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  • separation during pending permanent residency

    hi. i came over to the us as a f-1 student in 2002 sponsored by a US university. then i met a USC girl whom i dated for a year before i proposed to her. we got married at the end of 2003 in the US. we've been living together since then until now where our marriage is falling apart. we've already had our i-130 petition approved before a federal officer but due to fbi namecheck i am still awaiting my conditional green card. since i got married, i have continued my full time studies, so the university still considered me as a fulltime student and did not take me off the SEVIS. i, however, gave up my i-20 and i-94 forms to the federal officer during the interview for i-130 petition back in april 2004.

    she has since filed for a divorce (she kicked me out in beginning of august) and is only talking through her attorney. her parents (especially her mother) is placing a lot of influence on my wife and my parents are also upset that this is happening. i tried mediators to contact her and counsellors etc. but she's not talking to me anymore. this problem arose due to family issues surrounding us, not because of me or her. (e.g if you were suspecting foul play on my part or her part, it isn't...). we don't have any children because i am still a full time student. she is working full time as a federal employee.

    my options are limited i know.
    1. get back my f-1 status.. but how do i get back my i-94 and i-20 forms?
    2. try to hold on and wait for the conditional PR to arrive and then apply for a waiver?
    3. finish my studies and return to my home country (i am happy to do so)

    if anyone had any similar experiences please share them with me. it's tough for me right now and i would appreciate any kind words. thanks.

  • #2
    hi. i came over to the us as a f-1 student in 2002 sponsored by a US university. then i met a USC girl whom i dated for a year before i proposed to her. we got married at the end of 2003 in the US. we've been living together since then until now where our marriage is falling apart. we've already had our i-130 petition approved before a federal officer but due to fbi namecheck i am still awaiting my conditional green card. since i got married, i have continued my full time studies, so the university still considered me as a fulltime student and did not take me off the SEVIS. i, however, gave up my i-20 and i-94 forms to the federal officer during the interview for i-130 petition back in april 2004.

    she has since filed for a divorce (she kicked me out in beginning of august) and is only talking through her attorney. her parents (especially her mother) is placing a lot of influence on my wife and my parents are also upset that this is happening. i tried mediators to contact her and counsellors etc. but she's not talking to me anymore. this problem arose due to family issues surrounding us, not because of me or her. (e.g if you were suspecting foul play on my part or her part, it isn't...). we don't have any children because i am still a full time student. she is working full time as a federal employee.

    my options are limited i know.
    1. get back my f-1 status.. but how do i get back my i-94 and i-20 forms?
    2. try to hold on and wait for the conditional PR to arrive and then apply for a waiver?
    3. finish my studies and return to my home country (i am happy to do so)

    if anyone had any similar experiences please share them with me. it's tough for me right now and i would appreciate any kind words. thanks.

    Comment


    • #3
      1. You gave up your original docs? Do you have copies? You can go to the USCIS office and request the documents form your file or you can file an I-102 to get a replacement I-94. Contact your designated school official in your school's international student office. If you have been continuing your studies, you should still be in valid F1 status. Final option is filing an I-539 for reinstatement if you are no longer in status. But check with your DSO right away because...
      2. If you are not already approved (with an I-551 stamp in your passport stating CR6 valid until xx/xx/2005) then continuing to pursue a marriage based adjustment without a valid marriage is fraud. Your (ex)wife has probably withdrawn her petition anyway. After the denial, the file may be dropped or (especially if you are not in status) referred to ICE. If you are approved, then you can be a resident for two years and hope for the waiver.
      3. No one will stop you from leaving.

      Comment


      • #4
        hi people, thanks for the notes.
        it looks like my (ex)wife will be pushing for annulment of the marriage. my attorney is looking at it at the moment. at the moment, i just want to secure my f-1 status. my i-94 was valid for "d/s" and my f-1 visa is valid until 2007. i will finish my studies at my current institution in 2005 but i will be "changing the scenery" and attend a different institution. i am just concerned that the current situation may make that "transfer" difficult.

        we didn't enter the marriage fraudulently and we even dated for a whole year. i was legally in the US with plenty of personal funds. i was planning to return once i finished my studies but she took my breath away. now it's her and her parents who are teamed up against me... it's very sad and i guess i just need a hug.

        so far most of the posters in this forum talked about female beneficiaries getting divorced from husbands... has there been any male beneficiaries who had to tough it out and stand on his own? it feels like my (ex)wife and the rest of the US gov is after me. i know, i shouldn't feel that because i am legally here and i am still maintaining my f-1 status. it's just that all my family is overseas and it feels lonely to face this all by myself. plus the lawyers here are pretty uselss too. just me venting! don't mind me!

        Comment


        • #5
          hi. when i consulted my designated school official at the international office initially, they told me that my name was not removed from the SEVIS system and that because I maintained a full-time student status I was not out of F-1. i will be seeing them again next week with respect to continuing my f-1 status again and ask them whether or not i was maintaining my f-1 status by AOS interview in April.

          by the way, how difficult is it to transfer the sponsorship of f-1 or i-20 from one institution to another? anyone with experience?

          thanks heaps.

          Comment


          • #6
            if any one familiar with the law, i would be grateful for the help.

            my wife's attorney is now pushing for annulment of marriage. i have to know whether if i agree to this, everything that i have submitted to the INS would be considered fraudulent?

            if that is the case, then i should only allow divorce rather than annulment?

            i'm having difficulty understanding the consequences of "annulment" and "divorce" with the light of my current immigration status.

            what i want is to be able to maintain my original f-1 student status in the US. i really don't have any obsession with permanent residency in this country.

            thanks again people.

