Atlanta Family Immigration Lawyer
Immigration laws can unfortunately act as a roadblock to reuniting with your family in the U.S. However, there are many avenues for recourse within the U.S. immigration system, and the Shirazi Immigration Law, Inc. can help ensure that your petitions are successful. One method for a foreign national to legally immigrate to the United States is to obtain the sponsorship of a family member who is either a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. There are a number of preference categories which determine the probability that your immigration application will be accepted – immediate relatives (parents, spouse, and unmarried children under 21) have the highest preference, whereas brothers and sisters have a lower preference. Other immigration options include temporary (non-immigrant) spouse/child (K-3/4) visas and fiancé (e) (K-1) visas.
Family-Based Immigration: Procedure for Application
In order to sponsor a family member’s immigration application, you must submit a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and demonstrate the following:
- Your sponsor is a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
- Your sponsor earns at least 125% above the poverty level set by the US government.
- You are related to your sponsor.
Our firm, Shirazi Immigration Law, Inc., specializes in successfully negotiating this bureaucracy for our clients. We will leave no stone unturned to get the best outcomes for our clients. Over the past few years, what once was a relatively easy process, has been made more difficult by the politics of the day. Hire our expert Atlanta family immigration lawyers and make sure you get the best chance of a successful outcome in your case. Did you know that if you or a family member has military experience, “special conditions may apply,” according to the USCIS website? With the rules changing seemingly every day, you need an attorney who specializes in immigration procedures to fully protect your rights.
Preference Categories of Relatives
Unlimited: Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens constitute a special category. Immediate relatives include the sponsor’s parents, spouse, and unmarried children below the age of 21 years. Preference categories include:
- First Preference: Unmarried adult (above the age of 21 years) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents and their unmarried sons and daughters of any age.
- Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.
You may find the “Family of U.S. Citizens” (USCIS) website useful. If you have additional questions concerning the preference categories, please call our team of dedicated experts now at 404-523-3611
Whether you have a spouse, children, parents, siblings or a fiancé(e) that need a Green Card or Visa (depending upon their relationship), please contact Shirazi Imigration Law, Inc., today to set up a consultation. We understand that nothing in life is more important than family.
K visas, under the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE Act) and its amendments, allow the spouse and unmarried children (below the age of 21 years) of a U.S. citizen to enter, live and work in the U.S. as non-immigrants until they receive lawful permanent resident status. The spouse receives a K-3 visa and the children receive K-4 visas.
Individuals interested in entering the United States to marry an American citizen and reside in the U.S. should apply for a K-1 Visa. The K-1 Visa (also known as the “fiancé(e) visa”) grants the holder conditional permanent resident status; however, the marriage must take place within 90 days of arriving in the United States. K-1 visa holders are eligible to receive employment authorization. The dependent children of K-1 visa holders may accompany the visa holder under K-2 status.
You can receive a K-3 (Spouse) visa if:
- You have married a U.S. citizen.
- Your U.S. citizen spouse has filed Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) with USCIS for you.
- You want to enter the U.S. to wait for the approval of the petition to become a lawful permanent resident.
- You have forwarded an approved Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé) to the U.S. Consulate (which issues immigrant visas) in the country where you were married. If you were married in the U.S., the approved petition has to be forwarded to a consulate which has jurisdiction over the area where you reside.
You can receive a K-4 (Child) visa if:
- You are unmarried and under the age of 21 years.
- You are the child of a foreign national who is eligible for a K-3 visa.
The advantage to obtaining a K-3/K-4 non-immigrant visa is that you are allowed to work in the U.S. while waiting to adjust your status to a lawful permanent resident. However, to do this you must have employment authorization.
Note: You will not need to apply for a work permit after you have become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. because you will receive a permanent resident card which allows you to permanently live and work in the U.S. Your valid K-3/K-4 non-immigrant visa allows you to travel outside of and return to the U.S., even if you are still waiting for your permanent resident status.
Life Act and Amendments
The Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act and amendments, effective since April 1, 2001, created several new categories of non-immigrant visas, including the V visa group, the K-3 Visa, and the K-4 Visa. These visas help to both ease the immigration process for thousands of individuals and to reunite families separated during the lengthy immigration approval process.
The new categories created by this act allow the issuance of non-immigrant visas to spouses, children and, in some cases, grandchildren of both lawful permanent resident aliens and spouses of U.S. citizens. Beneficiaries may apply for admission to the U.S. as non-immigrants and then remain in the U.S. until the visa petition is approved or denied.
The LIFE Act is specifically aimed at spouses and children for whom an immigrant visa or adjustment of status is not available as a result of processing delays or the lack of openings due to annual visa limitations.
Foreign National Spouse
U.S. immigration law allows two methods for U.S. citizens to bring spouses to the U.S.: the K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa and the Foreign National Spouse Immigrant Visa. The K-1 Visa is used in situations where the couple is engaged and will marry in the U.S. The Foreign National Spouse Visa, however, is a proven path toward lawful permanent residency for your spouse.
If the marriage takes place abroad, an I-130 petition should be filed after the marriage. This petition should generally be filed with USCIS in the U.S. There are some USCIS offices overseas that will accept spousal visas in certain circumstances, such as a U.S Embassy or Consulate.
You may have a lot of questions. Allow us to answer them all concerning the Foreign Spouse Visa. Call our office today 404-523-3611.