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Immigration FAQs

New Canaan k visa lawyer

Stamford, CT Immigration Attorney Answers Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get a family-based immigrant visa approved?

This depends on the category in which you are applying. In the Immediate Relative (IR) category, there are an unlimited number of visas available. This means that processing can begin immediately upon approval of the initial petition. From start to finish, IR visas typically take from six to nine months or longer, depending on the circumstances. In the Family Preference category, there are annual numerical limits, and applicants may have to wait several years for a visa to become available.

Who is eligible to sponsor a family-based visa petition?

Sponsors must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are at least 21 years of age. Sponsors must also have domicile in the United States or a U.S. territory. If a sponsor lives abroad, they must show proof that their residence abroad is temporary, and their permanent domicile is in the U.S. Sponsors must prove their family relationship with the applicant/beneficiary and meet certain financial requirements as well.

If I am a U.S. Citizen, what relatives can I sponsor to become permanent residents?

U.S. citizens may petition for the following relatives to obtain green cards through the Immediate Relative (unlimited visa) category:

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried Children under Age 2;
  • Parents if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age
  • Orphans adopted abroad or who will be adopted inside the U.S.

U.S. citizens may petition for the following relatives to obtain green cards through the Family Preference (limited visa) category:

  • Unmarried children along with their minor children (F1)
  • Married children along with their spouses and minor children (F3)
  • Siblings along with their spouses and minor children if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years of age (F4)

If I am a lawful permanent resident (LPR), what relatives may I sponsor to become permanent residents?

LPRs may petition the following relatives for green cards through the Family Preference (limited visa) category:

  • Spouses and Unmarried Children (F3)

I am a U.S. citizen. Can I bring my aunt, uncle, and cousins here as permanent residents?

No. There is no family-based visa category for aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents.

I am marrying a foreign national who lives in another country. Is it better to bring her here to get married on a fiancé visa or have the wedding abroad and petition her on a spouse visa?

K visas provide two potential paths for U.S. citizens who are getting married to a foreign national. The K1 visa is for fiancés or fiancées, and the K3 visa is for spouses. You may also file petitions for their minor children (K2 and K4 visas). The fiancé and spouse visa processes are similar and take about the same amount of time. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and the right option is dependent on your specific circumstances. Contact our office to learn more about which type of K visa is right for you.

I married a U.S. citizen while in the United States on a temporary visa. What do I need to do next to obtain a green card?

If you were here lawfully on a temporary (non-immigrant) visa and married a U.S. citizen, you may apply for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident and receive a conditional green card.

I received a Notice to Appear (NTA) for a removal hearing. How do I fight it?

Non-U.S. citizens may be subject to deportation/removal proceedings if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) believes they are in violation of immigration or certain criminal laws. Receiving a notice does not make you guilty, however. There are various deportation defenses that could be used successfully, depending on the situation. The first step is to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to fully assess your case and go over your options.

I was denied a visa. Is it possible to get a visa waiver?

Immigrants who were denied a visa may be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility. Waivers may be granted for certain health conditions, prior deportations/removals, minor crimes, and if you can demonstrate that refusing a waiver would cause an extreme hardship. Waivers are also available for those who qualify under a specific law or executive action, such as the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act, Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

What is the difference between citizenship and naturalization?

There are two general types of U.S. citizens: citizens by birth and naturalized citizens. Those who were born in the United States or born to U.S. citizens abroad receive automatic citizenship. All others obtain citizenship through what is known as the naturalization process. In general, lawful permanent residents (LPRs) can apply for naturalization if they have maintained continuous residence in the U.S. for three or five years, depending on the circumstances.

Have Additional Questions?

For answers to your immigration-related questions and/or to schedule a personalized consultation with Attorney Hector Gonzalez, contact us today at 203-323-1440. We serve clients in Stamford, Fairfield County, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Hartford, and surrounding Connecticut communities, as well as communities throughout Westchester County, NY. Se Habla Español.

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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