Family immigration is the most common form of immigration to the United States on a permanent basis. Each year, about four hundred thousand American Citizens marry foreign nationals and apply for lawful permanent residency for their new spouses. Also, family-based immigration includes the spouses of Lawful Permanent Residents. In addition to spouses, many adult American Citizen Children apply for their parents to become residents. There is also the immigration of children as well as siblings.
The key to any petition for a relative is to meet all the requirements and to ensure that there is no disqualifying criminal or immigration behavior that will prevent a relative from being granted the status that they seek. In immigration terms, is the beneficiary relative inadmissible to the United States? As a skilled Las Vegas Family Immigration Attorney, Robert West will evaluate any potential disqualifying circumstance and provide the correct information prior to the filing of any petition. Also, Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer Robert West will analyze if your relative who is inadmissible may qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility or an I-601 Waiver. Simply, waivers allow a person to come into the United States after a waiver of inadmissibility is granted.
Below, we shall review the different types of petitions and discuss who can apply and who cannot apply.
Marriage To An American Citizen Inside The United States
If a foreign citizen marries an American while he or she is in the United States legally under most circumstances, the American can petition a spouse through the process of adjustment of status. Immigration through marriage is the most common type of case we handle. This process is a one-step process where all of the forms are filed to apply for either conditional permanent residency or permanent residency.
Whether a person is granted permanent status depends on how long the couple have been married at the time of approval by USCIS.
If a couple is married more than two years, then permanent status is granted. Marriage for any time less than two years, conditional status is granted and a second process call removal of conditional status will need to be initiated twenty-one to twenty-four months after the initial approval.
As an experienced Immigration Attorney in Las Vegas, Robert West will guide you through the process, prepare you for the immigration marriage interview, and attend the USCIS interview with the couple to ensure that everything goes well at the interview.
Marriage To An American Citizen Outside The United States
Some people get married to a foreign national outside the United States by an American Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. Let’s first discuss a marriage visa for a spouse of an American Citizen. This process can be difficult if the couple has never lived together before and have had a long-distance relationship during their dating period. Under these circumstances, we recommend a fiance visa over the spouse visa. Why? Simply, it is much easier to prove the requirements for a fiance visa than a marriage visa. However, if the fiance visa is unavailable because the marriage has already taken place, then there are some things a couple can do to satisfy the bonafide marriage requirements. As an experienced Immigration Lawyer, Robert West can help a couple take the right steps to prove the marriage to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and the United States Department of State.
Marriage To A Lawful Permanent Resident Outside The United States
Many Permanent Residents marry their sweethearts from their home countries after they become Lawful Permanent Residents. In this situation, the couple can marry but there will be a wait time of up to three years. During the waiting period, the foreign spouse may not obtain any U.S. Visa that is not dual intent because the spouse is an intending immigrant. The waiting is of course very difficult but until the law changes, there is nothing that can be done but to wait. Currently, there is a proposal to make spouses of Lawful Permanent Residents part of the same immediate category as spouses of United States Citizens. The best way to review all possible options is to set up an initial appointment with Las Vegas Immigration Lawyer Robert West.
What Actually Is A Family Based Visa?
A family based visa is any visa that’s based on a familial relationship. As an American citizen you can petition for your spouse, you can petition for your parent, you can petition for your child or you can petition for your brother or sister. As a permanent resident you can petition for your spouse, you can petition for a minor child, or you can petition for an adult child who is unmarried, but it’s more limited. Those are the only people that a permanent resident can petition for, so there is a difference between a family petition by a citizen versus a family petition by a permanent resident. Read More
What Constitutes Family Under A Family Based Visa?
As I described earlier, the first question is whether the petitioner is a citizen or a permanent resident. As a citizen, you can apply for your spouse, children, parents, and brother or sister. If you’re a permanent resident, you can apply for your spouse, minor children, and adult children that are unmarried. Those are all the family based categories. Read More
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