There are many benefits to U.S. citizenship, such as the right to vote, travel to most countries without a visa, certain tax exemptions, and federal security clearances. We can prepare and file your citizenship application, and advise you on any issues which may arise in your application. There are four ways to become a US citizen: (1) by Naturalization Petition, (2) by birth in the US, (3) by acquisition at birth, and (4) by derivation through the naturalization of parents:
FAMILY-SPONSORED PERMANENT RESIDENCE
There are five categories under which an individual can obtain permanent residence through relatives: (1) immediate relatives of US citizens; (2) First Preference-Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens, (3) Second Preference-(F2A) spouses and unmarried children of US citizens, (4) Third Preference-Married sons and daughters of US citizens, and (5) Fourth Preference-Brothers and sisters of US citizens. We understand the monetary and emotional hardships related to being separated from a family member. We make a deliberate effort to minimize this hardship. We will explain the step-to-step process to you, and keep you updated on each step. There are five categories under which an individual can obtain permanent residence through relatives.
Frequently asked family-based immigration questions:
Do I make enough money to sponsor my relative?
You must submit form I-864, Affidavit of Support, which assures the government that you are financially capable of bringing an immigrant relative to the U.S. Sponsors must submit with their I-864 proof of current employment or self-employment, and individual Federal income tax returns for the most recent 3 tax years. If using the income of persons in your household or dependents to qualify as a sponsor, you must also submit a separate Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, for each person whose income you will use. If you do not have enough income on your own, one may use a joint sponsor for the Affidavit of Support.
My spouse/relative exceeded authorized stay on I-94 card
If you are a spouse of US citizen or another immediate relative filing, one may still adjust status in the US even if you have overstayed your visa.
My relative/spouse entered the US illegally
If you enter the U.S. without inspection (EWI), or with fraudulent documentation, you are ineligible to adjust under current immigration law, unless the petition was filed prior to April 30, 2001. For pre April 30, 2001 filing, if certain conditions are met, you are eligible to adjust under INA section 245(i).
K-1 VISAS FOR FIANCÉES OF US CITIZENS
K-1 Visas are only issued to fiancés of US citizens. There are three basic requirements to receive a K-1 visa:
- The parties must have met in person within the past two years (in some cases this requirement can be waived-see below),
- They must have a good faith intention to marry, and
- They must be legally able and willing to get married within 90 days of the alien’s arrival in the U.S. The Florida Law Firm understands any moment spent apart from a loved one can be a difficult and trying experience. We make great effort to unite US citizens with their fiancés who are overseas.
Once approved, the petition remains valid for four months. If you do not enter the US in that period, it can be revalidated by either an USCIS district officer or a State Department consular officer for another four-month period, as long as you and your fiancée are still able and intending to marry.
Importantly, aliens admitted in K-1 status are not allowed to seek an extension of status, or to change to any other nonimmigrant classification. During the 90-day period of admission, the alien must marry the US citizen petitioner. After the marriage takes place, the U.S. citizen spouse may file an application for adjustment of status for the alien spouse.