Green Card. 2nd Filing Phase: (Application for Conditional Permanent Resident Status)

DOMA and Same-Sex Couples: Note that on June 26th 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. Since that time I have assisted many same-sex couples with their 2nd filing phase, application for conditional permanent resident status..

After your fiancée arrives in the United States, you must marry within 90 days of his or her entry into the U.S.

After your marriage ceremony takes place, you can begin the "second filing phase". In this phase, the foreign spouse files an application for conditional permanent resident status with the required USCIS filing fees. Children with K-2 visas will also need to file their own separate applications for conditional permanent resident status.

CAUTION: If the foreign spouse does not file his or her application for conditional permanent resident status within 90 days of entry, the foreign spouse will begin to accrue unlawful presence in the U.S. If the foreign spouse accumulates 180 or more days of continuous unlawful presence, the foreign spouse would be subject to either a 3 or 10-year ban from the United States if he or she departs the United States before he or she receives conditional permanent resident status. If the foreign spouse becomes subject to a 3 or 10-year ban, the foreign spouse should NOT seek or obtain Advance Parole which allows the foreign spouse to temporarily depart the United States while his or her application for conditional permanent resident status is pending with the USCIS. If the foreign spouse becomes subject to the 3 or 10-year ban, the foreign spouse must remain in the United States until his or her application for conditional permanent resident status is approved.

Medical Exam/Vaccination Supplement:
Your foreign spouse may be asked to submit the results of another medical exam, however this usually occurs only when the first medical exam (conducted abroad in conjunction with the K-1 visa application process) is over a year old. However, your foreign spouse will have to submit a completed Vaccination Supplement form when filing his or her application for conditional permanent resident status. I will provide the Vaccination Supplement form to you and a list of CIS approved doctors in your area.

Affidavit Of Support:
The U.S. spouse will need to complete and submit an I-864 affidavit of support, along with evidence showing the ability to meet a minimum income requirement for a family of your size. If you do not meet the minimum required income level for your size family, you will need a cosponsor. The cosponsor will need to complete his or her own affidavit of support on your spouse’s behalf. My attorney fee for the preparation of additional affidavits of support for cosponsors is $400.00 per affidavit.

Duration Of Conditional Permanent Resident Status And Eventual Need To File An I-751 To Remove The Conditions on Status:
If your spouse receives conditional permanent resident status, he or she will receive a Greencard that will only be valid for 2 years. Important: 90 days before your spouse’s conditional resident status expires you will need to file a joint I-751 petition to remove the conditions on your spouse’s permanent resident status. If the couple fails to file the joint I-751 before the foreign spouse’s conditional permanent resident status expires, the foreign spouse will begin to accrue unlawful presence in the U.S. and will have to take steps in order to regain permanent resident status.

The preparation and submission of a joint I-751 petition to remove the condition on your spouse's permanent resident status is not included in my 2nd phase attorney fee. This additional service requires an additional attorney fee of $900.00 plus an "estimated" expense fee ($30.00) and the client would need to supply the USCIS filing fee associated with filing an I-751.

What I Will Do For You:
• Examine your unique facts in order to identify any "red-flag" issues, and discuss with you the best approach in dealing with any red-flag issues spotted.

• Prepare the foreign spouse’s application for conditional permanent resident status, the biographic form and the I-864 affidavit of support that must accompany your spouse's application for conditional permanent resident status.

• Prepare your spouse's application for employment authorization and advance parole (if filing for advance parole is desired by the client and warranted under the facts of the case).
 
• Prepare attorney certified copies of your original documents for submission to the USCIS and return the original documents to you.

• Prepare an attorney cover letter for your spouse’s submission and combine it with the USCIS forms and evidence to create a well-documented submission that avoids beginner mistakes, and submit it to the appropriate USCIS office.

• Send to you copies of all correspondence and appointment notices sent to me from the USCIS about your case.

• Contact the USCIS to resolve any mistakes they might make during the processing of the case.

• Prepare the couple for the spousal interview via telephone to ensure they have all needed documents and supporting evidence on hand for the interview. During this session I will describe what a typical spousal interview is like, describe beginner mistakes to avoid making during the interview, discuss pet peeves of the officers, etc. This telephonic “prep-session” usually takes from an hour to an hour and a half to perform. Most clients feel fully prepared for their interview after this preparation session and thus do not hire me to attend the interview with them, however if a couple wants me to attend their interview with them, I am willing to do that for an additional fee as described below.

• Be there throughout the entire process to answer your questions about the USCIS processing of the case as they come up along the way.

