FAMILY IMMIGRATION LAW
Family reunification is one of the most visible areas in government policy in which we support and strengthen family values for our nation. If you are married to a foreign national or meet the love of your live, but your love is not a US resident, we can help your family obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States. We recognize that family unification translates into strong families who build strong communities, and that is why we are committed in helping families and individuals to lawfully enter and reside in the United States.
There are two ways to obtain an immigrant visa (aka “green card”), either through employment or through family. Here at Seff & Capizzi Law Group we handle all matters of family immigration law. Family-sponsored immigrants can enter in one of two ways, either as immediate relatives or through what is called the family preference system. Here, it is the family member, rather than an employer, who files a petition to keep a foreign national in the country, with a permanent visa.
Seff Capizzi Law Group can help guide you from the very beginning of your journey. Contact us to discuss your ability to acquire a green card through a family sponsored petition.
There are an unlimited number of visas issued for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, and immediate relatives of United States Citizens are exempt from the need for an immigrant visa number. This group includes the following:
Spouses: Spouses must prove the following: evidence of a bona fide marriage, valid marriage and legal termination of a prior marriage; a valid marriage, which is judged by law of the place it is entered into and physical presence together at the ceremony. (A proxy, picture, telephone, radio, television or similar absentee marriage does not confer immigration benefits.) However, consummation by cohabitation between the parties after the marriage will accrue benefits.
Unmarried minor children of U.S. citizens: Unmarried children must show they are unmarried and under the age of 21 AT THE TIME THE VISA IS ISSUED AND ENTRY INTO THE U.S. If the child marries or becomes 21 after the visa is issued, and BEFORE admission or adjustment, then they are no longer considered a child.
- Stepchild is included in the definition of child if under 18 at the time the marriage occurred which created the status of stepchild.
- Adoptive child is included if adopted under the age of 16 and in legal custody of and has resided with the adopting parent for at least 2 years.
- Orphans under 16 at the time the visa petition filed on his or her behalf. Orphaned by death or disappearance or abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents.
- Child born out of wedlock where child not is legitimated by the father. Full legal status as a child accomplished by marriage of the child’s natural parents. If not legitimized, the law recognizes the relationship with respect to the natural father where the parent and child lived together, father held child out as his own and provided some or all of child’s needs.
Parents of US citizens who are at least 21 years old: Defined term means a parent who is such, by reason of a relationship to a child as biological parent, stepparent, mother of child born out of wedlock or adoptive parent.
FS-1 Visa for Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens
Such sons and daughters must prove that the son or daughter once qualified as a child, so, in effect, this applies to an adult, unmarried child of a U.S. citizen.
FS-2 Visa for Spouses and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Resident Aliens
This group has two tiers:
- 2A-Spouses and minor, unmarried sons and daughters
- 2B-Adult unmarried children
FS-3 Visa for Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens
A U.S. citizen’s son or daughter, even if over 21 and married, includes legitimized children, but only if under the age of 18 at time of legitimating. Adoptive children qualify if they qualify as “children” within statutory definition.
FS-4 Visa for Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Adult Citizens
Citizen must be at least 21 years old. This group is backlogged and it may be best to try an another route such as a U.S. citizen sponsoring a parent who in turn sponsors a sibling. To establish a sibling relationship, petitioner and beneficiary must have once qualified as “children” of a common “parent.”
This visa allows the fiancee of an American citizen to come to the U.S. for the purpose of marrying the American citizen. The marriage must be valid and take place within 90 days of the applicant’s arrival. The children of the applicant may enter as well, under their own special visa.
Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) has a special focus on giving specific benefits to individuals who are prey to physical or emotional abuse by their U.S. Citizen Spouse. In certain cases, some restrictions in procuring a Green Card may be waived for qualifying abused or battered spouses. If you feel you are the subject of abuse and are planning on applying for a United States Permanent Resident Card (or Green Card) you may be eligible for immigration benefits under VAWA.
Citizenship is one of the most important topics of immigration law. It is possibly the most sought after tier of official status one can obtain in the United States of America. Becoming a citizen can be a very emotional and rewarding experience. As an official citizen you can vote, hold public office, work for the government, become eligible for public benefits, gain immunity from deportation, among other things.
There are a few ways an individual can qualify or apply for citizenship. In some cases, citizenship is acquired through means other than naturalization such as automatic acquisition, transmission by parent or grandparent or recovery of citizenship. All of which have their own process and methods involved. For most, you must go through the process of Naturalization, which is the general term for the steps involved in your journey.
- You must have lawful permanent residence, with a Green Card, for at least 5 years.
- Provide proof of lawful permanent residence.
- Have spent the majority of the aforementioned 5 years, within the United States of America.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Pass a required test to determine your ability to read, write and speak English.
- Provide a working knowledge of US History and Government.
- Pledge allegiance to the United States of America and swear to obey it’s laws.
- Be of good moral character.
Having an experienced law firm to guide you through the naturalization process is important. A large number of petitions get rejected per year. Seff Capizzi Law Group can make sure you have the best possible chance, by assisting you with paperwork, resources, organization, document acquisition, preparatory guidance for tests and an efficient and experienced approach at preparing your case for possible delays or issues that may be encountered during the application process. Contact us to discuss your path to citizenship.
Why Choose Seff & Capizzi Law Group?
Seff & Capizzi Law Group offers a free initial consultation to review the circumstances of your case and give you the personal attention that you deserve. Alleviate your stress by having our team handle the paperwork and ensure your rights are being protected. We look forward to hearing from you.
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