationship when i remove my conditions because Im sure thats what they look at the most, and I would hate to be penalized for not worrying at the time about how the relationship would look to immigration because I knew it was real and we would have no issues.

2. If either of us were to re marry before the conditions were removed and I received (if I receive) my 10 year green card will this have negative connotations on my case?

3. finally what exactly do I need to disclose and what do I not need to disclose to USCIS (i.e do I tell them we are getting a divorce, that I have moved, etc)

1. Yes. financial co-mingling is one of the strongest things. You would ROC based on divorce so you will need evidence of relationship like joint lease, health insurance, car insurance, etc etc. Anything in joint names

2. It could. You're filing based on divorce of a good faith marriage. If you were to remarry too quickly it would make your relationship look fake

3. Yes you were legally required to change your address with USCIS within 10 days of moving. You do not need to tell them you are filing for divorce, but you do need to file for ROC immediately after the divorce is final.

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In order to prove bonafide marriage you need to show commingling finances and commune residence,without joint bank account,tax return filed jointly, health insurance,lease etc...If you dont have these things then your case is very weak .Even in domestic violence or mental abuse the individual must prove bonafide marriage.If you dont have at least what i just said then prepare yourself because they may deny your case.

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Interesting thing about this, is a controlling person could maintain control just by not allowing any finances to be mingled, keeping them off any lease, not filing joint taxes, and not allowing the AOS to be filed. It could be one of the worst cases of emotional (or even physical) abuse and there's no decent option for the immigrant spouse.

In order to prove bonafide marriage you need to show commingling finances and commune residence,without joint bank account,tax return filed jointly, health insurance,lease etc...If you dont have these things then your case is very weak .Even in domestic violence or mental abuse the individual must prove bonafide marriage.If you dont have at least what i just said then prepare yourself because they may deny your case.


K1 from the Philippines
Arrival : 2011-09-08
Married : 2011-10-15
AOS
Date Card Received : 2012-07-13
EAD
Date Card Received : 2012-02-04

Sent ROC : 4-1-2014
Noa1 : 4-2-2014
Bio Complete : 4-18-2014
Approved : 6-24-2014

N-400 sent 2-13-2016
Bio Complete 3-14-2016
Interview
Oath Taking

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Interesting thing about this, is a controlling person could maintain control just by not allowing any finances to be mingled, keeping them off any lease, not filing joint taxes, and not allowing the AOS to be filed. It could be one of the worst cases of emotional (or even physical) abuse and there's no decent option for the immigrant spouse.

I was thinking this as well. OP, you might need to investigate looking into a VAWA to remove your conditions on your own. If your husband has been abusing you and not allowing you to co-mingle you stuff that indicates a serious problem.


NATURALIZATION
07-03-2013: Eligible to file
07-22-2013: Application sent (Delivered: 07-24-13)
08-05-2013: NOA1 received (Priority date: 07-24-13, Check cashed: 07-29-13)
08-22-2013: Biometrics (Received: 08-06-13, Walk-in: 08-08-13)
09-03-2013: Inline for interview (Yellow letter received: 10-23-13)
11-04-2013: Interview scheduled (Received: 11-09-13)
12-12-2013: Interview (Approved)
01-03-2014: Oath ceremony, passport application and passport received

DONE!

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I was thinking this as well. OP, you might need to investigate looking into a VAWA to remove your conditions on your own. If your husband has been abusing you and not allowing you to co-mingle you stuff that indicates a serious problem.

No. The OP does not NEED VAWA. She already has her GC. She could petition for her ROC based on abuse (not the same as VAWA) but she would have to provide strong evidence of the abuse, as well as strong evidence of relationship. It is better for her to file based on divorce as the burden of proof is lower.

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No. The OP does not NEED VAWA. She already has her GC. She could petition for her ROC based on abuse (not the same as VAWA) but she would have to provide strong evidence of the abuse, as well as strong evidence of relationship. It is better for her to file based on divorce as the burden of proof is lower.

Ok. I have no idea what OP needs. She indicated abuse and control being the reasons for the breakdown of her relationship. She also stated that she doesn't have much to substantiate said relationship with her soon to be ex-husband based of his refusal to allow it. She also has a no-contact order and mentions that things go much deeper (and I presume worse) but chooses not to disclose here. I assume those things will play a role in her getting approved for removal of conditions on her own. Perhaps VAWA isn't the appropriate remedy (I'm not familiar with it but for the fact that it involves abusive situations) but if abuse is involved IMO she should definitely consult with a lawyer to confirm or deny the best route to take based on her circumstances.

Edited by Jamericanlove

NATURALIZATION
07-03-2013: Eligible to file
07-22-2013: Application sent (Delivered: 07-24-13)
08-05-2013: NOA1 received (Priority date: 07-24-13, Check cashed: 07-29-13)
08-22-2013: Biometrics (Received: 08-06-13, Walk-in: 08-08-13)
09-03-2013: Inline for interview (Yellow letter received: 10-23-13)
11-04-2013: Interview scheduled (Received: 11-09-13)
12-12-2013: Interview (Approved)
01-03-2014: Oath ceremony, passport application and passport received

DONE!

