Whether or not your appeal decision can affect your partner depends on your exact relationship with them. For instance, let’s say that your immigration appeal was denied. If you are married to a US citizen or a permanent resident, they can help file a Petition for Review on your behalf so the government can reconsider the decision.
Another instance where your partner could be affected by an appeal decision is if you are foreign nationals, meaning you are not US citizens. If your green card appeal is denied, your spouse’s derivative visa application would likely be as well. It would be safer to consult an immigration lawyer on how to proceed in such a situation.
What Happens if I Am Not Married to My Partner?
The government will not recognize your partnership if you are not married to your partner. Therefore, your appeal decision should have no bearing on your partner’s immigrant status or lack thereof.
Here are some types of partnerships that US immigration laws currently do not recognize:
- Domestic partnerships
- Civil unions
- Proxy marriages (unless consummated)
- Polygamous marriages
- Other types of marriages unrecognized or prohibited by your country of origin (for example, your country may prohibit interfaith marriages)
The partnerships mentioned above will remain unrecognized regardless of your home country’s stance on them. However, the government will accept common law marriages if you immigrate to a state that recognizes them. For instance, your common law marriage would be recognized in Colorado but not Arizona.
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Will My Partner’s Chances of Immigrating Improve if I Have a Successful Appeal Decision?
Not necessarily. Even if you are a valid green card holder, the government will still review your partner’s application as an individual. Of course, they will also investigate your marriage. One crucial aspect of getting their derivative visa approved is proving that your marriage is valid in your country, such as by providing a copy of your marriage certificate.
Besides the marriage’s legality, you would also have to show your relationship with your partner is genuine, not just for getting a green card. Some types of evidence of your relationship would typically include:
- Financial documents (such as joint bank accounts or insurance policies with you or the partner as a beneficiary)
- Your children’s birth certificates
- Photos of you and your partner together
Regardless of your appeal decision, you could still work with an immigration attorney to review your spouse’s options and see that the application process goes smoothly.
Will Appeal Decisions Also Affect Same-Sex Partnerships?
If the same-sex partnership is a marriage, then your appeal decisions would likely affect them as well. Unlike common law marriages, all US states recognize same-sex marriages. However, your marriage will only be accepted by immigration laws if the country where the marriage happened also recognizes the union.
With that in mind, you must also provide evidence that same-sex marriage is valid in your country.
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Do Divorces Influence How the Appeal Decision Affects My Partner?
Even if your appeal decision goes in your favor, your partner may encounter difficulties with the visa application. For example, let us imagine a scenario wherein your divorce with an ex-partner was not yet finalized when you married your current partner. Your current partner then applies for a visa as your dependent.
As the ex-partner may still be listed as your current spouse, the government might not accept your partner’s application as they may not view them as your official spouse yet—and thus not a recognized beneficiary.
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Will the Immigration Appeal Decision Affect Any Children I Have with My Partner?
Like your married partner, any children you have together will be listed as dependents. As such, the results of your appeal decision can also affect them. For example, should your immigration appeal be denied, they would likely be unable to sign up for a visa as your dependent.
However, note that the government will typically only accept unmarried children below 21 years old as your dependents, though you could still petition for children over 21 if they remain unmarried. Again, an immigration lawyer can assist with appealing for your children if needed.
Get Help from an Immigration Lawyer Today
Working through US immigration statutes and requirements can be more complicated than usual when you have a partner or family. If you have any concerns about your case, you can consult with Attorney Hillary Walsh and our immigration team here at New Frontier Immigration Law. We have years of experience handling such cases and appeals throughout Arizona.
Our team works in various practice areas of immigration law, including family petitions, bonds, and removal defense. If you want to schedule a strategic session, you can fill out the form on this website or call us. We can cater to both English and Spanish-speaking clients.