Category: Marriage Based Green Card

Marriage-based green card immigration.

Demand for Permanent Residence in the United States – Unfortunately Supply is Outpaced by Demand!

There was a recent article from the New York Times entitled “Wary of Future, Professionals Leave China in Record Numbers”    The gist of the article is that Chinese professionals are leaving China due to their concern over the Chinese government’s communist policies and leaving for Western countries such as the U.S., Australia, and India.  The article stated that in 2011,” the United States received 87,000 permanent residents from China, up from 70,000 the year before. Chinese immigrants are driving real estate booms in places as varied as Midtown Manhattan, where some enterprising agents are learning Mandarin, to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which offers a route to a European Union passport.” I definitely agree with the economic catalyst that immigration from overseas professionals provides to the United States.  Clearly the professionals from China contribute a great deal to their communities in terms of economic benefits, skilled labor, and in social diversity.  The problem in my opinion and experience as an Immigration Lawyer, is that the U.S. is losing out to other countries.  I have had many clients and friends that are extremely well educated and highly capable persons from China, educated with advanced degrees in the U.S. and either unable to obtain a job in the U.S. or unable to secure a visa number.  This is due to small amount of available green cards allotted by the United States Congress as well as the restrictive U.S. Immigration laws, which ends up deterring some of the best and brightest from not only China, but the rest of the world.  For example, a person from China educated in the U.S. with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher may want to live and work in the U.S.  In most cases, a suitable visa for this type of situation is an H1B Visa.  An H1B visa is for skilled workers with the equivalent of a US Bachelor’s Degree that have a job offer from an employer in the US.  Congress allots 65,000 available H1B visas and an additional 20,000 for persons earning a Master’s Degree or higher in the United States.  The first day United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)  will accept an H1B petition is April 1 for employment on October 1 of the same.  In a poor job market such as the past few years, it may take several months to use up the available H1B visas (H1B cap), and in a good job market there may be twice the amount of petitions filed on April 1 (i.e. opening day for H1B’s) for the precious few H1B visas alloted by Congress.  The problem is, once these H1B visa are used up, persons from China generally have limited options.   Some persons from China would like to start a business if they can’t obtain a job, or may strictly be an entrepreneur and bypass the job market to open a business.  Well, for most country’s this is an option through an E2 visa, but its not an option if you’re from China unless the Chinese National would like to invest $500,000 to $1,000,000 (EB5 Investor Green Card) in a business that will create 10 US full time jobs within the first 2 years.   The reason being is E2 visas are available for nationals from countries that have a Treaty with the United States, thus China and India do not have the necessary treaty to make its persons eligible for an E2 visa.  As I have argued in past articles, Congress should eliminate the Treaty requirement and make an E2 visa available to everyone.   As the New York Times article states, 87,000 people from China received permanent residence in the United States.  Unfortunately, the supply of green cards for persons from China does not come anywhere near equaling demand.  There are essentially 3 ways to obtain permanent residence in the United States (there are more ways but for all practical purposes these are the main 3 ways):
  1. Marriage to a US Citizen – Congress allots an unlimited amount of marriage based green cards per year for persons marrying U.S. Citizens;
  2. Family based other than marriage through a US Citizen – Congress allots up to 226,000 family based green cards and each country is capped at at a maximum of 7% of the total allotment.   
  3. Employment based through a personal achievement (ie. extraordinary ability EB1, job offers for advanced degree and skilled workers EB2 and EB3, and Investors EB5) – Congress allots up to 140,000 employment based green cards and each country is capped at at a maximum of 7% of the total allotment.
The excess demand based on Congress’ allotment of available green cards and country limits of 7% creates a backlog for both family based and employment based green cards.  For instance, a person from China or India that is the spouse or child of a permanent resident already living in the United States would be eligible for category F2A green card and would have an estimated wait time of approximately 2.25 years.  A person from China and India eligible for a Employment based green card based on having an Advanced Degree and a job offer from a U.S. employer requiring the advanced degree would have in excess of a 5 year and an 8 year wait period for a green card respectively.  In other words, if a person from China has a Master’s Degree in a highly sought after field such as Computer Engineering, and an employer extends a permanent job offer, a person from China would have to wait 5 years for a green card and go through a lot of zigging and zagging to maintain their non-immigrant status while waiting in the U.S. for this green card.  They also need to hope that over the next 5 years, nothing happens to the permanent job offer.  As we all know, 5 years is a long time to keep the status quo.  In my opinion, this 5 year wait period (6 years if a Chinese National is qualified for an EB3) can be a big deterrent for someone highly skilled to wait when Canada and Australia, both known for having much more relaxed permanent residence rules have growing economy’s with demand for these same skilled workers.
As the New York Times suggests, there is much demand for permanent residence in the United States than Canada, Australia for some of the best and brightest people from India and China.  This also applies to other countries such as India where in many situations, there is even greater demand than from China, especially in the IT field.  The United States greatly benefits from Immigrants, and unfortunately the laws and cap on visa numbers and permanent resident numbers do not quite address to accommodate this demand.  With the election over, hopefully Congress and President Obama will address the problems of our immigration system.  

