Marriage Green Card Attorney in San Jose, CA, Providing Legal Help for Those Seeking Marriage-Based Green Cards
Love knows no borders, and sometimes we find the right person for us in some far-off country. There’s nothing wrong with this. However, it does present some challenges for living together that other married couples who are both U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents may not have to face.
Thankfully, however, there are means by which you can secure a green card for your foreign national spouse so that you may share your lives together in the U.S. without concerns about their removal. Similarly, if you are the foreign national spouse who is hoping to marry a citizen of the U.S. or a legal permanent resident, then you also have options and rights which you may choose to explore.
How Can Immigration Attorneys Help Your Case?
While the department of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the National Visa Center (NVC) may want to present the family immigration process as straightforward and so simple that anyone can do it without the need for a lawyer or worries about legal fees, the truth of the matter is that the application process can be very complicated and disheartening. There are many immigration forms and supporting documents that must be completed, not to mention a medical examination, an intimidating green card interview with a USCIS officer, and various requirements which must be met to prove not only status but also that your marital union is a valid marriage. So, while, of course, it is true that the application process for marriage-based green cards can be completed without a family immigration attorney representing you and your loved one, typically, those who hire immigration lawyers have a higher likelihood of success at seeing their filing going smoothly and their marriage green card approved. And with immigration issues as sensitive as matters of the heart and personal relationships, it is important to be prepared for fear of seeing a petition denied and a couple forced to jump through extra hoops.
At the California law firm of the Yew Immigration Law Group, you will be represented by experienced immigration attorney Alison Yew and her knowledgeable legal team. Attorney Yew and her staff have dedicated their career to the practice of immigration law, including helping clients through the process of obtaining marriage green cards, immigrant visas, work visas, adjustment of status, challenges of deportation, and a number of other immigration issues. You’ve made the right choice to consider meeting with an immigration lawyer to help you through the whole process of applying for a green card through marriage. You can depend on Alison Yew to provide calm, confident legal guidance as you work together to seek a successful result.
The first step towards securing strong representation is to send a message to the law firm of the Yew Immigration Law Group to schedule a consultation. When you meet with your family immigration lawyer, they will be able to answer any questions asked about your particular case. For those interested in scheduling consultations, please call our law office at (408) 645-6395.
Who Has the Eligibility to Obtain a Marriage-Based Green Card?
Spouses of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents may apply for a marriage-based green card from the USCIS.
To be eligible, you and your spouse must prove:
- That you are legally married;
- That it is a bona fide marriage;
- Proof of petitioning spouse’s U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status, and;
- That neither of you is married to anyone else, either in the United States or living abroad.
For those who have yet to be married, there other means by which a petitioner may apply for an immigration visa for their fiancé(e). K-1, the fiancé(e) visa, allows a foreign national fiancé to travel to the U.S.A. to marry a citizen within 90 days of their arrival.
Under U.S. law, same-sex and LGBTQ couples are now eligible for the same rights and benefits as wedded couples of the opposite sex.
What Factors Must Be Considered for Those Who Seek a Marriage-Based Green Card from the USCIS?
Throughout the application process for an immigrant visa, both the citizen or the legal permanent resident and their foreign national spouse will be asked to establish many elements to prove that they are indeed eligible and that their marriage is bona fide. While it may be tempting to be proud and want to protect certain parts of our private lives, much of this information is required for those who have the hope and intention of living together in the U.S.A. You must answer questions honestly and provide all required documents. The best way to navigate the process is to come prepared. An experienced immigration attorney has helped others from around the world with cases just like yours get approved for a marriage-based green card.
Important factors which you must remember in preparation for the green card process include:
- Legally married: You do not need to have been married in the U.S.A. for the marriage to be considered legal. It’s acceptable to have been married in another country, potentially the home country of the husband or wife, as long as the marriage is valid in that country and an official record of the marriage can be obtained from a legitimate government agency. Note that both you and your spouse must actually attend the wedding ceremony. Only under very limited circumstances will “proxy” marriages, where another person stands in for either the husband or wife, be recognized by the U.S. government.
