Marriage Green Cards and Fiance Visas
Are you married to a U.S. Citizen or green card holder? Engaged to be married but wondering how to choose between a fiancé visa and a marriage based-green card petition? What is immigration doesn’t believe that your relationship is real? Want to bring your spouse’s children to the U.S., too? These are questions we hear encounter every day and the solution needs to be tailored to your individual circumstances. We look in depth at your priorities – whether it’s your immigrant spouse’s need to work or your need to be together as soon as possible or your financial concerns and wedding timeline. We look at your spouse’s immigration history, any past criminal history, relationship history, your plans for travel together and processing times and help you two decide what’s best for you. This is no cookie-cutter operation. These cases are complex. Let us help.
Marriage Green Cards
The act of marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident doesn’t grant the immigrant spouse lawful status. The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) spouse must file a special immigrant visa petition and green card case for their spouse to start this process. But nothing is guaranteed. Since, obtaining a green card (lawful permanent residency) through marriage is one of the fastest ways to obtain legal status in the U.S., it can be wrought with challenges. The government reviews marriage cases very closely to confirm that you married in good faith and not just for a green card. The government also screens the immigrant spouse’s immigration, criminal, and relationship history, as well as other factors to determine eligibility for a green card.
Our firm has decades of experience filing thousands of successful marriage-based green card petitions for couples from all walks of life. We work with clients nationwide and we can guide you through the process. We walk you through the process, advising you every step of the way, including representing you and your spouse at the green card interview.
A U.S. citizen (not a green card holder!) who is engaged but not yet married to an immigrant may sponsor the immigrant for a temporary visa called a K-1 or “fiancé” visa. The K-1 is a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa that only lasts 90 days. After the couple marries within 90 days of the immigrant’s arrival, the couple must start the green card application process or the immigrant spouse will not be granted a green card and will fall out of lawful immigration status. The very point of the K-1 is to “test the waters” of the relationship – which can mean living together for a certain amount of time after the immigrant arrives to see if the couple is compatible or just spending more time together during that period to make sure to each other that both want to go through with the marriage. Often the K-1 is used to ensure that the U.S. citizen family members can attend the wedding without having to travel abroad. The extra time the K-1 provides can accommodate that situation.
How do you Choose? What is The Right Path For You? Any other options?
It can be difficult for a couple trying to make the decision whether to file a fiancé visa or file an immigrant visa based on marriage and either have the interview happen at the consulate or in the U.S. for the green card. In-depth analysis by an experienced family immigration attorney really helps you sift through the weeds and provide the pros and cons to help with this decision.