WE FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY TOGETHER
Trump has proposed limiting visas for extended family members. Therefore, you should apply immediately, while you still can.
Immigration through a Family Member
Overview and Process
A lawful permanent resident is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of permanently living and working in the United States. If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States, or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, you must go through a multi-step process.
The USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition, I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you. This petition is filed by your relative (sponsor) and must be accompanied by proof of your relationship to the requesting relative.
The Department of State must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you, the foreign national, even if you are already in the United States. When an immigrant visa number is available, it means you can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to you. You can check the status of a visa number in the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.
If you are already in the United States, you may apply to change your status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available to you. This is one way you can apply to secure an immigrant visa number. If you are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, you must then go the U.S. consulate servicing the area in which you reside to complete your processing. This is the other way to secure an immigrant visa number.
We have helped numerous couples obtain green cards through marriage to a US Citizen or Permanent Resident Alien. We will guide you through every step of this complex process, file your application,prepare the affidavit of support, help you gather the relevant documents, prepare you for your interview and accompany you to your Immigration interview.
If you are thinking of getting married to an alien, call us first before you get married, so that we can advise you how to do every.thing properly. Some people think that they can do this process themselves without an immigration lawyer. But the immigration process is a "minefield" where checking even one box wrong can doom your entire case. Especially now under the Trump Administration, the need for an experienced Immigration Attorney is greater than ever.
Significantly, if you obtain your green card through marriage to a US citizen, then you can become a citizen in only 3 years instead of the normal 5 years.
Temporary Protected Status "TPS"
The Trump Administration has recently ended the TPS program for El Salvador effective November 2019. However, if you are are from El Salvador and reside in California or any other state covered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, including Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, a recent 9th Circuit decision in Ramirez, may be able to help you. The 9th Circuit held that a Salvaoran who had entered the US illegally in 1999, without inspection,received temporary protected status and married a US citizen - could remain in the US while applying to become a lawful permanent resident, since obtaining TPS was considered to be a "lawful entry". Thus, if you have TPS and marry a US citizen, you will not be subject to the 10 year bar, and can apply of a green card now.
We fight for your right to keep your family together.
Eli Kantor has helped to reunify hundreds of families. On one occasion, a husband and wife were separated for more than 3 years, while the American Embassy was investigating their case in Beirut, Lebanon. The husband came to Eli Kantor after no success with two other lawyers. We sued the State Department and in less than 3 months, the wife received her immigrant visa and the family was reunited, and now have a child together.
In another case, Immigration wanted to deport the husband, due to a technical defect in the application that the couple had prepared themselves. Our office filed an I-601 Waiver of Excludability based upon the hardship that would have been imposed on the US citizen wife and their US citizen baby. Immigration granted the waiver and the husband received his green card.
In another case, a Columbian woman came to our office after her I-601 Waiver of Excludability, filed by another attorney had been denied. We had her U.S. citizen husband have a psychological examination to demonstrate the hardship that he would suffer if his wife were to be deported. We also extensively researched the country conditions in Columbia to demonstrate the physical risk that she would suffer. We also documented the financial hardship that he would suffer. As a result, she received her green card and the family was able to stay together.
Eli Kantor's motto is: Never Say I Can't.
In order for a relative to sponsor you to immigrate to the United States, they must meet the following criteria:
- They must be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and be able to provide documentation providing that status.
- They must prove that they can support you at 125% above the mandated poverty line, by filling out an Affidavit of Support.
The relatives which may be sponsored as an immigrant vary depending on whether the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrant to the U.S.:
- Husband or wife
- Unmarried child under 21 years of age
- Unmarried son or daughter over 21
- Married son or daughter of any age
- Brother or sister, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old, or
- Parent, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old.
If the sponsor is a lawful permanent resident, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S.:
- Husband or wife, or
- Unmarried son or daughter of any age.
In any case, the sponsor must be able to provide proof of the relationship.
Petition to Remove Conditional Residence
In a marriage case, after the initial approval by immigration, the alien receives a conditional residence card, which is only valid for a period of 24 months. During the 90 day period between the 21st and 24th month after the initial approval, the alien spouse must file Form I-751, a Petition to Remove Conditional Residence, to make the green card permanent. This Petition must be filed during the 90 day window. If it is not, it will not be approved. In order to support this petition, the couple must produce sufficient documentation to persuade Immigration that it is a valid bona fide marriage. Such documents may include: joint tax returns, joint lease, joint savings and checking accounts, joint utility bills, insurance showing the alien spouse as the beneficiary, etc. It is critical to start collecting these documents immediately after the marriage, since Immigration will require documentation for the entire period of the marriage.
If you wish to immigrant as a relative of a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident, you must obtain an immigrant visa number based on the preference category in which you fall.
People who want to become immigrants are classified into categories based on a preference system. The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which include parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them is approved by USCIS. An immigrant visa number will become immediately available. The relatives in the remaining categories must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the following preferences:
First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.
Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under 21 years of age), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.
Once USCIS receives your visa petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) it will be approved or denied. USCIS notifies the person who filed the visa petition if the petition was approved. USCIS will then send the approved visa petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is available. The Center will notify the foreign national when the visa petition is received, and again when an immigrant visa number is available. You do not need to contact the National Visa Center, unless you change your address or there is a change in your personal situation, or that of your sponsor, that may affect eligibility for an immigrant visa, such as reaching age 21, marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse.
BECOME A US CITIZEN NOW
With all of the current uncertainty in immigration law now, since the Trump administration is seeking to limit legal immigration of extended family members, and bar entrance from certain countries with the travel ban, it is urgent to become a US citizen now, before the law changes, so that you can petition for your family and insure your right to travel in and out of the US.
CONTACT THIS OFFICE AT (310) 274-8216 TO SEE IF YOU CAN QUALIFY.