U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are able to sponsor certain relatives for permanent or temporary visas that allow them to enter the country. At SAC Attorneys LLP, our San Jose immigration lawyers can provide comprehensive legal support to assist families with all of their immigration matters. Our attorneys can walk you through each step and work to resolve any obstacles that arise. From the paperwork to interview preparation, we can counsel clients with all areas of an immigration case.
SAC Attorneys LLP can assist families with:
Family-based petitions are assigned a priority date, which is the date the petition was received by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Every month, the United States Department of State (DOS) releases the Visa Bulletin, which announces visa availability for the following month, based on the priority date of the petition.
Where there is no wait for a visa number, such as is the case with immediate relatives, the applicant can file the petition along with an application for adjustment of status if he or she is in the United States. The case will then be sent to a local office for an interview. Otherwise, the individual must wait for the visa date to become current before filing an application for adjustment of status.
In cases where the beneficiary of the petition is overseas, the approved petition will be sent to the National Visa Center which will collect all the necessary documentation and the visa fees. Once the file is complete and a visa is available, the case will be sent to a consulate where the applicant for a visa will be interviewed. In cases where the wait for a visa is long, the case may stay at the National Visa Center for several years.
Marriage-based petitions are often more complicated than the other family-based immigration cases because of the requirement that the marriage not be entered into for purposes of immigration. In order for a petition to be approved, the couple must demonstrate that their intent at the time of entering into the marriage was to establish a life together. The USCIS Field or District Office will investigate the marriage to ensure that there is no fraud involved.
Avoid Marriage Fraud
Scrutiny of marriage-based immigration cases is on the rise. In recent cases, the adjudicators are also inquiring into past marriages of both spouses. In cases where the petitioning spouse received his or her lawful permanent residence through a marriage-based petition, the petitioning spouse's own residence will be questioned.
Due to the severe consequences for individuals charged with marriage fraud, it is vital that a thorough examination of each case is undertaken prior to submitting a marriage-based case to USCIS. Preparation prior to the interview is essential. Even if marriage fraud is not suspected, the USCIS adjudicator will not approve a marriage-based case at the interview unless the couple can demonstrate that the case is approvable. Failure to provide proper documentation at the time of the interview can lead to lengthy and disruptive delays in adjudication of the petition and, consequently, the application for permanent residence.
A knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney who is familiar with not only the relevant laws and regulations but also the practices of the local District Office can make all the difference in the marriage-based case.
U.S. citizens can also petition for their fiancés residing abroad to join them here in the United States. The couple must demonstrate their intention to marry within ninety days of entering the United States, as well as provide other types of evidence to show that the relationship is bona fide and that the couple is free to marry.
A petition is filed with USCIS and, once approved, is sent to the consulate where the fiancé is interviewed. If the interview is successful, the fiancé is granted a K-1 visa. Children of the fiancé are granted K-2 visas.
These petitions may appear straightforward but both USCIS and the consulates scrutinize fiancé petitions very carefully because of the high incidence of fraud. If the case is delayed or denied because of inability to meet the burden of proof, it can result not only in wasted money and stress because of cancelled wedding plans but also could mean that a couple is unable to start their married life together in the United States as planned.
U.S. immigration law considers adopted children to be children for purposes of immigration benefits, so long as the adoption meets the legal requirements set out by law. There are three ways to immigrate an adopted child. The requirements and processes for bringing adopted children to the United States are extremely complex and often challenging. Numerous agencies are often involved. It is highly recommended that anyone intending to adopt an overseas child to consult with an attorney knowledgeable and experienced in this area of immigration law before starting the process.
Call (408) 797-3332 to learn more about our immigration services.