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Overview of Family Based Immigration

To be eligible to sponsor your relative for lawful permanent residence based on a family relationship you must meet the following criteria:

  • Is a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States who can provide documentation proving your status and is willing to sponsor the relative for lawful permanent residence by filing the I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • You must prove you can support the alien relative by providing documentation that your income is 125% above the mandated poverty line for your family, including the beneficiary and all other sponsored family members.
  • You have to legally prove the alien relative shares one of the following relationships, with you in this order of preference:
    • Husband or wife;
    • Child under 21 years old;
    • Unmarried son or daughter over 21;
    • Married son or daughter of any age;
    • Brother or sister if you are at least 21 years old; or
    • Parents if you are at least 21 years old.

One important document, Form I-864, the Affidavit of Support is a legally binding contract in which the family sponsor commits to providing financial support to the foreign relative beneficiary. This contract is enforceable for a considerable period of time and does not end by the termination of the family relationship. With so much required information, the Affidavit of Support can be a daunting obstacle for obtaining family-based permanent U.S. residence. Let us help guide you in this process.

K – Husband, Wife, or Fiancé/Fiancée Visas

U.S. citizens who have married a foreign national, or are engaged to a citizen of another country can obtain visas allowing their same sex or opposite sex husband, wife, fiancé or fiancée to legally enter the United States. This process is complex and where a couple intends to marry often impacts which visa category to choose. It is very important to consult with a trusted immigration attorney.

K-1 Visa for Fiancé/Fiancée

If you wish to bring your fiancée into the United States to marry, you must file with the USCIS for a K-1 fiancé visa on his or her behalf for their lawful entry into the U.S. Children of the K-1 holder can also enter the U.S. with a K-2 visa.

K-1 Visa Eligibility and Requirements

You must be a U.S. citizen to file. Your fiancée or fiancé must be a citizen of another country and physically outside the U.S. at the time of application. An individual can be issued a K-1 visa only after a petition is filed in the U.S. and has been approved, based on satisfactory evidence of the following:

  • That the couple previously met within the two (2) years of the date of filing the petition, unless a waiver is granted;
  • That the couple has a bona fide intention to marry;
  • And the couple is legally able and actually willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States within 90 days after the foreign fiancee’s or fiancé’s arrival.

Marriage must take place within 90 days of your fiancée or fiancé entering the United States. We assist in all documentation, including proving to USCIS that the impending marriage is not a fraudulent means to gain U.S. entry by a non-citizen. Upon approval, you can proceed to file a green card (permanent residency) application on behalf of your fiancée or fiancé.

If you do not marry within ninety days, the K-1 fiancee/fiancé and any K-2 dependents will be required to depart the U.S.-failure to depart will result in removal.

K-3 Visa for Spouse and K-4 for children of Spouse

Any U.S. citizen who has married outside the United States can file a K-3 spouse visa to bring their new husband or wife lawfully into this country. If the marriage is determined to be valid by the USCIS and a spouse visa is granted, the spouse is automatically eligible for application for Permanent Resident status, and can file for a K-4 visa for any children to enter the U.S. Application for a K-3 visa must be made in the country where the marriage took place. Both the K-3 and the K-4 are temporary visas.

K-3 and K-4 visa holders can enter the U.S. and file for adjustment of status after being admitted. While the green card petition is pending, the K-3 visa and K-4 visa holders may remain in the U.S., as well as apply for employment authorization until becoming permanent residents.

After three years of marriage, your foreign national spouse can apply for U.S. citizenship.

If your husband, wife, fiancée, or fiancé is already in the United States, we can assist in filing a green card application for permanent residence with the appropriate USCIS office.

K-3 Visa Eligibility and Requirements

Must be a spouse of a U.S. citizen and a petition for an immigrant relative has been filed by the U.S. citizen. Your spouse will enter the U.S. to await the approval of the petition and subsequent lawful permanent resident status.

The children of your spouse eligible for the K-3 visa is eligible for a K-4 visa if they are unmarried and under 21 years of age.

The K-3 visa process is both lengthy and full of obstacles. Let Shapiro Law Group assist you overcome the challenges along the way. Call us at (847) 564-0712 for a free consultation.

Spouse/Fiancé Visas
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Family Visas and Permanent Resident Status (Green Card)

Permanent Residency, also referred to a “green card” or immigrant visa, allows entry into the U.S. with the intention of staying. Green card holders can work at any job in the United States. Permanent Resident status is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), with priority given to spouses, dependent children, and parents. Green cards for other family members are subject to annual quotas, and approval sometimes takes many years.

Green Card Eligibility and Requirements

U.S. citizens (including naturalized citizens) may sponsor immediate relatives to enter the U.S. under an immigrant visa (green card), including:

  • Parents
  • Spouses (wife or husband)
  • Unmarried children (sons and daughters)
  • Married children (sons and daughters)
  • Siblings (brothers and sisters)

Permanent residents (foreign nationals holding a green card) may sponsor only:

  • Wives or husbands
  • Unmarried children

We also represent sponsored employees who entered the U.S. on non-immigrant work visas, and wish to file for adjustment of status to Permanent Resident (green card application). We have substantial experience and success in the PERM (labor certification) process. Contact Us or call (847) 564-0712 for a free consultation.

Chicagoland and Illinois Naturalization Attorneys

You want to realize your dream of American citizenship. We have helped thousands of foreign nationals do just that.

Eligibility and Requirements for U.S. Citizenship

Citizenship is available to immigrants under the following circumstances:

  • You have a valid green card (permanent residency status) and have lived in the U.S. for five years.
  • You are married to a U.S. citizen and have lived in the U.S. for three years.
  • You are a permanent resident, have served in the U.S. military, and have lived in the U.S. for three years.
  • You are married to a U.S. citizen who is being transferred out of the U.S. by a government agency, armed forces, or multinational company.

You may be nervous about the naturalization test or the interview with the USCIS.

Citizenship Interview

We fully prepare you and your family for your interview with a USCIS immigration officer, advising you on the best way to answer questions about why you are seeking U.S. citizenship.

U.S. Government and History Test

We have helped clients prepare for the test, and we are always available to accompany a client to the interview. Our attorneys have assisted many foreign nationals through the process of becoming proud U.S. citizens.

Naturalization Problems

If you have a criminal background, or residency or visa issues that could lead to rejection of your citizenship application, The Shapiro Law Group can explain your options and work to overcome obstacles. We also advise clients when it would be unwise to apply for naturalization because of the probability of deportation or removal.

For knowledgeable legal representation, and personalized client service, contact us.