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Woodridge fiance immigration lawyerImmigration has been a hot topic in recent years. Under the current presidential administration, immigration policies have been under scrutiny, and fiancé visas - officially known as K-1 visas - have taken a hit. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), around 90 percent of fiancé visas were approved in 2016. In 2017, when President Donald Trump took office, the percentage of approved fiancé visas dropped to around 66 percent. Even though fiancé visas are getting harder to obtain, it is not impossible to get one - you just need the help of a skilled immigration attorney.

Eligibility Requirements for a K-1 Visa

In order to successfully obtain a visa for your fiancé, you must meet certain requirements. Though every visa petition is different, there are a few common requirements that you must meet. Eligibility requirements include:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen;
  • Both you and your spouse must be able to become legally married;
  • You must intend to marry your fiancé within 90 days of receiving the visa;
  • You must have physically met each other face-to-face at least once within the past two years; and
  • You must meet certain income requirements to prove that you can support your fiancé.

Other Elements of the K-1 Visa Process

In addition to meeting the requirements for a fiancé visa, you must also complete a series of other steps in order to successfully complete the process:

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Carol Stream immigration visa lawyerAn estimated 1.13 million people obtained lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the United States in 2017, according to the Department of Homeland Security. While employer exploitation can happen to anyone, immigrants tend to be the target of exploitation or abuse, threatening the lawful immigration status of many workers.

Abusive Behaviors of Employers

Certain behaviors exhibited by employers can violate laws related to wages and hours, protections provided by equal employment laws, or workers’ rights to participate in protected collective activity, but sometimes employer abuse can be considered a criminal offense. These behaviors include things such as:

  • Trafficking
  • Rape
  • Unlawful criminal restraint
  • False imprisonment
  • Blackmail
  • Involuntary Servitude
  • Witness tampering
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Extortion
  • Domestic Violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Being held hostage
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder

In situations which these behaviors occur, workers may possibly be eligible to receive a U visa.

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Carol Stream green card attorney family preferenceWhen citizens of the United States have relatives who live overseas, they are likely to want to bring their loved ones to live with them. This is a primary concern for parents, since they will want their children to live in a safe community and take advantage of the excellent educational opportunities that are available in the United States. However, it is important to understand the legal procedures that must be followed when helping a family member immigrate to the U.S.

Obtaining an Immigrant Visa

While there are a limited number of visas available for most categories of people who wish to immigrate to the United States and become a lawful permanent resident, immigrant visas for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are unlimited. Immediate relatives include the children of citizens, as long as those children are under 21 years old and are not married.

To obtain an immigrant visa for an immediate family member, a citizen can file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). 

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DuPage County spouse visa attorneyWhen a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) who resides in the United States is legally married to a citizen of a foreign country, their spouse may be eligible to receive an immigrant visa allowing them to come to the United States and become a lawful permanent resident. The process of applying for a spouse visa is complicated, and couples should be sure to understand the requirements that they must meet when doing so.

Required Documentation for a Spouse Visa

The first step spouses should follow to obtain an immigrant spouse visa is to file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). Along with this form, they should submit the following documents:

  • Copies of the couple’s marriage certificate and any documents showing that previous marriages have been terminated, such as divorce decrees, annulment documents, or death certificates.
  • Two passport-style photos for each spouse.
  • Proof of citizenship or lawful permanent residence. U.S. citizens can provide a copy of their valid passport, birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship. Lawful permanent residents can provide a copy of their Green Card or a foreign passport which shows temporary evidence of permanent residence.
  • Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support), which demonstrates that the immigrant spouse will have adequate financial support while living in the United States. 
  • Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application).
  • Forms showing that the immigrant spouse has completed a medical examination with an authorized doctor and received their required vaccinations.

After filing Form I-130, a spouse may be eligible for a nonimmigrant visa which will allow them to live and work in the United States while their immigrant visa application is pending. U.S. citizens can apply for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa for their spouse by filing Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)). 

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