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One of the major goals of United States immigration law is to promote family reunification through family-based immigration. Philadelphia, PA, residents cannot, however, petition for just any family member, no matter how distantly related, to come to the United States based on that family relationship. U.S. citizens can petition for their parents, children (including married sons and daughters), husbands, wives, brothers, or sisters, but not cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or family members even more distantly related. If you are a legal permanent resident, you can only petition for your husband or wife and your unmarried children. Your status as a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident can also make a difference in how long your relative has to wait to emigrate to the United States. To figure out the exact details of your potential wait time, contact us for a consultation.
U.S. citizens can also petition for their fiance(e)s or spouses to come to the United States on a non-immigrant visa called the K visa. Non-immigrant visas grant temporary, rather than permanent, immigration status. Fiance(e)s of U.S. citizens are eligible for the K-1 visa, while spouses of U.S. citizens are eligible for the K-3 visa. The K-1 visa is issued specifically for the fiancée of a U.S. citizen to come to the United States to marry that U.S. citizen petitioner. The K-3 visa is meant to allow a foreign national already married to a U.S. citizen to come to the United States after that U.S. citizen has filed a petition for permanent residence status for the foreign national. This way, the foreign national spouse can await approval of that petition in the United States with the U.S. citizen spouse, rather than abroad and living apart from the U.S. citizen spouse.
Approval for K-1 visas can be particularly difficult to obtain for marriage-based immigration. In Vietnam, in particular, the rate of denial of K-1 petitions is very high. U.S. citizens seeking permission for their Vietnamese fiance(e)s to come to the United States to get married must be prepared to show a lot of evidence documenting the authentic nature of the relationship between the U.S. citizen and his or her intended spouse, including knowing about each other's personal interests, and family, educational, and work histories. Cases of immigration fraud, in which people are paid money to marry strangers in order to get them U.S. immigration benefits, make the consular offices that decide these applications even more suspicious of K-1 petitions.
No matter what type of family-based petition you are contemplating, including I-130 and I-129F petitions, U.S. immigration authorities are always concerned that the family relationship at issue is real and not fraudulent. It is important that you provide satisfactory proof of the relationship. Tran Law Associates can help you identify what type of proof the government will be looking for, and evaluate if this is the type of proof that you can realistically provide. Again, the best way to identify what you will need to submit in your benefits application is to talk to a competent immigration lawyer. In Philadelphia, there are many choices of firms that handle family-based immigration; the most important thing is to pick a legal practitioner whom you feel listens to and understands your concerns, and knows how to get results.
Family-Based Immigration Law in Philadelphia