Sometimes it's hard to leave the place you have come to love. So many people come to Los Angeles and find it’s easy to overstay their visa. There doesn’t seem to be many consequences.... until they try to get a visa or green card. Then, reality hits. Once you have overstayed your visa, it’s almost impossible to fix your status inside the United States.
If you are originally from another country and you plan to marry a U.S. citizen, you may qualify for a green card through the K-3 visa program. However, there are many things you should consider before and during the marriage visa application process in order to ensure the protection of your rights and your welfare. It is highly recommended that you keep the following tips in mind:
It is possible for a U.S. citizen to bring his or her spouse or fiancé to the United States with a temporary immigrant visa. This is one of the most common ways to bring someone into our country, but it can be a complicated process. There are a number of different ways to obtain a visa and not all applicants are accepted.
The law allows foreign citizen fiancés to travel to Los Angeles to get married here. However, the marriage must take place within 90 days of arriving in the country. After the marriage, the immigrant spouse may then apply for permanent residency through the K1 visa program.
TLC, the television network that brought us “My Strange Addiction” and “Toddlers & Tiaras,” will shine a spotlight on the unique challenges facing international couples with its latest TV show “90 Day Fiancé.” The program will follow the stories of four couples as they navigate the process of obtaining a permanent resident status for their foreign citizen fiancée by getting married in the U.S.
Four women will receive a K-1 visa that will allow them to enter the U.S. to live with their U.S. citizen fiancés for the first time. The couples will have to decide whether to get married within the 90-day period or have the international fiancé return back to his or her home country.
It is possible for U.S. citizens to petition for their immediate family members to become permanent citizens. Under immigration law, immediate family members who may be eligible for a green card include unmarried children under the age of 21, parents if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21, and spouses. Marriage is a common avenue through which foreigners attain their green card status.
In order for a foreign-born spouse to attain permanent residence through marriage, the U.S. citizen will first have to submit a form I-130 visa petition on behalf of his or her foreign-born spouse. If the spouse is in the United States legally, he or she can then file for adjustment of status packet without having to leave the country. If, however, the foreign-born spouse entered the United States without inspection, he or she may have to apply for a green card through marriage and seek a waiver at the same time. Some spouses are able to apply for a provisional waiver in the United States but this requires the assistance of an immigration attorney specifically experienced in waiver law.
It is possible to obtain a visa through your significant other and you don't even have to be married. For example, if you are a U.S. citizen, you can bring your fiancé to the United States with the intention of getting married. You could secure a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for your fiancé to travel to the United States by filing an I-129F fiancé petition, amongst other required forms.
If you are living in Los Angeles or anywhere else in the United States and want to bring your fiancé here to get married, you will need an I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé. Please note that California residents and residents of other states that recognize marriage equality may petition for their same-sex fiance. It is a six-page form with nine pages of instructions with a $340 filing fee. If successful, you will then be able to bring your fiancé, and even your fiancé’s children, a K-1 Visa that can lead to permanent residency and even citizenship within three years (if you are a U.S. citizen, 5 years if you are a legal permanent resident).
Under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, certain individuals can change their immigration status while in the United States to permanent residency. One of the most popular ways to gain permanent residence status in the United States is through a family member. In light of the recent changes in marriage equality laws in California, more people will now be able to apply for permanent resident status through same sex marriage. If you wish to become a permanent resident and have recently married your partner, you would be well advised to learn about your new legal options.
To qualify for an Adjustment of Status to permanent resident, you must be married to, or be about to marry, a United States citizen, and you must live here legally. When Proposition 8 was struck down on June 26, 2013, this option became available for same-sex couples, just as it has been available for many years for heterosexual couples.
There are more than 10 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Almost 300,000 of those immigrants self identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Many of these individuals now have a pathway to citizenship that was blocked to them prior to recent actions by President Obama.
Same-sex marriage to a United States citizen is now a possible pathway to citizenship for many gay undocumented immigrants. Waivers may be required for many of these individuals. Others may be protected by a provision of the law called 245i for those who have had a petition filed by a family member before May 1, 2001. Other protections may include those afforded to victims of crime or as an abused spouse. If you are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and want to know what your rights are, know that our office has pioneered gay civil rights for over a decade. This is your home. Calling the lawyers at The Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. will be your first step in finally feeling safe as a legal member of the United States community at (800) 792-9889.
When a U.S. citizen marries a citizen of another country, the couple may want to share their lives in the United States. If the U.S. citizen spouse is older than 21 years of age, he or she has the right to seek a “green card,” which signifies permanent resident status, for his or her spouse. Permanent residency allows both spouses to share their lives in the U.S. without facing legal problems related to immigration.
Couples may seek a marriage visa based on any marriage that is legal in the U.S. state where it was conducted - including same-sex couples whose marriage is legal in their state. A couple may also seek a marriage visa even if they have been married only a short time. The foreign national spouse receives a “conditional green card.” While this conditional green card allows the spouse to live and work in the U.S., it does not grant full permanent residency status until after two years and an additional immigration application.
When a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen, he or she becomes eligible to seek permanent residency (a “green card”) in the United States through an adjustment of status through marriage. Doing so exempts the newly-married individual from immigration quotas levied on his or her country of origin and offers other benefits as well. For instance, instead of waiting for five years to naturalize, the foreign national can apply for his her citizenship after two years and nine months.
With the recent and welcomed change at the federal government level regarding same-sex marriages, now same-sex spouses can adjust the status of the foreign national spouse if their marriage is recognized by the local jurisdiction as in California. This is true even if one of the spouses had previously had an opposite sex marriage or is self identified as bisexual.