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Family Immigration

What is a U visa and who is eligible?

  • There’s a specific visa for victims of crime. It’s called a U Visa.
  • To be eligible for the U Visa, it has to be a rather serious crime; a felonious assault, an armed robbery. Anything in that nature, you should be eligible for a U Visa.
  • Another requirement is that you had to help in the prosecution of that crime. If you didn’t, then you’re not going to be able to obtain a U Visa.
  • Even if that crime occurred ten or twelve years ago and you aided the police or the district attorney’s office in processing that crime, you’ll still be eligible.
  • The other requirement is you will not be able to proceed with the U Visa unless the district attorney’s office or the police department signs a 918 supplemental form saying yes, you were actually very instrumental in the prosecution of the crime.

What is a 3 and 10 year bar?

  • An important aspect of obtaining a visa is whether or not the applicant has ever violated three or ten year bars.
  • If you have been in the United States in an undocumented status for six months or more and you leave the country, you are barred from returning to the United States for three years.
  • If you have been in the United States in an undocumented status for one year or more and you leave the country, you are barred from returning to the United States for ten years.
  • In some instances, there may be a waiver allowing you to return.

What’s a consular process with no waiver?

  • If it is a family petition and you filed the appropriate family petition form and the immediate relative form the process takes some months.
  • Once that’s approved, it is then forwarded to the National Visa Center. At the Center, the petitioner and the beneficiary have to complete documentation.
  • One important aspect is that the petitioner, if applying for a family member, has to show that that family member would not become a public charge.
  • That petitioner has to make a specified amount which varies depending on how many family members live with them.
  • For example for a single person applying for a wife who’s living abroad, that person has to make $19,612 per year to be eligible. That’s 125% over the federal poverty guidelines.

What is the time frame for a Consular Processing?

  • The time frame for consular processing depends on the complexity of the case; whether there are unusual issues or the relationship status is clear and all papers are in order.
  • Generally, it takes between nine and twelve months.

Can I file for the fiancé petition if we have never met in person?

  • Generally you can not file a Fiancé petition if you have not met because meeting in person is a requirement.
  • However, there are some religious exceptions.

Can my Green Card boyfriend(girlfriend) sponsor me for fiance visa?

  • Only a US citizen can sponsor a fiancé visa.
  • Once you have become a citizen, you can file for your fiancé.


What if we are engaged but have no formal plans for the wedding?

  • Yes, but write a narrative in your application and at the end express your desire to marry within 90 days of entry.
  • It is not unusual not to have set a wedding date before applying but it is important to express your willingness to marry within 90 days of your fiancé’s entry.

Can my fiance work in the United States while on a fiance visa?

  • Your fiancé will be able to work in the United States at some point.
  • Upon entry he or she is eligible to apply for an employment authorization.
  • However they do not have authorization to begin working right upon entry and must wait until employment authorization is granted.

Can my fiance’s child come to the US with my fiance?

  • If your fiancé has children, you can apply to have their children come as well through a K2 visa.
  • The children have to be under age 21 and they can be on the same petition as your spouse.
  • If you marry your fiancé, you can apply for the children’s permanent resident status as well.

How does my fiance obtain permanent residence status?

  • Once your fiancé enters the United States and you marry, the next step is to obtain permanent resident status.
  • You file an adjustment of status application. Generally, the application is filed to a specific visa office or service center and in most cases there is no interview. However, the process does take a bit longer.
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