            Comment


            • #7
              hi sphyrapicus. thanks for keeping an eye on my thread. the reason i was seeking returning to f-1 was because technically i was not able to adjust my status as yet... although i had the interview and had i-130 petition approved in april 2004, i still do not have the i-551 stamp in my passport. i am what they now call "pending" permanent resident. so officially i am in between the cracks. i will however be officially adjusted to conditional PR once i have the passport stamped but right now, i don't see any future in that. so i am not going to pursue a PR anymore. instead i just want to complete my studies and then return home sweet home. hope this clears up my situation a little. thanks once again.

              Comment


              • #8
                if you had the interview and you are a conditional resident that is sufficent to continue to be a students with no problems. Is your card coming in the mail? I am assuming you have the conditional card right?
                If you do, it will be alright for you guys to divorce. You conditional card should expire 2006 at which time you need to file another document. But first answer my questions so I know that I am understanding you right.
                What sphy is saying is that once you applied to adjust statust you lost your F1 status. Continue with your conditional green card and you can continue to study no problem.

                Comment


                • #9
                  thanks everyone for taking interest.

                  sphy: so the moment i submitted the I-485 form to USCIS, that's when I lose my F-1 status? this is regardless of whether or not i have the I-551 stamp in my passport? i'm confused about this because everyone that i've spoken said i am "in between" - meaning neither f-1 or conditional permanent resident.

                  wish: when i went for the interview, they removed my i-94 and took my i-20 forms from me saying that i am no longer an f-1 student (hence sphy's point). but because i didn't get the stamp of i-551, the school still considered me as a f-1 student.

                  i signed the back of a "card" and they took my thumbprint at that interview and said the "card" will be on its way once fbi's name check was finished (and it has in june 2004 but no word from the USCIS office yet!!).

                  when my wife files for annulment, how would all this be affected? according to sphys, i would lose all my right to stay in the country becaue i am not a f-1 but a sponsored immigrant who would automatically be considered out of status due to marriage annulment? this is what i want to avoid. i've maintained full time studies and didn't take up any paid employment, so my point is can i at least stay until next may 2005 to finish all my studies?

                  thanks to you all!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ok you have to be very smart about this.
                    when we go to the first interview INS tells us all that it will take up to 6 months to get the card. so its alright that you have not received it yet. So lets hope it comes in September. If you get the card you are safe. Do NOT sign any documentation yet. WAIT until the card gets here.
                    Once the card gets here you can go ahead and come to terms to your divorce or annulment. either one does not matter and it will not affect your status But the card needs to be in your hands. The card will give you 2 extra years of study because it will allow you to study and work if you so desire. 2 years is the conditional period that we all get because the marriage is still in its first stages and INS wants to make sure that its not fraudulent.
                    Is there a way that you can talk to your wife and discuss this with her with out her turning this issue against you? If you think so maybe she can understand to wait another couple months before you guys get a divorce. this is a critical time for you. If there is no way you can not talk to her than try and delay and do not sign ANY divorce documentation.
                    Since you came here to study and in the middle of this all this happened you must at least get your education done before you head back home. Sorry that this is happening to you.
                    The key right now is to get the card and then once you have it IN your HANDS then you guys can talk about divorcing and get the processing going. You can go your seperate ways.
                    Signing papers will jeoperdize your status right now. Its a matter or a couple of months like you guys have to wait.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      you want a divorce, not an annulment. Divorce will take a year or so, furthermore, you have a better chance proving marriage was entered into in good faith vs. for pure immigration gain. Just my 2c...
                      ...Mistake Recognized is half corrected ...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You didn't mention which state you are in, did you? Did your wife cite any particular reason why she wishes an annulment?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I concur with Wish. Again, school officials don't know squat about immigration issues. My school didn't even know the difference between an EAD and a green card. As long as you adjust status before the divorce you are fine. Once you have the I-551 you can divorce. As soon as you divorce then you could file a waiver and submit your I-751. But, if you think you can be done school within 2 years (i.e. the time when your conditional status expires), I would not worry about filing the I-751. This, of course, assumes you have no long term plans to stay in the U.S.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            hi everyone... thanks once again for taking time out to chip in. yes, i gathered that divorce is what i want, not annulment.. i am in state of Maryland... anyone experience anything to this extent elsewhere? i need to get a immigration lawyer who has fought for a case like this where the other spouse is pushing for annulment.

                            swissnut - we married when she was 29 and me 28. i guess one reason is that she doesn't want to be labelled as divorced woman; my other guess is that she has decided to make my life a miserable legal jumble and haunted by the USCIS...

                            it's so disheartening...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think you'll be alright, if these are the still the current DIVORCE laws.


                              LEGAL GROUNDS FOR (ABSOLUTE) DIVORCE: No-Fault: (1) The spouses have voluntarily lived separate and apart for 1 year without interruption or cohabitation and there is no reasonable expectation of reconciliation or (2) the spouses have lived separate and apart without interruption for 2 years. [Annotated Code of Maryland; Family Law, Section 7-103].

                              General: (1) Adultery; (2) deliberate desertion for 12 months with no chance for reconciliation; (3) confinement for incurable insanity of at least 3 years; (4) conviction of a felony or a misdemeanor with at least a 3-year sentence and after 1 year having been served; (5) cruelty, with no chance for reconciliation; and (6) vicious conduct, with no chance for reconciliation. [Annotated Code of Maryland; Family Law, Section 7-103].


                              Seems you need to be separated for one year, with a divorce. So you have time to receive your card.

                              Comment

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