Comprehensive Immigration Reform – Is it finally here?

Immigration Reform

Following the Presidential Election on November 6 where Latino’s and other Immigrant groups likely played a pivotal role in the outcome of the Presidential and Congressional Elections, there has been an enormous amount of chatter relating to Comprehensive Immigration Reform, from both Republicans & Conservatives as well as Democrats.  Both party’s must have realized that not only is Immigration Reform a huge problem that needs to be finally addressed, but the actual Immigrants are powerful votes that potentially are one of the deciding factors in the past election and elections to come. In the past 2 days, we have had comments supportive of Comprehensive Immigration Reform from President Obama (Democrat), Speaker John Boehner (Republican), Senate Leader Harry Reid (Democrat), Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat), Senator Marco Rubio (Republican), several Republican Congressional Leaders, and even Conservative Journalists such as Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity.  I think Sean Hannity’s comments stick out the most summarizing the Conservatives position as: “We’ve gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It’s simple for me to fix it. I think you control the border first, you create a pathway for those people that are here, you don’t say you gotta go home. And that is a position that I’ve evolved on. Because you know what—it just—it’s gotta be resolved. The majority of people here—if some people have criminal records you can send ’em home—but if people are here, law-abiding, participating, four years, their kids are born here … first secure the border, pathway to citizenship … then it’s done. But you can’t let the problem continue. It’s gotta stop.”  (Interview with Sean Hannity found here) Actual details of what could be proposed as part of Comprehensive Immigration Reform has not yet been discussed.  As an Immigration Lawyer dealing working with client issues running the gammit, I would urge the President and Congress to not just address the Dream Act issue, but rather make reform comprehensive.  In past articles I have discussed issues that need to be addressed.  In particular, Comprehensive Issue should include the following:
  1.  Address the Illegal Immigration Issue – We need to be careful not to set a precedent to encourage illegal activity but on the same note want to encourage use of our laws.  Illegal immigration (ie. sneaking across the border) is likely encouraged by making it nearly impossible for some to immigrate to the US.  For some that just want to start a new life in the US that aren’t married to a US Citizen for a marriage green card, do not have a college degree for an H1B visa, do not have money to invest to start a business via an E2 visa, but do offer skills that employer want, there are limited if no options available.  A guest worker program would be a sensible option with a path to citizenship.  For example, what if someone is here illegally from Mexico doing odd jobs or working illegally trying to support themselves and their family’s any which way they can.  How about offering them a guest worker permit with the possibility to qualify for a green card through say marriage to a US Citizen or if they go to school and get a Bachelor’s degree through an EB3 green card.  Provide clear incentives for people to legally advance their immigration status.  But if the government makes it nearly impossible, as is the case for many, then it just encourages the illegal crossing of the Border.  A guest worker program with a pathway to a green card and Citizenship would certainly encourage legal behavior, be great for the economy, and be extremely humane.  Amnesty unfortunately encourages illegal behavior (ie. just cross the border, bypass good solid immigration laws – assuming we get reform, and the government will bail you out).  But a guest worker program with the right to work, travel freely, opportunity to advance within the US Immigration System as a permanent resident (ie. green card holder) and eventually a Citizen encourages people sometimes facing desperate circumstances to approach the US Immigration system in a legal manner.
  2. Increase the green card numbers for family based green cards – Currently the backlogs for family immigration are ridiculously long and deter those that want to do things legally.  For example, a US Citizen wanting to sponsor a sibling for a green card has a 16 year wait time.  16 years is just a deterrent.
  3. Increase the amount of green cards for Employment Based Immigration – Currently the backlog for someone from India in the EB3 Category is 10 years.  An EB3 commonly occurs when an employer would like to sponsor a skilled worker for a permanent position – A 10 year wait time deters both employers and employees from even filing, the employee is often frustrated and may look at immigrating to a different country such as Canada or Australia.  More so, the US employer has just lost an employee that they wanted to hire that could advance the interests of its company;
  4. Increase the amount of non-immigrant H1B visas – Currently there are only 65,000 available H1B cap each year for persons with an Advanced Degree and 20,000 US Master’s Degree Holders – Once these visas are up, and they always get used up even in the worst of worst economies (ie. 2009), they’re done.  This means employers can no longer hire someone they believe will advanced the needs of their company and potential employees either need to leave the US, go back to school and incur expensive college costs with no income or get lucky and qualify for another type of visa (generally not the case).
  5. Investor Visas – Open up Investor Visas to the world.  Currently E1 and E2 visas are for treaty traders and treaty investors who’s country has a treaty with the United States.  Country’s such as China and India do not have the requisitie treaty, consequently, someone from China or India that would like to invest money in the United States (ie. $100,000) and create jobs do not qualify for an E2 visa.  The US economy needs jobs and needs investment, we should open investment opportunities which will create jobs in the US to the world.
In the coming weeks we will be discussing Immigration Reform.  This is could be an exciting time as our Leaders, both Republican and Democrat, may finally solve a problem that needs fixing.  Let’s just hope its done in a bipartisan way for the good of the country.

