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Posts Tagged ‘k-1 visa’

USCIS Approves I-129F for fiance of Irvine Client; Consular Processing Next

March 3rd, 2014 No comments
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We recently received an I-129F approval for the fiance of an Irvine client. The I-129f is the first step of the fiance visa process. In order to qualify for a fiance visa, the alien beneficiary must be the fiance(e) of a US citizen who seeks to enter the United States for the sole purpose of entering into a valid marriage with the US citizen. The marriage must occur within 90 days of the entry.

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The I-129f is filed with USCIS. Now that USCIS has approved the I-129f, the case will be transferred to the National Visa Center in order to process the consular interview. We will file additional documents with the National Visa Center before they schedule the visa interview so the consul can decide whether our client is eligible to receive an immigrant visa. The I-129f petition will remain valid for four months while we proceed with consular processing. If, for some reason, the case is not completed within four months, a four month extension is possible.

If you are considering the fiance visa process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will meet with you to help you better understand the process and whether the K-1 is right for you.

K-1 Visa Issued for Fiance of Laguna Niguel Client; Adjustment of Status Next

February 6th, 2014 No comments
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A K-1 fiance visa was issued for the future wife of one of our Laguna Niguel clients. The couple met in Mexico a few years ago. They dated for a while before he proposed marriage. He visited her often during their courtship, and in spring 2013, he approached me asking for help with the fiance visa process. We prepared all the necessary elements of the initial I-129F filing. We received a decision from USCIS within five months.

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Then, we filed the necessary documents with the Department of State’s National Visa Center prior to the scheduling of the visa interview in Ciudad Juarez. At the interview, the officer said they could not make a decision on the case because they were waiting for additional information from background checks. Because this was a consular interview, I was not present and was unable to ascertain the nature of the inquiry. That is one of the main issues with consular processing. Attorney representation is not permitted at the interview. However, within a few weeks, the visa was approved.

The client recently arrived in the United States on her K-1 entry. The couple married within a few days. Now, we will prepare the I-485 adjustment of status application so that we can process the green card. We intend to file the adjustment packet within the next few weeks. From recent past experience, the green card interview will likely occur about 3-4 months after we file the I-485, and I will attend the interview with my clients to ensure that everything processes smoothly.

If you are considering the fiance visa process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to help determine which options are available and whether the K-1 fiance visa process is right for you.

Fiance Visa Issued for Future Wife of Huntington Beach Client

February 2nd, 2014 No comments
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Fiance visa approved for future wife of Huntington Beach client. We just received the good news that one of our K-1 fiance visa cases was approved by the consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. After dating for several years, the couple decided they were done with long distance. The husband would travel to Mexico at least once per month to visit, and they wanted to live together in the US so they could start their life together.

We advised that the K-1 fiance visa was the best option for them. We helped them collect the necessary evidence and information and filed the I-129F with USCIS. A few months later, the K-1 visa petition was approved by USCIS, and the case was forwarded to the Department of State for further processing. We filed additional documents, including the visa application, with the Department of State.

Wedding rings

A month or so later, the case was scheduled for a consular interview. The interview went smoothly and the visa was approved. The wife should arrive in the US within the next week or so. The total time from filing the I-129F to visa approval by the Ciudad Juarez consulate was less than 8 months.

After that, the couple will marry within the first 90 days of the wife’s arrival. Then, we will file the I-485 adjustment of status application. Because the marriage will be less than two years old at the time of interview with USCIS, the wife will be eligible for conditional permanent resident status. This means she will need to file additional evidence two years from now in order to prove to USCIS that the marriage was entered into in good faith.

If you are considering the K-1 process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Every year, we handle many fiancé visa cases from all over the world. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to gain a better understanding of your situation and whether the K-1 visa is your best option.

K-1 Fiance Visa – What If the Marriage Occurs Outside the First 90 Days After Entry?

