Holland, MI asked in Immigration Law for Michigan

Q: Is it ok for someone who has a green card to be in a relationship with someone (not married but in a relationship)?

Im dating someone who has their green card now. He has never wanted to put that we're in a relationship on his social media. When I ask why, he says it's because immigration checks his social media and messages and when he had first got caught by them (before he had his green card & before we were dating, he told them he was single). So are people that are here in the US with a green card being able to work legally not allowed to be in a relationship? And immigration is allowed to check his social media and messages? Or how does this work?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Barry Lee Frager
Barry Lee Frager
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Memphis, TN

A: There seems to be more going on in this fact pattern than you are aware. A unmarried green card holder should have no fear dating anyone he wants to date. Unless, he obtained his green card through a fake marriage, I am not sure why he would be so nervous about his social media reflecting that he was in a relationship with you. The fact that he was caught by ICE prior to getting hid green card approved leaves a huge factual gap that would probably explain why he is so protective of his private information.

It is true that Immigration can ask to see your social media posts. We see that at the border when you enter the US, or when you apply for a benefit from USCIS. If you refuse to allow them access to your social media, an Immigration Officer could refuse to exercise favorable discretion when you seek a benefit under the Immigration & Nationality Act.

If he doesn't want to list his current relationship on his social media, you may want to respect his wishes. We still do not know why it was a problem for him to tell Immigration that he was single prior to him getting his green card. I have seen this issue come up when they were already married either in the US or in their home Country. When you have a consultation with an Immigration Attorney, these additional facts may come out and the advice can be more concise.

At this point, he already has lawful permanent residence status, so he does not need a relationship with a United States Citizen to help him get legal status in the United States. It appears that he is already on a path to qualify for Naturalization without needing help from anyone else. He is statutorily eligible for Naturalization after he has had his green card for 5 years. He can apply 90 days prior to that 5 year date.

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