Alien-Spouse Immigrant Visa
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Alien-Spouse Immigrant Visa Lawyer
Visas for the Spouses of U.S. Citizens and Green Card Holders
Two types of immigrant visas are available for people who are planning to travel to the United States for the purposes of reuniting with a spouse and of establishing permanent residence in this country. Whether the person who is currently living in the U.S. is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident will determine which type of visa is appropriate for the immigrating spouse. An IR-1 visa is appropriate for spouses of U.S. citizens, whereas an F2 visa would be the right choice for spouses of lawful permanent residents.
The IR-1 is the first type of visa in the immediate relative immigrant visa category. The provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allow for an unlimited number of such visas because U.S. immigration law places a higher priority on reuniting citizens with their loved ones who are living abroad than it does on reuniting green card holders and their family members. To meet the definition of “spouse” for the IR-1 visa, it is necessary to prove that you are legally married to your husband or wife.
Applying for a visa for the spouse of a permanent resident can be more difficult than it is for the spouse of a citizen since the INA provides no more than 480,000 visas per year for the family-preference immigrant category. Nearly a quarter of these are allocated to the F2 category, which includes not only the spouses of green card holders but also the minor children and unmarried adult children of permanent residents. The number of applications for family-preference visas frequently exceeds the number of visas available in any given year, and when this happens, all of the applicants who are required to wait until the next year are given their visas on a first come, first-served basis according to their priority date, which is the date when the petition was originally filed.
How a Virginia Immigration Lawyer Can Help
Contact us at Fayad Law, P.C. before filling out your Form I-130 or taking any other steps so that a Fairfax or Richmond, Virginia immigration attorney from our team can assist you with the process and guide you along the way. Even simple mistakes on the petition could cause your application to be denied or unnecessarily delayed, which could greatly extend the amount of time before you are permitted to reunite with your spouse.
Our firm has offices in Richmond and Fairfax, and we provide our assistance to clients throughout the world. We know how much is at stake for you and are ready to take immediate action on your case! Contact our office now for an initial consultation and to learn more about how we can be of assistance.
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FAQs - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There are dozens of different types of visas available under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), but they can all be placed in one of two categories: immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The former is for individuals who are hoping to establish permanent residency with a green card and perhaps even to pursue the path to naturalization and citizenship. The latter is for those who are only planning a temporary visit to the United States, such as for the purpose of conducting business or attending school.
The INA sets limits on the number of people who will be permitted to immigrate to the United States each year using certain types of visas, while other visas are unlimited. Family immigration visas for the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are available on an unlimited basis, while there are annual quotas set for the relatives of lawful permanent residents and extended family of citizens, with a maximum quota of 480,000. The number of employment immigration visas is limited to 140,000 per year.
Pathways to citizenship include service in the United States military and adoption, but a large percentage of all people who become citizens do so through the process of naturalization. The basic qualifications for naturalization include:
- Living in the U.S. as a permanent resident for 5 years (or 3 years for a spouse of a U.S. citizen)
- Being at least 18 years of age
- Living within the state where you will apply for citizenship for at least 3 months prior to the application date
- Being physically present in this country for at least half of the past 5 years
- Maintaining continuous residence in this country from the date you submit your application for naturalization
- Being able to read, write and speak English
- Have a basic understanding of U.S. government and civics
It is also necessary to supply evidence that you are a person of good moral character and are attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. We can assist you with proving these factors, as well as preparing your petition and helping you get ready for the tests.
In June of 2012, the Obama Administration directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin applying a policy that is referred to as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under deferred action, DHS is exercising discretion in its execution of the laws concerning deportation and removal of immigrants who are illegally present in the United States. Deferred action is not a change to the existing law, but is instead a change in the way that the law is being applied. You may qualify for relief under DACA if you were younger than 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday, have continuously resided in this country since June 15, 2007 and are either currently in school or have already graduated from high school or earned your general education development (GED) certificate, among other criteria. With deferred action, you may be able to avoid being deported, though it does not grant any change of immigration status.
In its review of immigrant visa petitions, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) weighs factors related to the ties that the prospective immigrant has in the United States and the reasons why he or she wants or needs to come to live in this country. For example, a family immigration petition will not be approved unless the foreign national has immediate relatives such as a spouse, mother or father, child or sibling already living here as a citizen or green card holder. An employment immigration petition is more likely to receive approval if the applicant has a job offer in this country and is coming to fill a position that cannot reasonably be filled from the local labor market. A foreign national who is fleeing persecution in his or her home country may be granted an immigrant visa as a refugee or asylee.
There are many strategies for challenging a removal action. If the proposed deportation is based on a criminal conviction, it may be possible to appeal the conviction in order to have it overturned. Another option is to petition for cancellation of removal, a type of immigration relief which is available to people who are of good moral character and whose deportation would subject a family member who is a citizen or permanent resident to extreme hardship. The key to success in stopping deportation is to take immediate action by hiring a Virginia immigration attorney from our firm as soon as possible. Contact us now at Fayad Law, P.C. for a confidential consultation and to let us get started on your case!
Fayad Law, P.C. maintains offices in Richmond and Fairfax, Virginia. We work with individuals, families, and businesses across the world, providing them with assistance in resolving the legal issues involved with helping their loved ones and employees to immigrate to the United States. We work directly with foreign nationals living abroad, guiding them through the process of obtaining immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for entry to the U.S.