October 16th, 2013 No comments
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Under INA 101(a)(15)(K), the fiance of a US citizen may seek to enter the United States solely to conclude a valid marriage with the petitioner within 90 days of entry. The alien fiance enters the United States on a K-1 Fiance Visa. Under the regulations, the alien may not adjust status unless the marriage occurs within the first 90 days after admission. However, the 90 day rule does not appear in INA 245(d). Under INA 245(d), the alien fiance may not adjust status to conditional permanent resident unless the marriage is to the US citizen that filed the K-1 visa petition. The alien fiance becomes deportable if the marriage does not occur within the first 90 days. INA 214(d).

However, under some circumstances a couple might be unable to get married within the first 90 days. What if there is a death or illness in the family or the US citizen petitioner is deployed abroad as a member of the Armed Forces? If the alien and spouse get married outside the first 90 days, there is a loophole that can be used to obtain conditional permanent residence.

The spouse must file a new visa petition for the alien spouse, who is ineligible to adjust status as a K-1 nonimmigrant. The I-130 visa petition and the adjustment of status application (I-485) can be filed concurrently. Since the alien’s adjustment would still be based upon his or her marriage to the citizen petitioner, Section 245(d) would not clearly bar the alien’s adjustment.

The alien clearly may not seek adjustment under the preference system, nor on the basis of a marriage to a different citizen. However, INA 245(d) does not clearly preclude the citizen petitioner from filing a new visa petition on the alien’s behalf after the untimely marriage. Approval of the citizen spouse’s alien relative visa petition would qualify the alien spouse as an “immediate relative,” eligible for a marriage-based green card. The alien could then apply for adjustment, notwithstanding the fact that the failure to marry within the time allowed by Section 214(d) renders the alien’s status unlawful.

It is important to note that the alien and US citizen spouse must file the I-485 within the first two years of marriage, because, under INA 216, the alien spouse that enters as a K-1 fiance may only adjust status to conditional permanent resident.

The Nunez Firm handles countless marriage based immigration cases every year including fiance visas, consular processing, adjustment of status and removal of conditions on permanent residence. If you are currently in the process of any marriage based immigration case, contact us to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to help you better understand the options and the pros and cons of each. Every case is different and the facts of each case will determine which approach is best.

Green Card Approved for Husband of US Citizen in San Bernardino; Entered on Fiance Visa

September 17th, 2013 No comments
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We just received an adjustment of status approval for one of our clients’ I-485 Applications to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident in San Bernardino. Earlier this year, he entered the United States on a fiance visa that we prepared, filed and got approved. His wife is a US citizen, and the couple met several years ago through friends. During the couple’s engagement, the wife became pregnant, but we were able to get the husband to the United States in time for the birth of his daughter. The couple married within 90 days of his arrival on the K-1 visa, as required by law.

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When a foreign born fiance of a US citizen enters the United States on a K-1 visa, the couple is required to marry within 90 days of the foreign born spouse’s arrival. After that, the foreign born spouse can file the I-485 application to adjust status to permanent residence. K-1 visa holders cannot change status or adjust status based on grounds other than marriage to the person who filed the K-1 petition.  Under K-1 provisions, if the marriage to the K-1 petitioner does not occur within three months after the admission . . . the K-1 beneficiary shall be required to depart from the United States and upon failure to do so shall be removed. In Kalal v. Gonzales, the Ninth Circuit upheld rescission of conditional resident status to person who did not marry K-1 petitioner within 90 days and instead married a different US citizen. The Board of Immigration Appeals has stated that the INA can be read to permit adjustment of status even if the marriage does not occur within 90 days if the beneficiary marries the US citizen that filed the K-1 petition. Matter of Zampetis.

In our case, the interview went smoothly and was approved on the spot. The husband was approved for conditional permanent resident status, meaning he will be a conditional resident for the next two years. During the 90 days preceding the expiration of his conditional resident card, he is required to file the I-751 petition to remove conditions along with documentation proving the couple still lives together and conducts themselves as a married couple.

If you are considering the visa petition process for a foreign born loved one, contact The Nunez Firm. We handle countless immigration cases for relatives of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will help you better understand the process and determine which strategy is best for you.

