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10 Family Based Immigration Tips

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2021 | Empire Immigration Law Blog, Family Based Immigration

Do you have questions about immigration? Check out these 10 family based immigration tips for guidance, then contact our Buffalo attorney now.

Applying for Permanent Residency

Recently, we received a phone call from a potential client who wanted information on the green card application process. He was applying for his family members and his question was about the documents. His question was, “What documents do I need to file if I want to sponsor a family member?” The first thing we told him was every case is different, but you must file documents that prove eligibility. For example, one of the requirements is that you must prove the relationship.

You want to file documents that will prove the exact relationship. For example, if you’re filing for your spouse, you want to file the marriage certificate. You also want to file documents that will show that it’s a real marriage. If you’re filing for a child, you want to file a birth certificate. You want to file identity documents and any other documents that are going to prove all of the other eligibility requirements.

If you have any questions about the documents to submit or to file along with your green card application, please give us a call.

U.S. Citizen Sponsoring Relatives

We receive a lot of phone calls from potential clients. A lot of them are U.S. citizens, and a lot of them want to apply for green cards for their family members. A common question that we receive is, “What family members can I apply for if I’m a U.S. citizen?” If you are a U.S. citizen, you can apply for your spouse, your parents, your children, your siblings, and even your stepchildren, as along as the marriage that create the step relationship took place before the child’s 18th birthday.

If you have any questions about family members that you can sponsor for permanent residency or any other immigration matters, please give us a call.

Adjustment of Status Through Marriage

We receive a lot of inquiries from people who recently married U.S. citizens and ask, “Can I adjust my status to become a permanent resident through marriage to a U.S. citizen?” The answer to that question is, yes, you can. You can, but there are eligibility requirements that you must satisfy before you will receive your green card. One of the main requirements in these cases is that you must prove that your marriage is a real marriage— a good-faith marriage that you entered into because you’re in love and not for the purpose of getting your green card.

If you have any questions about the green card application process or any other immigration matters, give us a call.

K-1 Visa Without Meeting In-Person

These days, social media and dating sites are more and more common. It’s not uncommon for people to develop a relationship through social media and through these dating sites. One frequent question that we receive from a lot of U.S. citizens is, “Is it required that I meet my significant other in person before sponsoring them for a fiancé visa?” The answer to that question is, yes, it is required.

The government requires you to prove that you’ve met at least one time within the last two years before you can sponsor your significant other for a fiancé visa. If you have any questions about fiancé visas or any other immigration related matters, give us a call.

How to Get a K-1 Fiancé Visa

Our office receives a lot of inquiries from U.S. citizens who have fiancés who live outside of the country. These clients often ask how they can get fiancé visas.

The process starts with USCIS. You file the appropriate paperwork with the USCIS. Once this is approved, then USCIS will send the paperwork over to the National Visa Center. At the National Visa Center stage, what you’ll do is you’ll file the non-immigrant visa application, the DS-160. You will also file all the additional required documents with the National Visa Center.

Once everything is satisfactory, the National Visa Center will then forward all of the documents over to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate, where your fiancé will attend their non-immigrant visa interview. If all goes well, the application will be approved and your fiancé can enter the United States on a K-1 visa. What this means is your fiancé and you will have 90 days to get married. Once you get married within those 90 days, you can then file for adjustment of status and your future spouse will become a lawful permanent resident.

If you have any questions about the fiancé visa process, adjustment of status, or any other immigration related matters, give us a call.

K-1 Fiancé Visa Timeline

One of the more frequent inquiries that we receive is about fiancé visas, and one of the main questions that we receive is, “How long does it take to get my fiancé visa application approved?” Normally, this takes between six months to a year.

What you’ll do is you’ll file with USCIS. It’ll then go to the National Visa Center, and then it will be scheduled for an interview with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. You have to make sure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements. This means if there are any mistakes or any missing documents, this can cause delays or even denial. For that reason, it’s very important that you work with an experienced immigration attorney.

If you have any questions about the fiancé visa process or adjustment of status, give us a call.

Sponsoring Your Parents

A client recently contacted us from Canada where he is a citizen. He has a son who is a U.S. citizen, and this man wanted to know if his son could sponsor himself and his wife for green cards. The answer is yes. The son has to be over the age of 21, and also you and your wife cannot have any criminal or immigration violations that would prevent you from coming to the United States.

The process is a little more complicated than that, but the point is that it is possible to come here with your son sponsoring you. If you have any questions about coming to the United States with a green card, or any other immigration related matters, please gives us a call.

Duties as a Green Card Sponsor

Clients who are sponsoring applicants for green cards often contact us, asking, “What are my obligations as a sponsor?” What we explain is that, once you file the affidavit of support in support of somebody’s green card application, this is a legal obligation to financially support the green card applicant in the future. The way this most commonly will come up is if the applicant for a green card in the future applies for a means-tested benefit.

If you have any questions about sponsoring a green card applicant or any other immigration related matters, give us a call.

Sponsoring a Stepchild

A client contacted us, telling us his wife has a daughter from a previous marriage and asking if he could sponsor his stepdaughter for permanent residence. The answer to that question is it depends. It depends on when you were married and how old your stepdaughter was at the time.

Under the U.S. immigration laws, a stepchild is treated the same as a biological child, as long as the marriage which created the step relationship took place before the child’s 18th birthday. If the marriage that created the step relationship took place before the child’s 18th birthday, then that child will be treated as a biological child under the immigration laws.

If you have any questions about sponsoring any family members or any other immigration matters, give us a call.

Marrying an Immigrant

Recently, we received a phone call from a potential client. She was a U.S. citizen and has a long-term boyfriend. The problem is that her boyfriend does not have lawful status in the United States, and she wanted to know if it was okay to marry him. Her question was, “Can I marry an immigrant in the United States?” The answer to that question is, yes, you can. You can marry an immigrant in the United States.

After you are married, you can then apply for a green card, but you have to do it the right way. There are eligibility requirements that you must meet, including proving that it is a bona fide or good-faith marriage, and not a sham marriage entered into only for the purpose of getting a green card.

If you have any questions about the green card application process, give us a call.

If you or a loved one are looking to lawfully reside in the United States permanently and have questions about these 10 family based immigration tips, contact our experienced New York family-based immigration lawyer today for a free consultation and case evaluation.