Same Sex Marriage = Marriage Green Card or Fiancé Green Card?

Gay Marriage Green Card

Update: The U.S. Supreme Court recently overturned the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA.

One of the perks of being a Chicago Immigration Lawyer or an Immigration Lawyer in general is meeting people of all walks of life.  We work with clients on their immigration matters from not only Chicago, but around the U.S. and the world and we get to work on some of the most interesting issues.  A challenging part is that the U.S. Immigration Laws are not sufficient to deal with the many inquiries we receive.  One common question we regularly receive is on the topic of gay marriage.  The question that generally arises is “I married my partner overseas or in California…etc, can we file a Marriage Green Card Application?”  The simple answer unfortunately is no.  The not so simple answer is, even though some states recognize same sex marriage, the U.S. government does not.  Immigration Law is Federal, meaning state laws are not controlling but rather U.S. law is what is controlling for Immigration purposes.

Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) – Traditional marriage  In 1996, President Bill Clinton along with both the House of Representatives and the Senate signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Under DOMA, a U.S. state is not required to recognize same sex marriages.  Section 3 of DOMA by effect states that the U.S. Government does not recognize gay marriage.  Section 3 of DOMA states: :`In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.’.”

Same sex marriage

Barrack Obama In May 2012, President Obama has been hinting towards supporting the U.S. Government recognizing gay marriage.  Whether this is for his campaign or it’s something that will be seriously proposed as law remains to be seen.  If same sex marriage is recognized by U.S. Law, it could have enormous immigration implications relating to fiancé visas and marriage green cards.