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Ok. I have no idea what OP needs. She indicated abuse and control being the reasons for the breakdown of her relationship. She also stated that she doesn't have much to substantiate said relationship with her soon to be ex-husband based of his refusal to allow it. She also has a no-contact order and mentions that things go much deeper (and I presume worse) but chooses not to disclose here. I assume those things will play a role in her getting approved for removal of conditions on her own. Perhaps VAWA isn't the appropriate remedy (I'm not familiar with it but for the fact that it involves abusive situations) but if abuse is involved IMO she should definitely consult with a lawyer to confirm or deny the best route to take based on her circumstances.

You misunderstand. Whether there was abuse or not (which I believe there was) in BOTH cases she needs to show proof of relationship/marriage.

Personally I would file based on divorce and include a letter outlining the reasons for the breakdown of the marriage, including the abuse, but I would not APPLY based on abuse because the burden of proof is very high.

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Thank you everyone for the replies! I do not wish to go down the road of using the abuse to my advantage as I believe I would have a stronger case trying to prove a valid marriage than an abusive one and don't really want to drag my soon to be ex husbands career down the toilet either because he would make my life a living hell..

From what I can see here from the replies my best bet is to remove my conditions alone and submit as much evidence as possible of a legit marriage? and if all else fails I could always consult an attorney later on down the road right?

Thank you so much for keeping the replies professional and respectable! I was a little worried about posting because I know how easy and quick people can be to judge and go off topic! Many many thanks everyone!


February 2010: Met online via social networking site

1st July 2010: Met for the first time in Lake Charles, LA [11 days]

9th August 2010: Got Engaged!

September 2010: Met for the second time in Lake Charles, LA [2 weeks]

December 2010: Met for the third time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

18th February 2011: Got Married!

May 2011: Met for the fourth time in London, UK [2 weeks]

CR-1 Visa

USCIS

21st July 2011 - 14th December 2011

September 2012: Met for the fith time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

NVC

4th January 2012 - 23th January 2012

EMBASSY

25th January 2012 - 23rd March 2012

NEW LIFE IN THE USA

5th April 2012: POE: Houston, TX, USA!!

7th May 2012: Greencard arrived in mail

Remove the Conditions on Residence Petition

USCIS

April 1st - Present

1st April 2014: Filed I-751 (with divorce waiver)

4th April 2014: Received NOA (1 year extension)

April 20th 2014: Filed for divorce

12th May 2015: Received second biometric appointment letter due to rescheduling my first appointment

May 28th 2014: Biometrics taken in Louisville, KY

October 31 2014: Received RFE requesting final divorce judgment

22nd January 2015: Received final divorce judgment & submitted to VSC

25th January 2015: Called USCIS Military hotline to enquire on gaining an extension in order to enlist in United States Army & was advised to make infopass appointment at local office as processing will take longer than 6 months on my application.

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Keep the faith! :thumbs:


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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The easy path and much less stressful is legit marriage and remove conditions, nice of you to keep the divorce on the adult level, it would have been nice if my ex thought like an adult like you are. Stay on track for the divorce and get hyper proofs together and everything should be fine. God bless, keep your head up and try to keep smiling even though it is tough, we are behind you

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FYI.....a attorney if consult later could cost $$$$$$ a shot to talk to the immigration judge, at least here in TX, is $5,000. Be sure are proofs are in order and it will hold down the RFE's and make life easy.:)

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Thank you everyone for the replies! I do not wish to go down the road of using the abuse to my advantage as I believe I would have a stronger case trying to prove a valid marriage than an abusive one and don't really want to drag my soon to be ex husbands career down the toilet either because he would make my life a living hell..

From what I can see here from the replies my best bet is to remove my conditions alone and submit as much evidence as possible of a legit marriage? and if all else fails I could always consult an attorney later on down the road right?

Thank you so much for keeping the replies professional and respectable! I was a little worried about posting because I know how easy and quick people can be to judge and go off topic! Many many thanks everyone!

Actually, it's not a matter of choosing between proving a valid marriage or proving an abusive marriage. There are four bases upon which you could file an I-751 without filing it jointly with your spouse:

1. Your spouse has died.

2. You entered the marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended in divorce or annulment.

3. You entered the marriage in good faith, but you were abused by your spouse.

4. You would suffer extreme hardship if you were removed from the United States.

The two bases you're referring to are #2 and #3. Note that both of these require proof that you entered the marriage in good faith. #2 additionally requires proof that you've divorced, while #3 additionally requires proof that you were abused. Proof of divorce is simply a divorce decree, which is dramatically easier to get than proof that you were abused. Proof that you entered the marriage in good faith is the same in either case, but you've got to prove you had a valid marriage regardless.

Don't even consider basis #4 since the nature of the hardship has to be extraordinary, such as your life would be in extreme danger, or you're permanently connected to a life support machine at a hospital in the US, or something equally extreme.

