Increased Scrutiny by USCIS for Younger Couples Applying for Marriage Based Adjustment of Status

USCIS may ask what evidence of co-mingling of funds you currently have.
Social media accounts and electronic devices may be reviewed for any and all information that may be contrary to the information provided to the forms submitted to USCIS.
Foreign national students who have filed applications to adjust or change their status within 90 days of entry should be prepared to answer questions and address possible challenges about whether they misrepresented their intent at the time of their nonimmigrant visa interview or entry into the U.S.
They must be prepared to show that something changed after their U.S. entry which resulted in the decision to marry or apply for a change to a new nonimmigrant status or for an adjustment of status to permanent residence.
The Foreign Affairs Manual, which provides guidance to consular officers charged with making visa determinations, was recently revised to include a sponsor’s current or prior receipt of public benefits as a factor in determining whether the sponsor will be able to support the intending immigrant, even if the sponsor’s current income is sufficient.
One way that USCIS has been making it more challenging for young couples is that it increasingly wants to see that the couple has co-mingled their finances.
Finally, documents leaked from the current administration suggesting that receipt of certain government benefits such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, (CHIP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which were formerly permissible for immigrants, may be the subject of a rule change that is not yet in effect but could be implemented soon and possibly result in denial of visa and permanent residence cases.
Therefore, it is advisable for F-1, J-1 and other temporary visa holders to always check with an immigration lawyer before agreeing to receive any public benefits, even for their children born in the U.S. (who are U.S. citizens).
USCIS may access social media to investigate the bona fides of a marriage, so it is best to do a quick review of all social media accounts ensure that there are not photos or status updates which would make an officer question the validity of a couple’s relationship when viewed from a USCIS officer’s standpoint.
Oftentimes, for example, students fail to consider that a picture of a bunch of friends with their arms around each other including those of the opposite sex, even done in a joking or party-like fashion, could be misconstrued by an officer as possible indicia of infidelity or a lack of a bona fide relationship.
Sloppy details concerning the dates or sequence of certain events which are incorrect and conflict with timelines in the immigration case documents can result in fodder for a USCIS denial notice.
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