Brothers William and Roberto Isaias from Ecuador were arrested in Miami by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on February 13 this year. After being detained, the two were pending deportation. In immigration court, U.S. Judge Kathleen William ruled that the two brothers were unlawfully detained, and they were granted bail two days later.
Reporting illegal aliens is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. If a neighbor or someone calls the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, they should have all the facts first. Neighbors can call ICE with or without evidence of any wrong doing. [Read more…]
When Does the Immigration Bond Process Start?
After a family member or friend is detained, the immigration bond process begins. First, the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will assign the detainee an alien number. ICE will then determine whether that detainee is eligible for an immigration bail bond.
Typically, detainees are deemed eligible for at least one of the four kinds of immigration bonds. At this point, the bond can be paid, and the detainee is released from custody while their removal case continues through the system.
- Delivery Bonds are given on the guarantee that the bonded individual will comply with a deportation order.
- Public Safety Bonds are given on the guarantee that the government will be reimbursed should the bonded individual accept public assistance.
- Voluntary Departure Bonds are given to individuals granted voluntary departure on the guarantee that they will follow the conditions set forth in the court order and return to their home country.
- Order of Supervision Bonds are given to individuals granted an order of supervision on the guarantee that they will surrender for removal.
What Happens in a Bond Hearing?
Sometimes, ICE may not agree to a bond. This leads to a hearing before an immigration judge where the detainee or their family can then submit their application for an immigration bail bond.
Individuals who were detained for minor immigration violations or minor criminal convictions will need to prove during a bond hearing that they are not a flight risk or danger to the safety and security of the United States.
Ultimately, it is up to the immigration judge whether to grant an immigration bail bond. They will review a detainee’s immigration status, as well as their past behavior and character. Detainees who can point to family ties in the U.S., a home they rent or own, and employment are more likely to be granted immigration bonds.
How Much is the Bond Amount?
The immigration judge can set the bond amount at a minimum of $1,500. There is no maximum cap on an immigration bail bond. Bond amounts are known to reach as high as $10,000 to $20,000, depending on how high of a flight risk an immigration judge perceives a bonded individual to be. Both the Department of Homeland Security and the individual’s immigration attorney can make suggestions on the bond amount to the immigration judge, but it is ultimately the immigration judge’s decision.
Consult with the experts at US Immigration Bonds & Insurance Services, Inc. to ensure the best outcome from a bond hearing at immigration court.
Congratulations on your marriage! Now that the celebrations have settled, the next step is to apply to become an U.S. citizen. The process related to getting a green card through marriage is long and a little complicated. We have outlined every step and important point here.
Throughout the Green Card application process remember that spouses are considered immediate relatives. You will see this term come up from time to time. Also, remember that marriage does not guarantee a Green Card, you will have to apply and follow each step carefully.
Green Card Marriage Requirements
These legal requirements must be met to be eligible for a Green Card through marriage.
- If your spouse currently lives in the United States, they must have entered the U.S. legally, and be ready to provide proof of entry.
- Your spouse currently lives in the United States legally and all documentation must be current (no expired documentation).
- Marriage must be legal in the country or state in which is was performed. Also, any previous marriage must be legally terminated with a final divorce decree, death certificate, or annulment papers.
- Additionally, some legal marriages do not qualify for immigration status (see polygamy and bigamy below).
*Unlawful or undocumented residence is not permitted. Only under certain circumstances will the USCIS allow an undocumented alien to obtain a Green Card Through Marriage. It is very difficult and complicated. They must return to their country of residence and begin the process.
Green Card and Marriage Timeline (6 – 8 Months)
Once you are legally married, you can begin the process of applying for a Green Card.
- Complete All Immigration Forms (I-130 Package)
You will have to complete and mail the USCIS I-130mailing package. This includes all the forms below. Each form will also require a processing fee. You can pay by check made payable to: U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative ($535)
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status ($1,140)
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support ($0)
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record ($85)
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization ($180)
Total costs for a Green Card through marriage range between $1,500 (spouse abroad) and $2,260 (spouse living in the United States).
You will have to complete and mail the USCIS I-130mailing package. This includes all the forms below. Each form will also require a processing fee. You can pay by check made payable to: U.S.
Proof of Legitimate Marriage
You will also need to provide proof that your marriage is legitimate. In most cases submitting a marriage certificate may be enough but you may receive a Request for Evidence (see RFE below) within 2 – 3 months of submission.
You will be required to appear for an interview. An immigration officer will spend a few minutes asking you questions. Do not argue with the immigration officer or attempt to hide anything. At that point, you will be granted conditional permanent resident status.
It may take up to 6 to 8 months for approval. To apply for citizenship or naturalization, you must remain married for at least 3 years after the Green Card was issued.
If you divorce before then, you will be placed on an additional 2-year probation which could jeopardize your Green Card Status and will prolong your naturalization process.
Request for Evidence – Green Card and Marriage Interview
Most immigration fraud is committed through marriage because it’s easy and fast. The USCIS is will scrutinize every Green Card issued through marriage.
It is easy to get a marriage certificate, so that alone will not prove that the marriage is genuine. If the USCIS is questioning the legitimacy of your marriage they will send you a Request for Evidence (RFE).
This request does not mean you have been denied, many people still receive their Green Cards after the RFE and interview process.
The more documentation you have the better. These are examples Bring originals and copies of the following documentation:
- Documents that prove you share finances
- Documents that prove you jointly own physical property
- Documents proving you cohabit the same residence
- Birth certificates of any children
- Affidavits from third parties attesting to the legitimacy of the marriage
Now you will be asked several questions. These questions will be more personal in nature than you might have heard in the initial Green Card interview.
The immigration officer is trying to determine if your marriage is legitimate and so all the questions will be focused on your marriage and your knowledge of each other.
Green Card Interview Suggestions:
- Make copies of all your documents and bring both the copy and original.
- Pack everything you need the night before.
- Leave early and be on time.
- Dress appropriately.
- Stay calm. Immigration officers are not trying to trick you- answer their questions to the best of your knowledge and tell the truth.
Green Card & Marriage – Polygamy & Bigamy
Polygamy: Having more than one spouse at a time. Usually a religious custom.
Bigamy: Intentionally marrying more than one person at a time. Sometimes used to commit immigration fraud.
You can petition for as many immediate relatives as you want but the United States does not recognize polygamy or bigamy, so you will only be able to petition for one spouse.
You may also be denied immigration status if you intend to practice polygamy in the United States because the practice is illegal.
Legal permanent residents can and sometimes are deported for practicing polygamy and bigamy.
If you have accidentally committed bigamy, married someone without the knowledge of a previous marriage, you may have to contact an immigration attorney.