The Answers You Need from The Modi Law Firm, PLLC
Some of the most urgent and sensitive matters in the immigration practice area involve families. At The Modi Law Firm, PLLC, we understand that couples and families who are suddenly faced with these immigration issues need reliable information to move towards a secure and legal US status. That is why we've provided answers to some of the most common family immigration questions below.
Who can sponsor me to become a permanent legal US resident?
In order to gain legal status in the US as a permanent resident, you must be sponsored by either a US citizen or a permanent legal resident who is an immediate relative. Whoever your sponsor is, they must sign an affidavit that obligates them to support you, the beneficiary, until you become a citizen yourself or have worked in the US for 10 years.
There are, however, some restrictions. For example, permanent legal residents are not eligible to sponsor their parents or siblings for immigration into the US. For more information on who can sponsor you, or your eligibility as a sponsor, speak with a knowledgeable Houston immigration lawyer.
If my child is a US citizen, can I obtain legal US status?
There are certain circumstances when this is possible. If your child is over 21 and you originally arrived in the US with a visa, they can then sponsor a residency petition for you. If you came into the country without a visa, you may also be eligible for a waiver, depending on your 245(i) status.
If your child is under 21 years old, you may be able to obtain legal status if you have lived in the US for 10 years or more and can demonstrate that your child will undergo pronounced hardship if you are deported or otherwise removed. This can be done by filing a cancellation of removal or deportation with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What is the fiancé visa process?
If a US citizen sponsor and citizen from another country want to get married here in the US, they must obtain a K-1 fiancé visa. This can be obtained by the US citizen's filing for one with the USCIS. Once it is approved, the immigrating fiancé must then visit the US consulate in their own country. They will be interviewed about the petition in order to determine the legitimacy of the proposed marriage.
If this sounds like a lengthy process, it can be. The good news is that it can be possible to obtain a K-3 nonimmigrant visa. This will allow the immigrating fiancé (and any of their children) to live and work in the US while they are waiting for the K-1 visa to be processed and approved.
If I visit my fiancé in the US and get married, can I change my status?
It depends. There are many examples of immigrants who visit the US on tourist or exchange visas who later become romantically involved with a US citizen and then get married. The Immigration and Nationality Act allows for this kind of change in legal status.
However, if you are planning to marry your finance in the US and enter the country falsely under another status, you do pose a risk of complications with USCIS. Some immigrants will do this in order to bypass the lengthy fiancé visa process, but being untruthful about your intentions as a visitor to the country only invites suspicion from USCIS and further potential legal issues.
Our family is ready to proceed. What is our next step?
Successfully filing for legal status with USCIS and coordinating with your family members can be complex and every circumstance requires a different procedure. For example, the steps a sponsor and their beneficiary should take to obtain legal status are different depending on whether the beneficiary is already in the US or is currently outside the country.
That is why it is always advised that these couples and families seek the counsel of an experienced immigration attorney. At The Modi Law Firm, PLLC, we understand the challenges and uncertainties families face when navigating these immigration issues and how easily they can be denied the status they deserve. Attorney Modi has guided countless client couples and families through these matters and consistently allowed them to secure legal and promising futures here in the US.
Need more answers? Our firm is ready to hear your family's story. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Se habla Español.