How Does USCIS Define my Spouse and Child and Can I Petition for Them?

Under U.S. immigration law, certain simple words may actually have a different legal meaning. For example, a “child” is quite different than a “son or daughter.” Also, who is allowed to be your “spouse” in the U.S. has changed over the last few years.

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[The following is the full transcript of the blog video: How Does USCIS Define my Spouse and Child and Can I Petition for Them?]

Hello, this is Erick Widman, and I’m an Immigration Lawyer. And in this video, we’re going to be talking about satisfactory departure. So satisfactory departure is a good option A good remedy if you’ve entered in on the Visa Waiver Program esta and you’ve been admitted into the US and you’ve been granted a period to stay for 90 days. That’s typically what it is. But you can’t leave the US what are you supposed to do? What if there is a national emergency or what if you have a family emergency, and you’re not able to leave within that 90 day period, you don’t simply want to overstay that period of authorized stay, you will accrue unlawful presence, that’s really bad, because you won’t be able to use the esta program in the future, the Visa Waiver Program will be available to you. And you’ll have to apply for a regular B one B two visitor visa. So if you can’t leave the US before that 90 day period is up, you want to find a good remedy. And USC is has a solid option for you. And it’s called satisfactory departure. Now you have to request it following certain steps, and you got to do it in a certain way. So to make sure that you are eligible, you first have to call us cis and confirm to them that yes, you are actually admitted here in the US on the esta program. That one 800 number by the way, is 1-800-375-5283. So when you speak to them, you’re gonna probably be on hold sadly, for a while, you might even have to do a callback, but you want to press through, press forward and talk to a live actual human being. And I even have the phone tree numbers here for you. You’ve got to push one to 111 that should help you out to get through to a human being. But make sure you ask someone, ask for someone who can help you with satisfactory departure. And when you finally speak to that person, they’re going to set up an appointment with your local USC is Field Office officer. So someone else is going to call you back they committed to call you in 48 to 72 hours. And they’ve been pretty good with that here in Portland, Oregon. So you’ll get a call back. And there, you’ll have to confirm with them once again that Yes, you did come through on the ESA program, your period of authorized stay has not yet run out. So you can’t do this, if you have already exceeded that 90 day period. And that request must be submitted, that request for satisfactory departure must be submitted within a five day period five day window of your original intended departure. And then at your in person appointment that they’re going to set up for you, you’re gonna have to provide supporting evidence, and you’re gonna have to bring your passport and travel information such as a ticket, also supporting evidence of why you can’t travel, like a letter from the airline COVID issue that they describe or if it’s a medical problem, a doctor’s letter, on the day of your appointment, definitely arrive 15 minutes early. You also we recommend, be advised is a good idea to bring a sign with you because currently USC is field offices are closed. So you’ll hold up a sign that says satisfactory departure appointment, we recommend you write that down, hold it up big red letters, big bold letters. So they know that you’re just not uninformed about the office closure that you actually have an appointment there. And so security should let you in. You’ll go through you have your passport, your supporting documents, and then they will grant and write that satisfactory departure up for you. By the way, if you still can’t leave if the airlines are not flying yet within that additional 30 day period, you can request another 30 day satisfactory departure request. And they should grant it to you us cis has confirmed it should be afforded to you No problem. Our liaison has said that should happen. So go out stay safe and good luck.

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