Will bankruptcy affect my ability to get a green card? 8 Answers as of February 01, 2011

My case is applied for a green card in 2007 and in 2 years and 5 months to get it, I have a job at the time, bankruptcy could affect my green card application? I am very bad financially to pay my bills and I am honest I could not. Thanks for your attention and if possible, I make an appointment to discuss my case, my church helped me, but I will not be a burden to anyone.

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Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
A bankruptcy should not affect your ability to get a green card.
Answer Applies to: South Dakota
Replied: 2/1/2011
Mankus & Marchan, LTD
Mankus & Marchan, LTD | Tony Mankus
To my knowledge, bankruptcy filing is not an impediment to obtaining a green card. Check with your immigration attorney.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 1/31/2011
Mettias & Associates
Mettias & Associates | Jimmy Philip Mettias, Esq
Thank you so much for contacting our office, Mettias & Associates. It does sound like you have a complicated situation regarding your green card and a possible bankruptcy. I think it would be best to discuss all the details of your case in our office. Please feel free to email me at or call the office to set an appointment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/27/2011
Law Office of David P. Farrell
Law Office of David P. Farrell | David Farrell
Filing bankruptcy alone will not adversely affect your green card application. Like immigration, bankruptcy is governed by federal law. When you file bankruptcy you are declaring under penalty of perjury that the information contained in the petition is true and correct. Therefore, be sure to fully disclose all of your assets and liabilities and always tell the truth because if it is later discovered that you are not telling the truth your green card application may be denied.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/27/2011
Carballo Law Offices
Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
Bankruptcy and immigration are not related. Filing for bankruptcy will not affect a immigration case in any way. Filing for bankruptcy is a legal right if you qualify regardless of immigration status or citizenship.

You may have to prove ability to support yourself in this country (without becoming a public charge in the future) at the time you are ready to obtain your permanent residency ("green card"). You must prove at that time that you will not be a public charge (a burden on taxpayers) by demonstrating to an immigration officer you have a job and earn enough or by filing an Affidavit of Support signed by someone with sufficient financial means who then becomes responsible for you in case you do not have enough money to support yourself in the future (up to 10 years in some cases). Immigration forms never ask if you ever filed for bankruptcy and you will not be asked in a bankruptcy case if you are in this country undocumented because that is not relevant.

If you do not have a valid social security number you will need to file your bankruptcy case with your Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) issued by the IRS for you to do your income tax returns. Never use a social security number to file bankruptcy that was not issued to you by the Social Security Administration.

If you have a social security number that is valid you must file with that number even if it says that it cannot be used to work as many of them say above the number. The bankruptcy application does not ask you if you have used any social security number to obtain credit before. Many people have used invented numbers or numbers belonging to other people to apply for loans (an of course to work) but that does not need to be disclosed in the bankruptcy petition. You just need to disclose the names of the creditors and the account numbers so that the creditors can identify the debt and file claims in some cases if required. Again, filing for bankruptcy will not affect your immigration case now or in the future and if someone is a permanent resident that person does not have to worry about losing the right to obtain citizenship through naturalization. A previous bankruptcy does not affect someone's ability to become the U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident if otherwise qualified.

Unfortunately many lawyers not familiar with immigration law or that do not handle cases for the immigrant community might lead you in the wrong direction by telling you that you are going to be deported if you file a bankruptcy case or that you will never become a resident or a citizen if you file a bankruptcy case. You might be deported for other reasons of course but not for filing a bankruptcy case so don't worry about it. Just be completely truthful about your finances in the bankruptcy case, get an experienced attorney with whom you can communicate well and you will have no problems getting a discharge of your debts if you are entitled to it regardless of your immigration status now. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/27/2011
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