February 2018 - Dynamic Immigration Lawyers

Monthly Archives: February 2018

Family Based Immigration Ultimate Guide

Family Immigration

Family Visa Guide

Most people become a United States Citizen with the help of a family member.  This can happen through a marriage, a parent or other close family member.  Family based immigration provides a clear path to obtaining a green card and becoming a United States Citizen.

In this guide we will discuss:

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    What is a Family Based Visa Petition?
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    What Are the Family Based Visa Categories?
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    Who is considedred to be an Immediate Relative?
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    Who is considered to Other Family Members?

Overview

What is a Family Based Visa Petition?

Categories

What Are the Family Based Visa Categories?

Immiediate Family

Who is considedred to be an Immediate Relative?

Other Family

Who is considered to Other Family Members?

Overview of Family Based Immigration

The current United States immigration laws encourages having strong and unified families. 

Keeping families together is one of the cornerstones of our immigration policies.

Currently, there are ongoing discussions about making changes to our immigration system.  For now, Family based immigration is still the best way for most people to obtaining a green card.

Many immigrants struggle to find viable options to gain legal status. Family members often stand in a prime position to gain legal status.

Certain family relationships allows a petitioner to avoid numerical "caps". These caps  can be found in other different Visas categories.

 For example, a Hi-Tech worker in a H1-B or other employment based category could be subject to legally imposed caps.   The same person would not face an issue if they are marrying a United States Citizen.

The first thing to remember is that only a United States Citizen can sponsor a family visa for a relative.  The second thing to know is that not all family members qualify as beneficiaries. 

Family Based Visa Categories

There are two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories:

  1. Immediate Relatives  
  • Spouse of U.S. Citizens
  • Children (unmarried and under 21)
  • Parents of U.S. citizens 

  1. Other Family Member
  • First preference
    • Unmarried  adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (21 or older)
  • Second preference (2A)
    • Spouses of Green Card holders
    • Unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents
  • Second preference (2B)
    • Unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents
  • Third preference
    • Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (any age)
  • Fourth preference
    • Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens

Immediate Relatives

Let's take a look at the first category.

Immediate relative immigrant visas

Only a United States Citizen can sponsor an immediate relative. These types of petitions are unlimited in number.

  •  (1) A spouse
  •  (2) Unmarried children under 21 years of age;
  •  (3) An orphan adopted abroad;
  • (4) An orphan to be adopted in the U.S.;
  • (5) A parent

In these category the lower the number, the higher the priority will be. In other words a spouse (1) will be a priority over a parent (5).

Other Family Based Preferences

The good news is that Family Preference Immigrant Visas are available to both United States Citizens and to Legal Permanent Residents.

What can potentially bad news is that There are caps limitations on family preference immigrant visas. These caps are based on a numerical calculation and preference subcategories.

The Preference categories are based on relationships and are as follows:

● Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children;

● Family Second Preference (F2) ○ (F2A) : Spouses and minor children of LPRs; ○ (F2B) : Unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 or over) of LPRs;

● Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children;

● Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.

Limits are imposed on the number of family-based preferences. There are also limits to the type of family members eligible for sponsorship.

Although you may have great fondness for distant relatives; unfortunately close relatives—like spouses, children, brothers are eligible.

Although a U.S. citizen can sponsor an unlimited number of spouses, unmarried minor children, and their parents, the sponsorship of most other eligible relationships per year is limited to roughly 226,000 visas

K-1 Fiancé Visa Ultimate Guide

K1 Finance

2018 Fiancé Visa Guide

Here is the Ultimate Guide to K-1 Fiancée visas for 2018. If your goal is to be a "90 day Fiancée", this Fiancée visa guide will help you understand the K-1 visa Process. 

The United States Immigration systemis designed to strengthen and unify families. For some soon to be newlyweds, obtaining a Fiancée Visa is an important step. Your Fiancée, and their children,  have special rules that you are able to use before and after your wedding.

In this guide we will discuss:

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    What is a Fiancée Visa?
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    Who is Eligible to File  for a Fiancée Visa?
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    What Forms are needed for a Fiancée Visa?
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    What documents will you need to support a Fiancée Visa?
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    What is the timeline to receive Fiancée Visa?
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    What is the Fiancée Visa process?

Overview

What is a Fiancée Visa?

Eligibility

Who is Eligible to File  for a Fiancée Visa?

Forms

What Forms are needed for a Fiancée Visa?

Documents

What documents will you need to support a Fiancée Visa

Timeline

What is the timeline to receive Fiancée Visa?

What is a Fiancée Visa?

The fiancé visa, also known as a K-1 visa, is a temporary visa issued to the fiancé of a U. S. citizen. This temporary visa allows for the fiancé to enter into the United States to marrying a U.S. citizen.

The K-visa categories is for the fiancée of US citizens and their accompanying minor children. It was created to speed up the immigration process for these families and expedite travel to the US.

Expedited travel allows a fiancé and any minor children to be admitted quickly to the United States. This is intened to prevent a long family separation. 

The K-2 visa category is for the child of a fiancé(e) of a US citizen. The K-3 visa is for the foreign spouse of a US citizen and K-4 category is for stepchildren of US citizens.

The fiancée visa is temporary and the marriage must occur within 90 days of approval of the fiancée petition. Unfortunately there is no opportunity to extend the period to get married beyond 90 days.  In order to obtain an approved  petition,  the United States Citizen and the Fiancée must met certain requirements to be eligible to apply for a K-1 Visa

Who is Eligible to File for a  Fiancée Visa?

