Our immigration attorneys handle all types of family immigration and have extensive knowledge of immigration law and procedures in obtaining green cards for foreign nationals. We have assisted nonimmigrant visa holders in the US obtain their green cards in as little as three months in some matters.
The most common method of obtaining lawful permanent residency is through a relative who is either a citizen of the U.S. or a lawful permanent resident.
There are two categories for unlimited family-based immigration:
1. Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens: A spouse, widow or unmarried child under the age or 21 of a U.S. citizen. This category also includes parents of adult U.S. citizens
2. Returning Residents: Immigrants who previously lived in the U.S. under lawful permanent resident status. These individuals should be returning to live in the U.S. after being abroad for more than one year.
There are four preference categories for limited family-based immigration:
1. First Preference: Unmarried children over the age of 21 of U.S. citizens.
2. Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children under the age of 21, and unmarried children under the age of 21 of lawful permanent residents.
3. Third Preference: Married children of U.S. citizens.
4. Fourth Preference: Siblings of adult U.S. citizens.
Your relative should first submit an immigrant visa petition, I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. This form should be accompanied by proof of your relationship to your relative.
Upon approval of this petition, the Department of State will determine if an immigrant visa number is available for you. When a number becomes available, you may apply for assignment of that number.
In order to sponsor a relative for lawful permanent residency, you must prove the following:
1. You are a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
2. You can support your relative at 125% above the mandated poverty line.
You must also show proof of your relationship
K1 and K3
U.S. citizens who will be getting married to a foreign national in the United States may petition for a
fiancé(e) classification (K-1) for their fiancé(e). You and your fiancé(e) must be free to marry. This means that both of you are unmarried, or that any previous marriages have ended through divorce, annulment or death. You and your fiancé(e) must marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
You may also apply to bring your fiancé(e)’s unmarried children, who are under age 21, to the United States.
What Is a “Fiancé(e)”?
A fiancé(e) is a person who is engaged or contracted to be married. The marriage must be legally possible according to laws of the state in the United States where the marriage will take place.
In general, the two people must have met in person within the past two years. The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants some exceptions to this requirement. For example, it may be contrary in some traditions for a man and woman to meet before marriage.
Sometimes the USCIS considers a person a “fiancé(e)” even though a marriage contract has been concluded. In such cases, the American citizen petitioner and his/her spouse have not met, and they have not consummated the marriage.
How Does a Fiancé(e) Visa Work?
If you are an American citizen and you want your foreign fiancé(e) to travel to the United States to marry you and live in the U.S., you must file Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) in the United States.
This visa allows the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen to be admitted to the United States in a nonimmigrant category. The admission allows the spouse or child to complete processing for permanent residence while in the United States. It also allows those admitted in the new category to have permission for employment while they await processing of their case to permanent resident status.
A person may receive a K-3 visa if that person:
has concluded a valid marriage with a citizen of the United States;
has a relative petition (Form I-130) filed by the U.S. citizen spouse for the person;
seeks to enter the United States to await the approval of the petition and subsequent lawful permanent resident status;
has an approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, forwarded to the American consulate abroad where the alien wishes to apply for the K-3/K-4 visa. The consulate must be in the country in which the marriage to the U.S. citizen took place if the United States has a consulate which issues immigrant visas in that country. If the marriage took place in the United States, the designated consulate is the one with jurisdiction over the current residence of the alien spouse.
A person may receive a K-4 visa, if that person is under 21 years of age and is the unmarried child of an alien eligible to be a K-3.
The Legal Immigration Family Equity Act and its amendments (LIFE Act) established a new nonimmigrant category (V) within the immigration law that allows the spouse or child of a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident to live and work in the United States in a nonimmigrant category. The spouse or child can remain in the United States while they wait until they are able to apply for lawful permanent residence status (Adjusting Status), or for an immigrant visa, instead of having to wait outside the United States as the law previously required.
Who is Eligible?
A person may apply at a U.S. consulate abroad for a V-1 or V-2 visa or seek V-1 or V-2 nonimmigrant status while in the United States, if that person:
. is lawfully married to a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States (V-1), or is the unmarried child (under the age of 21) of a Lawful Permanent Resident (V-2); and
. is the principal beneficiary of a relative petition (Form I-130) that was filed by the Lawful Permanent Resident spouse/parent on or before December 21, 2000; and
. has been waiting at least 3 years since the petition was filed for status as a Lawful Permanent Resident because the petition is still pending, or has been approved but:
. an immigrant visa is not yet available; or,
. there is a pending application to adjust status or application for an immigrant visa.
The derivative child of a V-1 or V-2 nonimmigrant is eligible for a V-3 visa or for V-3 status.
If you need the help of an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney today, call our toll-free line at (888)880-1022 or contact the Firm online to schedule your free initial consultation or use our case evaluation form to begin the initial review of your visa matter.