Fiancé Visa/ Marriage green card for heterosexual couples Under U.S. Immigration Law, U.S. Citizen may petition for his or her fiancé or spouse.  Marriage green cards or marriage visas go through either the Immigrant Visa process or adjustment of status process.  Fiancé visas are commonly referred to as K1 visas or K1 fiancé visas allow an overseas fiancé to enter the U.S. to marry their U.S. Citizen spouse.  Once married within 90 days of entry on the fiancé visa, the married couple must apply for the adjustment of status process so that the foreign spouse can continue to live in the U.S.  Under U.S. Immigration law, a U.S. citizen and spouse have an Immediate Relative relationship.  The benefit of being an immediate relative in a permanent residence application is that an immigrant visa is always available for them.  This may not seem like a big deal, but under the Immigration preference system it is.  Specifically in family based immigration, there are Immediate relatives, and four types of preference relatives (Details of the preference system are beyond the scope of this article, but for example a fourth preference relative is the sibling of a U.S. citizen, depending on the country of origin of the Applicant/Beneficiary, their wait time for a green card could have anywhere from a 10 year to 20+ year.)  Now, compare that to the spouse of a U.S. citizen who is an Immediate Relative and their wait time is much shorter as they only need to wait for the case to be processed for an available green card.  Currently, a K1 fiancé Visa processing time ranges from 5 to 8 months on average.  An Immigrant Visa or marriage green card currently has an average processing time of 6 to 10 months until interview.  The Chicago Office for example processes marriage green cards or adjustment of status cases in approximately 90 to 120 days on average.

So if the U.S. government recognized same sex marriages, logically gay couples would be afforded the same K1 fiancé visa or marriage green card rights as opposite sex couples.  At the moment this is not something being talked about.  However, I suspect that if gay marriage gets closer to being recognized by the U.S. government, it will be.

