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Obtaining U.S. Permanent Residency through Marriage
If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident you can petition for your spouse to become a permanent resident of the U.S. You can think of the process of obtaining a U.S. permanent residency as a two part process. The first part of the process would be proving that your relationship is real. The government will need to see a copy of your marriage certificate, but what the government will really be analyzing is your relationship. In our office we establish that the relationship is a true relationship by showing proof of how the relationship started and developed overtime. We do this by providing pictures of the couple with family and friends, copies of social media posts that show the progression of the relationship, applicable text messages, cards that the couple may have exchanged during special occasions, letters from family members and friends, and any relevant document that the individuals have in both of their names. For example, a bank account, a joint lease, health insurance, life insurance, and/or a mortgage document.

Once the government approves the first part of the process, then the government will anayze the second part. The second part deals with everything that is relevant to the beneficiary obtaining his or her permanent residency card (i.e., green card). During the second part, the government will look at the green card application along with evidence showing that the petitioning spouse is able to support the beneficiary spouse in the U.S. The petitioning spouse will be considered the beneficiary spouse's sponsor for immigration purposes. The sponsor will need to prove an annual income of a certain amount to show that he/she can support the beneficiary spouse. The annual income amount is determined by government income guidelines. At this stage the government will also analyze the beneficiary's criminal background check, the beneficiary's medical exam and other documentation relevant to the beneficiary's application.

During the second part of the process, the government will schedule an in person interview with a government officer. The couple will be asked questions about the relationship and questions about the documentation that was provided. Once the interview is over, then the officer will make a decision to approve or disapprove the beneficiary's green card application. If approved the beneficiary would then obtain her/his green card.

The green card will be issued for two years. At the end of the two-year conditional period, the couple will need to submit a petition requesting that the conditional status of the green card be removed. The couple will need to prove that their relationship is still intact. The couple would provide evidence of the relationship similar to what was initially provided for part one. However, the couple would only need to show evidence of the two-year period. Once the restrictions are removed, then the beneficiary spouse will obtain his or her U.S. lawful permanent residency. The card will be issued for ten years, but the residency status is considered permanent. Therefore, if the card expires, that does not mean that the permanent residency status expires. When the card expires, you can renew your card or you can apply to obtain your U.S. citizenship. If you obtained your green card through marriage, then you would only need to wait three years before you can apply to become a U.S. citizen. The three-year period starts as of the date you obtained your U.S. conditional residency.

Fiancé(e) Visa
If you are a U.S. citizen you can file a petition to have your fiancé(e) come to the U.S. before you are actually married. You will have to provide evidence that you have met your fiancé(e) in person at least once within two years of filing the petition, and, evidence that you both are free to marry and intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e)'s arrival in the U.S. This may be a quicker way to get your significant other to the U.S. As explained above, to obtain a green card it is a two part process. When you petition for your fiancé(e) through a fiancé(e) visa, then part one of the process is done while he/she is abroad, but then part two is completed after the fiancé(e) arrives in the U.S. Therefore, the time period to be apart is shorter. The issue with fiancé(e) visas at this current time is that the U.S. consulates in foreign countries are not conducting interviews for fiancé(e) visas until 12/31/2020. This restriction is expected to end at the end of this year. We are hoping that the ban on interviews for fiancé(e) visas is not extended. Therefore, if you are considering petitioning for a fiancé(e), please call our office and we can explain the current circumstances with the fiancé(e) visa in more detail.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will increase fees for premium processing, effective Oct. 19, as required by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159, signed into law on Oct. 1.
The USCIS premium processing service allows petitioners to pay an additional filing fee to expedite the adjudication of certain forms, generally within 15 days.

Pub. L. No. 116-159 increases the fee for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing, from $1,440 to $2,500, for all filings except those from petitioners filing Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status. The premium processing fee for petitioners filing Form I-129 requesting H-2B or R-1 nonimmigrant status is increasing from $1,440 to $1,500.

Any Form I-907 postmarked on or after Oct. 19 must include the new fee amount. If USCIS receives a Form I-907 postmarked on or after Oct. 19 with the incorrect filing fee, we will reject the Form I-907 and return the filing fee.
As a team, TLF strives to open paths to opportunities for clients!
Cary S. Torres, JD
I empower individuals and businesses with knowledge, while helping them develop plans to maximize personal or professional opportunities.
JoAnna M. Dogo, JD
I enable aspiring young immigrants to realize their American Dream and assist businesses in securing their talented employees.
Sajmir Xikola, JD
I help immigrants realize their goal of becoming a U.S. permanent resident. It is very rewarding to help open paths to opportunities for people seeking to make the U.S. their home.
Karina Torres
Communications Manager
I keep clients informed through effective and compassionate communication.
Torres Team
Through our immigration practice, we unite couples, help families stay together, assist individuals to make the U.S. their permanent home, and allow businesses to secure their best employee talent.