They do rely heavily on financial evidence. First, that sort of evidence usually comes from a credible third party (a bank or utility company, for example) who has no vested interest in your success or failure removing conditions, so USCIS usually considers that sort of evidence to be reliable. Second, USCIS usually considers the relationship to be more likely legitimate when both spouses have access to each other's finances and credit. A fraudulent couple would probably be reluctant to allow their faux spouse into their bank account. If you have no financial evidence then you'll need a very convincing explanation why not.

My wife and I have joint bank accounts and we've filed joint tax returns, but we don't have too many bills with both of our names on them. I explained that nearly all of the bills we've got are accounts I've had since long before I met my wife, and I didn't see any point in adding her name to them for no reason other than to have her name on them. I didn't add her name to the deed of my home because the mortgage is underwater, and if I file a quit claim to change the deed then the mortgage company would immediately call in the loan. That appeared to satisfy them since they approved her removal of conditions.

The other thing they like to see is proof of co-residence. This generally means documents with both you and your spouses name on them, as well as your shared address. Those documents are more reliable if they come from a credible third party (again, like a bank or utility company).

Sworn affidavits are often also submitted, but they are considered the least reliable form of evidence because the person submitting the affidavit usually has a vested interest in seeing you succeed (e.g., they are a friend or family member), and there is a presumption such a person might be willing to lie for you, even under oath. However, in your case if your divorce is amicable then I would recommend talking to your husband about submitting an affidavit on your behalf. Immigration officers are used to getting accusations of immigration fraud from disgruntled US citizen ex-spouses, so getting a positive affidavit from your husband would add credibility to your claim that you entered the marriage in good faith.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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A fraudulent couple would probably be reluctant to allow their faux spouse into their bank account. If you have no financial evidence then you'll need a very convincing explanation why not.

The problem is, a controlling person ALSO is very reluctant to allow a spouse to have access to financials. They control what a spouse can and cannot do. When you give someone money, they can do what they want.

The OP should try to get as much evidence as possible but also prepare for if that evidence isn't available. A military person does receive a BAH for being married. If the OP can get evidence of that, of places they've lived off base because they were married and other evidence to show they shared a home (photocopy of his driver's license beside hers?) and a life together, because financial information may be harder to come by.

Edited by NikiR

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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The problem is, a controlling person ALSO is very reluctant to allow a spouse to have access to financials. They control what a spouse can and cannot do. When you give someone money, they can do what they want.

The OP should try to get as much evidence as possible but also prepare for if that evidence isn't available. A military person does receive a BAH for being married. If the OP can get evidence of that, of places they've lived off base because they were married and other evidence to show they shared a home (photocopy of his driver's license beside hers?) and a life together, because financial information may be harder to come by.

You have pretty much hit the nail on the head with my main issue here.

I have evidence that I was on the lease for our on post house and I am also still on his DEERS and have my Tricare ect. Military benefits wise we pretty much followed everything by the book (IDs Healthcare BAH etc,) But I do worry that wont be enough as the only other things we have financially are joint tax returns (I believe we have 2) and vets bills named to both of us with both our credit card receipts on them (separate bank accounts). I do have an account at a military only bank but they are all addressed to my new apartment as he wouldn't let me open the account when we were together (im unsure on weather that would hurt of help my case) Just short of that all I can provide are photographs of family trips (to mine and his families) and us living together and unit functions etc. But I do worry this will not be enough... But again everyone thanks for the input! Its been very helpful & informative.. Just got to keep my head up high!

I do like the idea about getting my husband to write an affidavit it is something I will have to speak to him about soon so thank you for that suggestion also!


February 2010: Met online via social networking site

1st July 2010: Met for the first time in Lake Charles, LA [11 days]

9th August 2010: Got Engaged!

September 2010: Met for the second time in Lake Charles, LA [2 weeks]

December 2010: Met for the third time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

18th February 2011: Got Married!

May 2011: Met for the fourth time in London, UK [2 weeks]

CR-1 Visa

USCIS

21st July 2011 - 14th December 2011

September 2012: Met for the fith time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

NVC

4th January 2012 - 23th January 2012

EMBASSY

25th January 2012 - 23rd March 2012

NEW LIFE IN THE USA

5th April 2012: POE: Houston, TX, USA!!

7th May 2012: Greencard arrived in mail

Remove the Conditions on Residence Petition

USCIS

April 1st - Present

1st April 2014: Filed I-751 (with divorce waiver)

4th April 2014: Received NOA (1 year extension)

April 20th 2014: Filed for divorce

12th May 2015: Received second biometric appointment letter due to rescheduling my first appointment

May 28th 2014: Biometrics taken in Louisville, KY

October 31 2014: Received RFE requesting final divorce judgment

22nd January 2015: Received final divorce judgment & submitted to VSC

25th January 2015: Called USCIS Military hotline to enquire on gaining an extension in order to enlist in United States Army & was advised to make infopass appointment at local office as processing will take longer than 6 months on my application.

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