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K-1 Fiancé Visa

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s the time of the year when many couples get engaged or married. If you are an American citizen who intends to marry your foreign fiancé in the United States you must first obtain a “K-1” fiancé visa. This article will cover general requirements and processing procedures for K-1 visas. To obtain a K-1 visa, (1) a nonimmigrant petition must be filed by a U.S citizen at the USCIS (under current immigrant law, permanent residents do not have the privilege of petitioning a fiancé); (2) you and your fiancé must be legally free to marry under the laws of your country and the U.S.; (3) you must have met your fiancé in person at least once within the previous two years (this requirement…
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Maintaining Status and the Nonimmigrant Extension Nightmare

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World events and political changes over the past couple of years have exposed the different faces of the American people. As a whole, American patriotism has become more visible. But this wave of patriotism has also diluted some of the founding principals upon which our country stands. Like the pilgrimage of past generations, immigrants today provide an endless stream of talent, ingenuity, and creative abilities that ultimately deepen the fabric of our society and represent the continuation of our tradition as a nation of immigrants. Regrettably, efforts to “protect” and “defend” have made it increasingly difficult for foreign nationals to enter and remain in the United States. In particular, maintaining lawful nonimmigrant status has increased in complexity and violators are facing severe penalties for minor, technical breaches of the law.…
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Nonimmigrant Visa Denials at U.S. Embassies and Consulates

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Q: I was recently approved for H-1B classification including change of status. My wife and son went to the consulate for derivative H-4 visas but the consular officer denied the requests. What are the requirements for a derivative H-4 visa? A: The regulations regarding derivative classification states that “spouse and children of a principal alien classified H-1B… who are accompanying or following to join the beneficiary to the U.S., are entitled to H-4 classification and are subject to the same visa validity, period of admission, and limitation of stay as the principal alien.” Despite the clear language in the regulations, consul officers frequently deny derivative visa requests if the principal alien entered the U.S. as a visitor and later changed status to H-1B. Also, principal aliens that enter as a…
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Obtaining a Green Card

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A Green Card is the informal name for a United States Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551). The early permanent resident card (1946 to 1964) was green in color, so it was loosely referred to as a Green Card. Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) changed the format of the card and reverted back to the green color. The owner of a green card has the right to permanently live and work in the United States. It is also a path to becoming a U.S. citizen. There are multiple ways for an individual to become a permanent resident and obtain a Green Card. The most common include family, employment, and investment. Family-Based: U.S. Congress has made it somewhat easier for family members to be reunited with their relatives who are…
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Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence

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Conditional residence is the immigration status of a foreign national who was approved for permanent residence (green card) within two years of getting married to a U.S. citizen, or after green card approval based on immigrant investment (EB-5). This article will focus on cases based on marriage. During the two year conditional period the immigrant has the same rights and responsibilities as other green card holders. This includes the right to live and work in the U.S. and file petitions for qualifying relatives. However, at the end of the two years the conditional resident must apply to have the conditions of the resident status removed. Within 90 days of the expiration of the conditional green card, the conditional resident and U.S. citizen spouse are required to file a joint petition…
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Re-Entry Permit

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Lawful or conditional permanent residents who want to remain outside of the United States for more than one year (but less than two years) may apply for a re-entry permit. There are two different functions of a re-entry permit: First, it allows a U.S. permanent resident to reenter the country after traveling for more than one year. Typically, a permanent resident who travels abroad for longer than one year will risk being denied entry into the U.S. on the grounds of abandonment of permanent resident status. A re-entry permit was created to help solve this problem for qualified travelers who continue to be permanent residents of the United States. Second, the re-entry permit can function as a passport for a U.S. permanent resident if that person does not possess a…
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