Attorney Fee:
For clients who previously hired me to obtain the fiancée visa, the nonrefundable attorney fee to prepare the 2nd phase application for conditional permanent resident status for your foreign spouse is $1200.00 U.S. plus an "estimated" expense fee (typically $30.00) to cover delivery and long distance telephone/fax charges, copy costs and other related office expenses. If your spouse has minor children who entered the U.S. under K-2 visas, there will be an additional attorney fee of $600.00 per child to prepare their application(s) for permanent resident status. The attorney fee of $600.00 per child is for an application for a child filed at the same time as the parent's application. Applications for children filed separately, at a later date incur an increased attorney fee. The attorney fees mentioned above do not include the USCIS filing fees that will be required at filing.

For clients who's foreign spouse entered with a fiancée visa, but who did not hire me to obtain the fiancée visa for them, the nonrefundable attorney fee to prepare and file the paperwork for conditional permanent resident status for the spouse is $2000.00 plus an "estimated" expense fee (typically $30.00) to cover delivery and long distance telephone/fax charges, copy costs and other related office expenses. The attorney fee to prepare and submit the conditional permanent resident status paperwork for minor children who entered with a K-2 visa is an additional $700.00 per child. The attorney fee of $700.00 per child is for an application for a child filed at the same time as the parent's application. Applications for children filed separately, at a later date incur an increased attorney fee. The attorney fees mentioned above do not include the USCIS filing fees that will be required at filing

What My Attorney Fee Does Not Include:
• Attendance at the USCIS spousal interview. The attorney fee to attend your USCIS spousal interview at the Sacramento USCIS office is $300.00. The attorney fee to attend interviews at the San Francisco and San Jose USCIS offices is $450.00 plus all travel expenses (fuel). For interviews at all other USCIS offices, the attorney fee to attend the interview is $800.00 plus all travel expenses (flight, lodging, ground transportation, etc.). Most clients feel fully prepared for their interview after our telephonic preparation session, so most clients do not incur this extra expense.

• Preparation of any type of waiver in the unlikely event the USCIS wants you to file a waiver during the processing of the case. The attorney fee to prepare any type of waiver is $200.00 per hour plus expenses. It is extremely rare that a waiver is required in a typical adjustment of status case, so most clients will not incur this extra expense.

• Preparation of 1-year work card "renewals". I charge $300.00 to prepare and file an I-765 application to renew a work card, and the client must supply the USCIS filing fee needed when filing to renew a work card. Note that most I-485s are currently being approved within a year of filing, so most clients do not need to file another I-765 to renew their work card.

• Change of address work. My fee to prepare and submit the proper change of address forms for both the U.S. Spouse/Sponsor and the foreign spouse is $350.00 per occurrence.

Please note that any attorney fee listed in this website is subject to immediate change upon publication of the new attorney fee.

USCIS Filing Fees:
The client must provide the $1140.00 I-485 USCIS filing fee for the foreign spouse's application for conditional permanent resident status and the $85.00 biometric/fingerprinting fee. The client must also provide the USCIS filing fees for each of the spouse's minor children filing for conditional permanent resident status ($750.00 is the I-485 filing fee for each child applicant 13 years of age and under when the child's I-485 is filed with the I-485 of at least one parent, and $1140.00 is the USCIS I-485 filing fee for a child applicant 13 years of age and under when the child's I-485 is not filed with the I-485 of at least one parent). When the time comes to submit your paperwork to the USCIS, I'll submit checks drawn from my business account to pay for your USCIS filing fees (Please note that USCIS fees are subject to change at any time).

Do Not Send Cash
I will not accept responsibility for any cash payment that is sent and lost or stolen in the mail. Payment is accepted by credit card or personal check. If paying by check, make it payable to Law Office of Matthew Udall.

Questionnaire:
To supply my office with the information I need to complete the appropriate USCIS forms for the 2nd Filing Phase, both you and your spouse must fully complete the appropriate 2nd Phase Client Questionnaire. Contact me if you want me to act as your attorney through this process and I will e-mail the 2nd Phase Client Questionnaire to you.

At the end of the 2nd Phase Client Questionnaire you will find a list of supporting documentation to send to my office along with the questionnaire. Once I have received your 2nd Phase Client Questionnaire and payment, I will prepare your USCIS forms and send them to you for your signatures. After you have returned the signed forms to my office, your paperwork will be filed at the appropriate USCIS office.

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DISCLAIMER: Read the full length disclaimer here.
Matthew Udall is an active member of the California State Bar Association and The American Immigration Lawyers Association, and licensed to practice law in California. The information given at this web site is intended as general information only and is not a substitute for the services of an immigration attorney in your specific case. Reading this webpage or website does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Visa Earth – The Law Office Of Matthew Udall.

Please note that any attorney fee listed in this website is subject to immediate change upon publication of the new attorney fee.

Attorney Advertising: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Any testimonials or endorsements which may appear on any page of this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

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Visa Earth - The Law Office of Matthew Udall
3000 T Street, Suite 105 Sacramento, CA 95816 US
Phone: 916-451-4992 Website: www.visaearth.com