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Fighting for a Secure Future For You and Your Family

Family Immigration Attorneys in CarrolltonYoung Girl with Birth Certificate

Bringing Immigrant Families Together in Dallas/Fort Worth

Many of the immigrant visas issued annually in the U.S. arise from lawful permanent residents regarding their family members. Because this is such a popular avenue of immigration, there has been a lot of abuse and the family immigration process has become more difficult and complicated. Having a dedicated lawyer on your side can help you and your family seek a successful resolution.

Contact Nathan Christensen P.C. at (972) 497-1017 for the help you need. Our attorney in Texas handles family petitions more than any other immigration matter and we love keeping families together.

Fiancé Petitions

A K-1 visa allows a U.S. citizen’s fiancé to enter the U.S. in order to get married. The fiancé and petitioner have 90 days to marry, after which the non-citizen fiancé can apply for permanent residency. The fiancé’s children may also apply for green cards through a K-2 nonimmigrant visa if they are under 21 years of age and unmarried. In addition, a K-3 visa allows those who have already married a U.S. citizen the ability to enter the United States while their immigration petition is pending.

To qualify for a K-1 or K-3 visa, a couple must show the following:

  • The petitioner is a U.S. citizen
  • The couple intends to get married within 90 days of entering the U.S.
  • All parties are legally free to marry, meaning any previous marriages have been annulled or terminated by death or divorce
  • The couple has met in-person within the last two years, except when this violates the customs of the fiancé’s country of origin or the requirement would result in an extreme hardship

Because these requirements can be complicated, it may be easier for a couple to marry first and then apply for a spousal petition. This, however, depends on each individual situation. By scheduling an initial consultation with our Carrollton attorneys, we will listen to your needs and let you know your best options.

Spousal Petitions

Woman and Her Husband Smiling If you are currently married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, one of the most popular and easiest ways to immigrate is through a petition from a U.S. citizen spouse. The United States wants its citizens and residents to have the right to marry whomever they choose - whether they are from the U.S. or not. Once married, U.S. citizens can file a petition to allow their spouse to immigrate so the family can be together. If both spouses are already here, they will be allowed to adjust their immigration status to a permanent resident.

However, because of the popularity of this program, there have been thousands of people who have abused the process and gotten married “just for the green card.” USCIS now overcompensates by requiring each married couple to prove they are married and prove that the marriage is bona fide. Essentially, the government does not believe you are married just because there is a marriage certificate. They will require you to overwhelm them with other evidence and many legitimate marriages are denied. Because of the scrutiny that USCIS imposes, many immigrants now use an attorney to help them in this process.

The family petition is only the first step for many people in their quest to immigrate to the U.S. to live with their spouse. After the petition is filed, there are many other steps to take depending on your unique situation. It is also important to make sure that filing the petition is a good idea in the first place.

Immigration Options for Immediate Family

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), visas for family members are divided into two categories: “immediate relative” and “family preference.”

Immediate relative visas apply to the following:

  • Unmarried children under 21
  • Spouses
  • Minor children who have been adopted
  • Parents of U.S. citizens who are over 21 years old

There is no limit to the amount of immediate relative visas the U.S. government grants annually, meaning the only wait time is the normal government processing time.

Family preference visas are available to the following:

  • The unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are over 21 years old and their minor children
  • The minor children, spouses, and unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents
  • Married daughters and sons of U.S. citizens and their children and spouses
  • The siblings of U.S. citizens and their minor children, when the citizen is over 21 years of age

The U.S. sets a limit on how many family preference visas are allocated per year and most of them go to the minor children and spouses of legal permanent residents. Those eligible exceed the number of visas available, so there is a waiting period for those who’ve applied. Visas are then granted in chronological order, so the process could take several years.

Contact Nathan Christensen P.C. to Discuss Your Situation

Every case is different and USCIS will not move fast. It is best to speak with one of our Carrollton immigration attorneys as soon as possible to get the process started. We have helped many families and couples obtain visas and permanent residency and we are passionate about the work we do to help keep families together. We’ll stand by you throughout the entire process.

Call (972) 497-1017 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.

“I’ve been working on various immigration requirements for the better part of 10 years now & I can say with absolute certainty that Nathan is the best lawyer I’ve encountered within that time (and I’ve met a few). Right from the beginning he made sure I understood my rights and the road ahead, providing a step-by-step guide to make my applications go as smoothly as possible. He was always available to meet and discuss my case, while also staying in contact via email/phone if I couldn’t make it in. Thanks to Nate I now have my Permanent Residency established and I look forward to returning to him in the near future to begin applying for Citizenship.”

- Eric N.
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