Fiance Visa Petition Approved for Newport Beach Client’s Future Wife Living in Mexico

August 8th, 2013 No comments
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We just received an approval notice for an I-129F Petition for Fiance Visa that we filed a few months ago. The client lives in Newport Beach, and has been dating his fiancee, who lives in Mexico, for over a year. We provided USCIS with proof that the couple has visited several times, corresponded continuously, and met each other’s families.

The fiance visa petition is the first stage of a three step process. The K-1 visa is available to fiance/fiancees of US citizens that seek to enter the US solely to conclude a valid marriage with the petitioner within 90 days of arrival. Minor children of fiancees can accompany on a K-2 visa. The I-129F visa petition must be accompanied by proof of: the bona fide intent to marry within 90 days of entry, no legal impediments to marriage (such as prior unterminated marriages), and evidence that the couple has met in person within the last two years.

The approved I-129F petition is generally valid for four months, but it may be revalidated for additional periods of four months. Once the I-129F petition is approved by USCIS goes to the consul, where the consular officer will schedule an interview and determine whether the foreign-born fiancee is eligible for an immigrant visa (admissibility issues). The consulate will not issue a fiance visa if the marriage would not be legal (e.g. polygamy or minor child seeking to marry). If the petitioning US citizen has previously filed two or more fiance visa petitions, the consulate can deny the visa. K-1 visas are generally considered hybrid visas meaning they are not immigrant or non-immigrant visas. The K-1 visa holder cannot adjust or change status to permanent resident under any basis other than marriage to the K-1 visa petitioner. If the marriage between the K-1 visa holder and petitioner does not occur within 90 days of entry, the foreign-born individual must depart the US.

In this case, the approved visa petition will now be forwarded to the US consulate in Ciudad Juarez for scheduling of the visa application interview. This process can take several weeks, but we intend to start preparing the necessary documents, forms and evidence. Our client is currently collecting police clearances from the countries in which she has previously resided.

Once the fiance visa is approved by the consulate, she will travel to the US to get married in the first three months. Then, we will file the I-485 for adjustment of status based on marriage to a US citizen.

If you are considering the K-1 visa process, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will personally meet with you to help you better understand the options available to you and whether the fiance visa is a viable option.

How Does the US Supreme Court Decision on DOMA Affect US Immigration Law

July 1st, 2013 No comments
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Last week the Supreme Court struck down key portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) as unconstitutional including the section defining marriage as between a man and a woman. The ruling immediately gives same-sex married couples equal benefits under federal immigration laws, which includes the ability for US citizens and lawful permanent residents to petition for their foreign-born same sex spouses. If a couple was legally married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, the US citizen or permanent resident spouse can petition for the foreign-born spouse to obtain a green card through either the adjustment of status process or consular processing.

This change is effective immediately, and one foreign-born individual has already been approved for permanent resident status based on his marriage to his US citizen spouse.

The DOMA decision has other important effects on immigration law. K-1 fiance visas for same-sex couples are now possible. Foreign-born victims of domestic violence are eligible for U visa status or adjustment of status based on VAWA.

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We anticipate that same-sex petitions and adjustment of status cases will present challenges that are uncommon in proving good faith marriage. For instance, a same-sex couple, for one reason or another, might not be completely “out” to their families about their relationship. In many marriage-based cases, a big part of the evidence in proving the bona fides of the marriage is to show that the families of the couple are aware of the marriage and support it. Other couples might keep their relationship private from employers and colleagues. As we move forward in navigating these new changes in the law, it will be our job to educate the USCIS officers about subtle differences and convince them that the marriage was entered in good faith.

At a recent AILA conference in San Francisco, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas spoke about the DOMA decision. His words were supportive in general, but one thing he said stuck out – USCIS has held onto I-130 visa petitions filed by same-sex couples for the last several years in anticipation of a change in DOMA. To me that suggests that USCIS has been preparing for this change in same-sex immigration laws for a while, and the bureaucratic changes needed to implement the new policy may not result in too many delays.

