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Marriage Immigration Lawyer

If you are a foreign national and hoping to acquire permanent residency or citizenship through marriage, you need a marriage immigration lawyer. Since the rules surrounding green cards obtained through a marriage are complex, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities beforehand. In San Jose, the Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C. can provide you legal guidance and insights for a successful immigration application.

Determining eligibility for immigration by marriage

As a foreign national, you can apply for a green card if you are married to a permanent resident or a US citizen. Contrary to other immigration rules, you are eligible to apply for a green card even if you entered the US unlawfully or ended up overstaying a prior visa. However, depending on the circumstances, a waiver may be required. To obtain benefits available as a spouse, there needs to be proof of a valid marriage. Whereas spouses of both permanent residents and US citizens can lawfully come to the US via marriage, the process is separate for each category.

If you are married to a US citizen, you are regarded as an immediate relative by the law. This means that you are not subject to any annual quota regulations for obtaining green cards via marriage. The immigration process can be commenced by the US citizen petitioner who needs to file an I-130 form on behalf of their foreign spouse. Also, spouses who entered the US legally could file an I-485 for Adjustment of Status concurrently to remain in the US.

If you are married to a permanent resident, you belong to the “Second Preference” category of individuals who could qualify for an immigrant visa. Spouses of permanent residents are subject to quota restrictions per country applicable for immigrant visas. Since there are more individuals who fall under this category, the process of obtaining a green card via marriage to a permanent resident  could be longer than for those married to US citizens.

Process of obtaining green card by marriage

In the marriage-based green card application process, the petitioning individual (the permanent resident or US citizen) needs to file an I-130 form with the USCIS. Once the I-130 gets approved, next steps will be based on whether the beneficiary is located within the US or in a foreign country.

When your spouse is living the United States

If the beneficiary is located within the US, they are required to file an I-485 application which asks for an adjustment of status with the USCIS. Evidence including birth certificate, proof of nationality, date of legal entry to the US, etc., must be submitted along with the Form I-485. A US citizen filing for a beneficiary who is living in the US could file both I-130 and I-485 simultaneously. Once your paperwork has been filed, an interview for the green card will be scheduled.

When your spouse is living outside the United States

If the beneficiary of a marriage-based green card petition is living outside the country, they may initially become a permanent resident via consular processing. During this process, the Department of State will  issue an immigrant  visa based on an approved Form I-130. Following approval of the I-130 petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center. This Center then allots a case number and notifies the beneficiary to submit the Form DS-261. Those of you who have an attorney will not be asked to also submit the Form DS-261.

The Center begins your immigration case by notifying the beneficiary and the petitioner to pay certain fees. Following payment, you will be required to submit forms and documentation necessary for your case. NVC will collect all of the documents and work with the U.S. embassy to schedule a visa appointment for the beneficiary. If you wish to know more about this process, speak to an immigration attorney today.

Other marriage immigration rules

If you decide to get married to your foreign spouse within the US, you can bring them through a visa if they are not already within the country. Apply for the K1 visa and resolve every point of potential inadmissibility accurately with assistance from an attorney. Once this visa is approved, your fiancé could enter the country on a nonimmigrant status.

Following entry to the US, both of you have 90 days to get married. Following marriage you may apply for an Adjustment of Status to help your spouse become a permanent resident.

If you opt for marriage outside the country, your spouse is required to have a K3 visa to come in on a nonimmigrant status. Once your spouse has entered the country, they can apply for an Adjustment of Status and a work authorization while the petition is pending approval. Working with a marriage immigration lawyer can prevent you from making errors while filing such petitions.

Legal requirements if you are applying for immigration through marriage

If you are applying for immigration through marriage, there are several regulations that you need to be aware of. All of these requirements must be met by spouses of permanent residents and US citizens to be eligible for immigration.

Marriage is legal: The US considers a wide range of weddings to be legal and you need to demonstrate the same.

The marriage is genuine: You need to prove that the marriage is not just for the purpose of immigration. To curb the rate of fraudulent marriages in the US, the USCIS wants substantial evidence proving that your marriage is genuine.

There is only one marriage. The marriage between yourself and a permanent resident or US citizen must be the only marriage you have. All previous marriages should have resulted in a divorce, annulment, or death. You need to submit documentation proving the same.

The couple needs to be prepared for an interview. Be prepared to separately answer personal questions pertaining to the relationship like the wedding, how the relationship developed, information about your children, etc.

Legal advice for marriage immigration

Looking for legal consultation regarding immigration by marriage in San Jose? Consider talking to an experienced lawyer at the Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C. today. With over two decades of experience in helping clients solve their immigration issues, you benefit from a personalized, professional approach to your marriage-based immigration case. For more information, contact them here.