Celebrity Immigration 101 – Divorce, EB1 Green Card, O-1 Visa

Russell Brand and Katy Perry’s current divorce and hypothetical effects on Russell Brand’s immigration status.  As we all know, Katy Perry is a famous pop singer and to my knowledge a US Citizen.  Russell Brand is an actor and comedian from England who married Katy Perry in October 2010.  The marriage attracted quite a bit of publicity as they are both young and famous in their own right and in their own country – United States and Britain.  So based on Russel Brand’s background as a foreign national in the United States, what immigration options does he possibly have? EB1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card Let’s assume that Russell did not file for a National Interest Waiver or EB1 based on Extraordinary Ability.  Whether Russell’s past performances are “extraordinary” is debatable.  However, as an immigration lawyer that works on all type of employment and family based immigration cases, I am confident of getting his EB1 Extraordinary Ability approved.  Even if the Examiner did not like Russell Brand’s past performances, given Brand’s starring roles in high profile movies such as Saving Sarah Marshall and Get Him to The Greek, and Arthur as well as his past awards including Best Live Stand Up in the British Comedy Awards it would be a strong case to prove that Russell Brand does have extraordinary ability as an actor and comedian. O-1 Visa On the other hand, marriage to a US Citizen is generally a smoother and quicker process provided the beneficiary/applicant is already in the US on a different non-immigrant status such as an O-1 visa or an H1B visa.  In Brand’s case, he would likely be eligible for an O-1B visa which is for individuals with an extraordinary ability in the arts or extraordinary achievement in motion picture or television industry.  In the event Russell Brand was on an O-1 visa, it would be important to make sure there are not any intent issues.  Although O-1 visas do not statutorily allow duel intent, generally they do not require the Applicant to maintain a residence overseas.  So in effect, O-1 visas are thought to allow duel intent.  However, you need to discuss this with your Immigration lawyer before taking any actions such as adjusting status from O-1 status to permanent resident status. Adjustment of status from O visa to EB1, or Marriage based Green Card So let’s review, if Russell Brand was on an O-1 visa living in the US with his bride, Katy Perry, a US Citizen, what are his immigration options? 1. Do nothing, stay in the US temporarily on an O-1 visa making sure to comply with the requirements of the O-1.  This is assuming Russell Brand would not like to live in the US permanently; 2. If Russell Brand wants to live in the US permanently, file for an EB1 Extraordinary Ability.  This can be a rather involved process, however with Premium Processing it’s conceivable that the case could be approved within 15 calendar days.  Not likely as even the strongest of cases generally have requests for evidence which delay matters several weeks to months. 3. Marriage Green Card – Adjustment of Status Process.  The processing time for marriage green card cases, as an Immigration Lawyer that works on a lot of marriage green cards, my standard response is the processing time depends on the office adjudicating the case.  Since our immigration law firm is based in Chicago, I compare the Chicago USCIS office frequently which currently averages between 90 and 120 days. Removal of Conditions – Conditional Green Card Let’s assume that Katy Perry and Russell Brand wanted to proclaim their love to the US and decided to pursue the marriage green card (ie. conditional residency through adjustment of status).  And let’s assume that Russell’s case was approved in January 2011 since they married in October 2010.  Russell would be in an interesting situation.  Couples that are married less than 2 years receive conditional residency and need to apply to remove the conditions of the green card 2 years after approval.  So January 2013 would be Russell Brand’s deadline, and he could file 9 months prior to January 2013, around October 2012.  If he and Katy Perry are divorced and Russell Brand wants to live in the US permanently, what are his options? Removal of Conditions after Divorce 1. File an application to remove the conditions.  However, due to the divorce after issuance of the conditional green card, a waiver maybe needed to prove that Katy and Russell entered into their marriage in good faith and it just didn’t work out.  Essentially proving that they were in love and their original marriage green card adjustment of status case was not a sham marriage.  The waiver is a discretionary form of relief, so it is essential to submit strong evidence and be properly prepared by an experienced immigration lawyer.  Also, he would not want to have one of his past temper tantrums with Katy Perry and make sure he is on good terms with her so that maybe she will cooperate and support his waiver filing. 2. Given Russell Brand’s background as a top performer, he could just file an EB1 extraordinary ability.  He may want to file as soon as possible before the deadline to file the removal of conditions application just in case the EB1 extraordinary ability is not approved giving himself an opportunity to file the removal of conditions in option 1. A point of this article is that divorce can have a significant impact on a person’s immigration status.  And it’s wise to consult with an Immigration Attorney about the effects, pro’s, and con’s of various options that may be available.

Celebrity Immigration 101: Tiger Woods Ex-wife’s Immigration Journey!