Believe it or not the eligibility requirements for a  Fiancé Visa are straight forward.

The Requirements are:

  • The petitioner (or sponsor) must be a U.S Citizen,
  •  Both people must be free to legally marry,
  • Any previous marriages must have been legally terminated (by death, divorce or annulment),
  • Both people must agree to legally marry in accordance to the rules of one of the States within the United States,
  • You must have the intent to marry each other within 90 days
  • You will need to prove that you have meet your Fiancé within 2 years of filing your K-1 / Fiancé Visa (with a few exceptions),
  • You must meet minimum income requirements 

What forms are need to File for a Fiancée Visa?

The main form used when filing for a Fiancée Visa is the form I-129. The I-129 form is 13 pages long and is the centerpoint to any application.

The I-129 form is both dangerously simple or overly complicated. You need the ability to understand the intent of each question. You will also need the ability to provide answers that are truthful. Doing so does not lead to a denial of your K-1 Visa petition.

As the petitioner, you will need to provide a lot of information to support the K-1 Visa application. Some of the information that you will need to provide will be:

What supporting documents  are
required for a  Fiancée Visa?

You must submit all evidence requested with your petition. If you fail to submit the required evidence, the USCIS may reject or deny your petition.  If a document is not available, you must submit a statement from the appropriate civil authority certifying that the primary evidence is not available.

You must also submit secondary evidence. This includes items such as:

  • church or school records, 
  • baptismal certificates,  
  • other evidence to support your claim

If you secondary evidence is not available you may have other options to consider. 

Additional Documentation that might be needed

Petitoner

Information needed to Support Form I-129

  •  Social Security Number
  • Full Legal Name
  • Any other names or Alias that you may have used in the past
  • Current Mailing Address
  • Your Physical Address History for the last 5 Years
  • Your Current Employment Information
  • Your Employment History for the last 5 years
  • Information about your parents
  • Information about any previous marriages
  • Your U.S Citizenship Status
  • Information regarding any previous attempts to file a petition for another fiancé
  • Information about your children

Fiancé

Information needed to Support Form I-129

  • Social Security Number
  • Full Legal Name
  • Any other names or Alias that you may have used in the past
  • Current Mailing Address
  • Your Physical Address History for the last 5 Years
  • Your Current Employment Information
  • Your Employment History for the last 5 years
  • Information about your parents
  • Information about any previous marriages
  • Your U.S Citizenship Status
  • Information regarding any previous attempts to file a petition for marriage
  • Information about your children
  •  I-94 or 1-95 arrival / departure date
  • Passport Number / expiration number
  • Consular processing information
  • Criminal history if any

What is the expected timeline
to receive your Fiancée Visa?

There is no way to know exactly how long it will take to get your Fiancée Visa petition approved. The timeline can vary from person to person. One person's petition may seem to move quickly and another person's petition may seem to move at a slow pace.  This can be confusing unless you undertand the process. 

In the past the Fiancée Visa timelines averaged between 5 to 6 months from start to finish.

Currently timelines are extended for all visa types. This is due to a higher case workload and increased security scrutiny of visa applicants.

Right now we estimate the Fiancée Visa process is taking on average from 6 to 10 months. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate and you petition move faster or slower than another person's.  Here is an example of a Timeline and a illustrated step by step process for a Fiancée Visa


Example Timeline for a K-1 Visa or Fiancée

1st Letter about your I-129F

1st Notice of Action

1 to 3 Weeks

Within 1 to 3 weeks after your  I-129F is filed, you will get notification that the USCIS indicated that your I-129F has been received by the agency.

2nd Letter about your I-129F

2nd Notice of Action

5 to 7 months later

Assuming thst your I-129F is aproved you will receive a 2nd notice indicating approval.  If the I-129F is not approved you will also recieve a notice.

Moving Forward

National Visa Center

2 to 4 weeks

You will recive a notice when your case moves to the National Visa Center for processing.  

To the Embassy

United States Embassy

1 to 3 months

You will receive a notification when your case moves from the National Visa Center to the local United States Embassy. 

From the Embassy

Embassy Processing

1 to 2 weeks

After providing all of the information and documentation requested by the United States Embassy your visa will be proccessed.


Steps in the Processing of a Fiancée Visa

USCIS Filing

The United States citizen files the I-129 petition with the USCIS along with a proper payment  to the Department of Homeland Security.

1st Notice of Action

You will receive a notice of action indicating the USCIS has received your petition.  Keep in mind that this will be your 1st notice from the USCIS

2nd Notice of Action

The 2nd notice will indicate that the USCIS has approved, denied or requests additional information that supports for your petition

National Visa Center

If approved your case moves to State Department’s National Visa Center. The NVC will run a security and background checks during the screening process.

United States Embassy

 Your approved K1 visa petition moves to the Bureau of Consular Affairs which then moves the case  to local United States Embassy for processing

United States Embassy

You will be required to provide additional documentation, undergo a medical examination and most likely be required to go to an interview.

Visa Granted

If granted  you may be able to pick up the actual visa the same day.  In most cases there will usually be a wait of at least one week before the visa is ready

Travel to the United States

Your Fiancée has 6 months to use the visa to enter the United States. The sponsor does not need to travel with the fiance into the United States.

90 Days For the Wedding

The Fiancée must marry the U.S. sponsor within 90 days of entry. . If a wedding doesn’t take place within this time, the fiance must leave the Country.

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