- Bona fide marriage: a valid marriage is defined as one in which two people intend to establish a life together as husband and wife. A marriage entered into the sole purpose of obtaining a marriage-based green card is not bona fide and is considered a “sham” marriage or a “fraud.” To avoid fraudulent marriages, USCIS officials require extensive documentation to prove that you and your spouse have entered into the marriage in good faith.
- Proof of petitioning spouse’s U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residence status: this can be proven through submitting your spouse’s U.S. passport, copy of naturalization or citizenship certificate, birth certificate, fingerprints, or copy of a legal permanent resident card or green card.
- Previous marriages: any past marriages that you or your petitioning spouse has been in must have ended by legal means, such as death, divorce, or annulment. You must submit documentation that proves the previous marriage ended, such as a death or divorce certificate. Those who were previously married but can prove they are now legally single will have no extra difficulty marrying their spouses.
- Conditional residency: if you obtained your green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen spouse, and your marriage was less than two years old at the time of the approval of your green card, you will be issued conditional resident status instead of permanent resident status (the card will have a two-year expiration date). This is intended to address the rising concerns of fraudulent marriages, so issuing conditional residency allows USCIS a second chance to review the validity of the marriage to see if you qualify for permanent residence. A conditional residence expires in two years; within 90 days before the expiration date, the immigrant must apply jointly with the U.S. spouse to challenge their removal from the U.S.A., which involves proving that the marriage is ongoing and supplying further evidence of establishing a life together. There are exceptions to the joint filing that is beyond the scope of this general discussion. If you have questions about this process, contact our office to speak with an immigration lawyer.
How Does a Couple Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence?
To remove the conditions placed on a citizen and their foreign national spouse, the immigrant and U.S. citizen spouse must submit a joint petition on Form I-751. Note that this must be submitted within a 90-day period before the conditional residence expiration date. To show that the marriage is real and ongoing, the petition needs to be submitted with proof of the ongoing marriage, such as copies of joint bank statements, joint leases or home ownership, birth certificates of children born to the marriage, and more.
If the marriage has ended, such as through death or divorce, it is possible for the immigrant to apply for a waiver of the joint petition requirement and submit Form I-751 by him or herself. If the immigrant has been battered or abused by the U.S. citizen spouse, he/she/they may apply for a waiver of the joint petition requirement at any time after becoming a conditional resident.
Contact Our Law Firm to Speak with a Reputable Immigration Attorney and Begin the Attorney-Client Relationship
If you are seeking a marriage-based green card, we are here to help you with all of the necessary legal details. While it is possible to petition and enter the green card interview without the assistance of immigration lawyers representing you and your loved one, hiring an experienced marriage green card attorney can make the entire green card process much easier. In hopes of seeing a foreign spouse become a legal green card holder, it is necessary to meet certain requirements, such as supplying supporting evidence to prove the validity of your marital union.
There are so many important aspects to remember in the complex green card process, and the risks of being denied could be devastating, including seeing two loving people separated by lines drawn by law and country. But do not panic, as there are immigration attorneys who have made it the focus of their careers to help applicants achieve the decision they’re hoping for. And while no one can make a guarantee that a petitioner will be approved, you are nonetheless advised to consider hiring a marriage green card attorney in hopes of a smooth process, as your lawyer will help in preparing for the green card interview, gathering all necessary supporting documents as evidence, and help you address any previously unnoticed red flag before the USCIS officer can even notice it.
Your marriage and your love for each other is a beautiful thing. And the fact that you found one another in this wide world is incredible. Your relationship should be allowed some peace now, not constant fear that your filing was not correct, your payment plans or income were insufficient, or concerned that the USCIS did not receive your forms in time. Immigration attorneys can help you through all of these steps, allowing you to rest more easily, knowing that your interests are being looked after by professionals.
Yew Immigration Law Group, a P.C., is located in San Jose, CA, but provides legal service to clients across the California Silicon Valley, including San Francisco, Oakland, and other cities and counties across the Golden State. Family immigration lawyer Alison Yew would be proud to assist you and your loved one as you seek to obtain a green card through marriage.
To request your initial consultation, please contact our law firm online or by phone at (408) 645-6395.