In law school, we learn through case studies and from those cases we create hypothetical.  There is a lot of value in creating different scenarios and analyzing a legal situation from different angles.  Viewing situations from different angles due to different scenarios creates a strong understanding.  Going forward I would like to review current topics for foreign celebrities and do an analysis.  This should aid our readers in understanding immigration and perhaps get a better idea of their current immigration situation.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods’ ex-wife Elin Nordegren The first case study is Elin Nordegren, the former spouse of Tiger Woods.  As you know, Tiger Woods was the world’s number one golfer and may be among the best golfers that has ever played the game.  Tiger and his former wife Elin had an argument and Tiger Woods was found outside of his mansion wounded in his SUV.  There is speculation that Elin was chasing Tiger with a golf club.  I do not know the real facts or if this was true, there are different interpretations of what really happened.  However like in law school, let’s assume that Elin was chasing Tiger with a golf club and let’s take it further that Elin actually intended to strike Tiger Woods with the golf club and did actually strike him with the golf club.  Again these facts are just spin-offs for educational purposes. What if the Police arrived, and one of the Officers was a huge Tiger Woods fan and was very disturbed by this and did not take the time to get all of the facts.  What if the Police Officer actually arrested Elin Nordegren.  Based on the above hypothetical, the actions could be attempted homicide. J1 Visa | 2 year home residency requirement | Foreign Nanny I do not know Elin’s past immigration history but I do know that she was Jasper Parnevik’s (a Swedish golfer playing on the PGA Tour) former Nanny.   As you know Elin is also from Sweden.  So let’s assume that Elin was on a J1 visa when she met Tiger Woods. Time Out:  An important point for persons considering or already on a J-1 Visa.  J visas or Exchange Visitor Visas are for persons who intend to participate in an approved program for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.  When a person enters the US to be a nanny, generally they are issued a J-1 Visa.  A common pitfall of a J-1 visa that many people do not know is that sometimes a J-1 visa is subject to a 2 year home residency requirement.  This means that unless the person is issued a waiver, they need to leave the US and spend 2 years in their home country after the visa is expired before they are allowed to pursue another US Immigration Status. J1 Visa | Not subject to 2 year home residency requirement | Marriage based adjustment of status | Marriage Green Card Let’s assume that Elin’s J visa is not subject to the home residency requirement.  She and Tiger fell in love (at least we hope), they married, and Tiger as a U.S. Citizen applied for Elin’s conditional resident status (conditional ‘green card”) via the adjustment of status application.  The standard for an adjustment of status case based on marriage to a US Citizen is showing the marriage is for love.  In other words, the couple has a genuine bona fide relationship in which they intend to spend their lives.  So let’s assume that Elin and Tiger married for love and Elin had a conditional resident status. Crime of Moral Turpitude issues Time In:  We assume that Elin was on conditional resident status, and she has been arrested.  If this were to happen, Elin could have had more problems than a divorce and an arrest.  When a conditional resident or a permanent resident (green card holder) is arrested, they need to really be careful that they are not convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.  This crime of moral turpitude can be a very sticky issue.  How do you define a crime of moral turpitude?  Well, that is a difficult task.  One court, Chu v. Cornell, 247 F.2d 929 (9th Cir. 1957), cert. denied 355 U.S. 892 (1958) has characterized moral turpitude as “a nebulous concept, which refers generally to conduct that shocks the public conscience.” Murder and serious felonies are of course crimes of moral turpitude.  So what if Elin were convicted of attempted murder.  Could this be a crime of moral turpitude?  Very possibly, yes.  Or what if Elin was convicted of attempted assault?  Would this be considered a crime of moral turpitude.  It really depends on the statue and the criminal disposition. Time Out:  If you are ever in this situation, it’s very important you discuss your situation with both a criminal lawyer and immigration lawyer and make sure they collaborate to give your case the best chance of not being a crime of moral turpitude.  What is the significance of a crime of moral turpitude?  Well, it could make you inadmissible and/or potentially removable and give you a date with Immigration court.  So if a person would like to stay in the US, it’s very important to understand the implications of a criminal conviction and how USCIS or an Immigration Court may interpret the criminal disposition. Divorce before green card conditions are removed |Removal of Conditions Waiver Time In:  Let’s assume further that Elin was not convicted of a crime and that her and Tiger Woods divorced, as they really did.  But let’s throw a hypothetical.  What if Tiger and Elin were married for less than 2 years when they divorced?  Well, when a US Citizen and a person that has entered the US legally adjusts their status to conditional resident status based on marriage to a US Citizen, the Applicant needs to apply to remove the conditions after 2 years.  Hence, their status was as a conditional resident.  The standard is whether the couple is still married and has a bona fide relationship.  If a couple divorces, the Applicant will likely need a waiver as they are not filing jointly.  The waiver must show that the parties entered into the marriage in good faith and the relationship was a good faith relationship.  At a minimum, the divorce, if occurring prior to the 2 years or removal of the conditions, would make Elin’s Immigration much more difficult, and at a minimum, more stressful. Again the above are just hypothetical to help our readers realize that outside circumstances can affect their immigration status and future immigration cases. If you have any questions about your real life immigration situation, feel free to contact Cipolla Law Group for a consultation.

Is a K1 fiancée visa the same as a green card?

