Marriage to a U.S. Citizen
Since 1993, our office has successfully represented spouse(s) of U.S. Citizens in obtaining a "green card". The real name for this card is a "Permanent U.S. Resident Alien Card". As you may have heard in the news, marriage based green cards now include same sex couples based on a Supreme Court decision in June 2013.
Marriage based green cards are normally a very smooth process. Some people file these on their own without an attorney but as is often the case with government and law in the USA these days --the process can be a bit tricky and confusing. Unfortunately, if not done properly honest people can wind up getting their green card denied or worse. Therefore, we recommend that people should use an experienced attorney to guide them through the process.
In most cases, a green card will be approved in six (6) months time or less. We also represent the children and parents of U.S. Citizens.
Note: The children under 21 years of age of the foreign person who marries a U.S. Citizen may also obtain green cards as part of the application process. Also note that after 3 full years since obtaining the gree card---the green card holder can often qualify to apply for United States Citizenship.
We have successfully handled all kinds of family immigration matters---from the most common cases of marriage to U.S. Citizens, to complex cases, such as: marriage based cases in which the spouses are "no longer on speaking terms" at the time of the green card interview; foreign adoptions issues; and even a case in which a senior citizen did not have a passport or an ID----and didn’t know what his status was in the USA. His parents were no longer alive and his identification records had to be traced back to the passenger list on the boat which brought him to the USA at the age of three. Our firm determined that he was "technically" already a U.S. Citizen even though he was not born in the USA.
We have also successfully helped foreign family members obtain permanent residence and U.S. Citizenship-even for those who are or have been "out of status" including those who might have over-stayed their visa by more than fifteen (15) years. As long as the foreign person entered the USA "legally", if they marry a U.S. Citizen they can obtain a green card.
Note: The marriage to the U.S. citizen must be real. It must be a marriage based on love, also known as a "bona fide" marriage. If a foreign person originally enters the USA on a student visa (F-1) or on another kind of temporary visitor visa such as tourist (B-2) or business visitor (B-1) or even on a visa waiver, they may still apply for a green card through their US citizen spouse----under certain important conditions. Namely, at the time they entered the USA--they must not have been planning to apply for a green card. Moreover, the application must not be filed until at least a certain specified amount of time has passed since they entered the USA or there may be severe consequences, including a charge of "fraud" and a denial of the green card and even deportation for the foreign spouse and civil or criminal penalties for the U.S. citizen. The laws and regulations in the USA are quite complicated (probably much more complicated than they "should" be). As a result it is very important to obtain professional legal advice from someone who is experienced in the practice of U.S. immigration law.