The Nunez Firm has long supported the rights of same-sex couples and eagerly awaited this change in the law. For years I’ve met with same-sex couples that wanted to discuss ways to avoid deportation and alleviate their constant fear of being separated. For years, I’ve felt awful when delivering the news that the options were limited and success was unlikely. The DOMA decision is a monumental one, and The Nunez Firm looks forward to proudly representing same-sex couples and helping them navigate the immigration process. If you are considering the marriage based green card process based on your good faith same-sex relationship, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation.

 

show them why

Fiance Visa Approved; Clients Arrive in US to Process Adjustment of Status

November 29th, 2012 No comments
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We recently found out that our clients from Newport Beach were approved for a fiance visa. The wife is a US citizen living in Orange County. The husband is from India. They met through a friend while the wife was visiting India. They began corresponding with each other and after another visit by the wife to India, they decided to get engaged. We applied for the fiance visa earlier this year and the husband recently attended the consular interview in India. We provided evidence of the wife’s travels to India.

The consular officer approved the fiance visa and the couple traveled to the United States together last week. As is required under the fiance visa adjustment process, the couple plans to marry this month so that we can move forward with the green card application. We will need to attend an interview at the USCIS office in Santa Ana. Assuming everything goes smoothly there, the husband should receive his green card and be able to start working within the next six months.

If you are considering the fiance visa process, contact The Nunez Firm. We handle all types of marriage-based immigration matters and managing attorney Jay Nunez can help you better understand the process and whether the fiance visa is the best option for you.

Fiance Visa Approved for Colombian National and her son

April 16th, 2011 No comments
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Our client in Colombia just had her consular interview at the U.S. consulate in Colombia. She is engaged to her fiancee in Orange County, California. He is a teacher in Costa Mesa, and they met two years ago through a friend. He has visited her several times, and the couple even traveled to Peru and some other South American countries during one of his visits. The couple decided to marry last year, and they approached The Nunez Firm in the Summer of 2010.

We filed the necessary forms and evidence with USCIS and they approved the fiance visa petition. Once the visa petition was approved, the case was transferred to the consulate in Colombia for consular processing. We helped prepared all the necessary forms and evidence for the consular interview. When the interview went forward, everything went smoothly and the K-1 visa was approved. Additionally, one of the client’s sons was approved for a K-2 visa.

When she arrives in the US, the couple will have 90 days to get married. Then, we will file for the adjustment of status to obtain lawful permanent residence for her.

If you are considering the fiance visa process, contact The Nunez Firm today to schedule a free consultation with managing attorney Jay Nunez.

Marriage Based Adjustment of Status and Green Card Approved for Client in Aliso Viejo

March 21st, 2011 No comments
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A marriage based green card was approved for an Aliso Viejo client recently. She is originally from the Philippines, and she met her husband in the Philippines in 2006, while he was visiting. They stayed in contact for several years and he visited her on several occasions over a two year period. The couple visited Thailand and Vietnam together as well. He proposed to her in 2008.

He filed for a fiance visa using another law firm, and although the fiance visa was approved eventually, he was not satisfied with his previous attorney’s communication and attention.

She entered the United States on the fiance visa in 2009, and the couple married within a couple months of her arrival. At that time, the husband was overwhelmed with business obligations, selling his house and other time commitments, and the couple did not file for the adjustment of status until 2010. (Although an alien admitted to the United States on a K-1 fiance visa MUST marry the visa petitioner within 90 days of admission, there is no requirement that the couple apply for adjustment of status within the first 90 days.)

After one year living in the US, the couple decided to proceed with the adjustment of status process. We filed the I-485 and all necessary evidence in late 2010.

The interview went smoothly and the conditional green card was approved for a two year period. 1 year and 9 months after approval, the couple will be expected to file the I-751 joint petition to remove the conditions on permanent residency.

If you are considering a marriage based adjustment of status, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a free consultation. Managing attorney Jay Nunez will help you understand the process and answer all your questions. The Nunez Firm has handled countless marriage based adjustments over the last few years, and we can help make the process as uneventful and unstressful as possible.

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