What is a K1 fiancée visa? This is a question that causes a lot of confusion.  The answer is no.  However, a fiancée visa can quickly lead to a permanent residency (green card).  A fiancée visa (K-1 visa) enables a US Citizen to bring an overseas fiancée to the United States so that the couple can get married.  The sole purpose of the visa is to get married in the US.  The marriage must take place within 90 days of the overseas fiancée entering the United States.  If the marriage does not take place within 90 days, the fiancée must leave the United States and visa extensions are not granted to the K1 visa.  The good news is once the marriage takes places within the 90 days, the overseas fiancée can and should apply for a green card if the couple intends on living in the United States.  Once the green card application is issued, it will be on a conditional basis for two years.  After the two years is up and the couple is still married and together, the condition can be removed jointly through application.   If the couple is not married anymore or is divorced, it becomes very complicated.  It seems straightforward enough, but frequently it is not. Conditional Green card – Removal of Condition I-751 It is well known that an overseas person marrying a US Citizen may qualify for a green card.  Unfortunately, due to many fraudulent marriage or fiancee visa applications, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generally pays much closer attention to applications relating to fiancé visas and marriage green cards than other type of family based petitions. It becomes even more complicated if the couple is no longer together or is divorced after the conditional green card is issued and expired.  The purpose of the the need to remove the condition of the marriage based conditional green card is due to the governments concern of fraud.  The government knows many couples applying for green cards through a marriage and fiancé visa are solely for immigration status purposes and not for “love.”  Consequently, even the most legitimate relationships are scrutinized to determine if they really are marriages of love and not marriages of immigration purposes. The worst case scenario is a legitimate marriage for love is denied and the couple is either required to live apart or move to another country.  Less harsh consequences are an application may be substantially delayed due to additional scrutiny causing stress in the couples lives and in some cases forcing the couple to put their lives on hold.  For these reasons, it is important to put your best case forward and show that your relationship and your marriage is for love and to save on reduce the risks of being delayed and put through significant amounts of stress. Marriage and fiancé visas are an excellent way to bring your loved one to this country.  If done right, it will ensure that your next holiday season will be spent with your loved ones. Please contact the Cipolla Law Group today if you are seeking an experienced Chicago based K1 Fiancée Visa lawyer.

Should We Apply for a Marriage Visa (K3), Immigrant Visa, Fiance Visa (K1), or Marriage Green Card & Adjustment of Status?

A common question we hear is, “what should we do, should we apply for a k1 fiance visa, k3 marriage visa, an Immigrant Visa, or marriage green card adjustment of status?” Our common response is, it depends on your individual circumstances. The first factor is under immigration law what the client’s are eligible for. For example, is the beneficiary in the United States on a valid visa, have they accrued unlawful presence, is the US Citizen overseas or in the US. This is the most important question so as to determine what the clients are eligible for. The second factor is when and where do the clients want to get married? If the fiancé is overseas, and they can wait the 6 to 12 months for the case to be adjudicated, then the answer is a fiancé visa is the appropriate visa. Alternatively, is the fiancé in the US on a valid visa such as a student visa or h1b visa? Then the clients may be able to file for a marriage green card and adjustment of status. Or in more complicated scenarios, is the client here on a tourist visa or a visa waiver. There are a lot of variables in marriage visas, fiancé visas, and adjustment of status cases. And the right answer generally depends on the clients individual circumstances. Feel free to contact us to analyze your case and determine if we can represent you in your marriage green card, fiancé visa, or adjustment of status case.

Choosing Between an Immigrant Visa and K3 Marriage Visa

A question we are often asked by our clients is “should we choose an Immigrant Visa or K3 Visa”. The answer again is, it depends. Generally speaking K3 visas are quicker than Immigrant Visas. However, Immigrant Visas are generally more efficient in terms of costs and the overall process as K3 visa require eventual adjustment of status. Consequently, the choice between a K3 Visa and Immigrant Visa is very fact specific and requires a full understanding of each client’s particular situation in making the appropriate decision. And as usual, each case needs to be done appropriately from the start to avoid unnecessary time delays and to give the best chance of approval so that the reasons for the choice between the K3 or Immigrant Visa are enjoyed. Feel free to contact us for an initial evaluation of your case and to discuss whether a K3 Visa or Immigrant Visa is more appropriate for you.