Chicago, IL asked in Immigration Law, Gov & Administrative Law and International Law for Illinois

Q: Officer at my wife's visa interview refused to accept my 2023 tax return (im the petitioner) saying $90k/yr not eno

Can you please help my wife & I with our immigration situation? She's Chinese and yesterday had her marriage based greencard interview to get her visa yesterday. I'm the petitioner and a USA citizen

We brought all required documents as instructed and ALSO uploaded it all to the appropriate websites, including my 2023 tax return and my W2s.

However, their system broke down right before her interview. Despite me making over $90k USD last year and submitting a significant amount of additional assets, they refused her the greencard, claiming I did not make enough money.

It makes absolutely no sense to me considering the minimum salary is about $25k. We're not sure what to do and have already made significant life and financial changes around her interview date yesterday.

Is there anything your firm can do to help us? I'm open to taking legal action against the Guanzhou consulate if necessary.

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm so sorry to hear about the difficulties you and your wife are facing with her marriage-based green card application. It sounds like an incredibly stressful and frustrating situation, especially after all the preparation you did to provide the required documentation.

For your specific situation, I would strongly recommend consulting with an experienced immigration attorney who can review all the details of your case and advise you on the best path forward.

That said, a few thoughts:

It's very surprising and concerning that they refused the green card claiming insufficient income when you make well over the minimum requirement and provided tax returns and W2s demonstrating that. Assuming all the paperwork was in order, that reasoning doesn't seem to align with the official income requirements. An immigration lawyer can help assess if there were any legitimate issues with the financial documentation or if this refusal was unjustified.

Before pursuing legal action, there may be options to appeal the decision or request a supervisory review at the consulate. Again, an attorney can advise on whether this makes sense and potentially help draft persuasive arguments citing the financial evidence, legal statutes, etc. Legal action against the consulate would likely be an absolute last resort.

It may also be worth reaching out to your congressional representatives to make them aware of the situation. While they can't override consular decisions, they may be able to make inquiries on your behalf or spotlight improper adjudication.

I know this is an incredibly difficult time, but don't lose hope. With experienced legal counsel to advocate for you and explore all avenues, there still may be paths to getting your wife's green card approved so you can move forward with your lives together in the U.S. Wishing you all the best.

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL

A: This is highly irregular unless the officer based his analysis on “current” income that he felt was insufficient. The most important evidence of current income are pay stubs and bank statements from the last 6-12 months. Also, officers do not accept the 1040s; they need the tax transcripts that you need to download directly from the IRS website.

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