Los Angeles Marriage Visa Lawyer
Frequently Asked Questions About Marriage Visas
..If you are living in the U.S. as a citizen or permanent resident and wish to have your foreign-born spouse or fiancée join you, the process of securing a K3 or marriage-based visa for him or her can be as complex as it is intimidating. At the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C., attorney Linda Lee has successfully guided numerous couples through the immigration process to begin their lives together in the U.S. If you have any questions regarding your marriage visa options, please review the following information and do not hesitate to call (800) 792-9889 for a thorough case evaluation.
Q. How do we prove that we are married?
A. In order to prove that the marriage was not conducted simply for obtaining permanent U.S. residence for one of the spouses, the USCIS requires not only an official legal document from where you were married but also ample and specific evidence. For example, when couples build a life together, it is expected that the spouses will share assets and responsibilities, such as bank accounts, health insurance policies, car registrations, as well as utility bills. The USCIS will also examine proof of your shared life together, including photographs of your wedding, records of phone calls to each other, receipts from trips you made to visit each other, and other tokens of your relationship. There will be an additional interview with a USCIS officer in which each spouse will discuss their relationship and spouse.
Q. Is my same-sex spouse eligible for a green card through a marriage visa?
A. The Supreme Court struck down the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) in 2013, making same-sex marriages legally valid for immigration purposes. The USCIS will evaluate whether the marriage is legally recognized by the state or country in which the marriage took place rather than whether the couple is heterosexual or same-sex. For example, if your marriage took place in Canada where gay marriage is legal, you may be eligible for immigration benefits. However, if your same-sex marriage took place in a state or country where gay marriage is not recognized, you may sponsor your spouse for a fiancé (e) visa in order to legally marry in the U.S. within 90 days.
Q. Will my foreign-born spouse become a U.S. citizen right away?
A. Marrying a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is not a quick path to U.S. citizenship by any means. By becoming an immediate relative (spouse) of the U.S. citizen or permanent resident, the immigrant spouse may become eligible for a green card, which can lead to a citizenship. There are a number of paths through which the married couple may complete the process, but it is important to understand that it is not immediate. Citizenship can usually be obtained three years after receiving your green card if you continue to be married to and live with your U.S. citizen spouse. You can find more about here: Green Card through Marriage process explained.
Q. What are the penalties for marriage fraud?
A. The U.S. immigration authorities take marriage fraud very seriously and both spouses can face severe criminal penalties if the sham is discovered. The immigrant spouse may be deported from the U.S. and may face a lifetime ban of ever returning to the United States. It is even possible that the immigrant spouse may face a maximum of five years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000 (I.N.A. Sec. 275). The other spouse may be placed into removal proceedings if s/he is a permanent resident or face jail time and/or heavy fines if s/he is a U.S. citizen. Contact an experienced attorney to learn the most appropriate immigration option for your circumstances rather than risk the consequences of attempting to defraud the government.
Q. Is it necessary to hire an immigration attorney when filing for a K visa?
A. While it is not required that you work with an attorney during the immigration process, it is in your best interests to seek the guidance of a lawyer who is well-versed in immigration law from the very beginning. Due to the expertise of our law office, we will ensure a smooth and efficient process that can result in an approval months earlier. Immigrants can find they receive their work permit months earlier by working with our office and thus begin earning a higher salary faster. Attorney Linda Lee has extensive experience handling marriage-based immigration cases. For a thorough understanding of your legal options and the best course of action for your case, please do not wait to contact the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C.
Marriage & Immigration Information
- Adjustment of Status through Marriage
- Green Cards: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
- Immigration and Same Sex Marriage
- Immigration for Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens
- K1-K3 Marriage Visas
- Marriage Visa FAQs
- Obtaining Green Cards Through Marriage
- The Importance of I-751 Marriage Visas