My wife is a Mexican national. Last year she was in the U.S. on her B2 tourist visa from June until August. We decided we wanted to get married. She flew back to Mexico briefly to be with her family. She returned to the U.S. on the same visa on September 8th. We were married 3 days later on September 11th. But we didn't get married with the intention of her staying in the U.S. On January 15th we flew to Mexico and have been here ever since. She didn't violate the 180 day time period permitted to her.
So here is my situation,
I am a Canadian citizen studying in the United States currently. I will graduate in 2012 with a degree in business management. I also have a girlfriend in the US. Theoretically, say I plan on marrying my girlfriend, what steps do I need to take to be able to work in the US? Is this a process that I should start now? And should I simply apply for a work visa or permanent residency? I would appreciate any advice. Thanks
I have written a lot of articles about immigration issues and processes for U.S. Citizens who are engaged to or married to foreign nationals. I was reviewing the articles on my site the other day and it occurred to me that the majority of the articles I have written are intended for international couples who have already decided to get engaged, married, and live their lives together in the U.S. And in most cases, these articles assume that my audience has already decided which immigration process to pursue.
Generally speaking, in order to adjust your status to a lawful permanent resident you must be in lawful status. However, there is a large exception that applies to many prospective adjustment of status applicants. Immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens who entered the U.S. legally but are currently out of status may apply for adjustment of status. Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens include parents, spouses, and children (unmarried and under 21) of U.S. citizens.
If you obtained your lawful permanent residency through marriage to a U.S. citizen and you are now going to be divorced there may be serious consequences.
Foreign nationals who obtain lawful permanent residency through marriage to a U.S. citizen are initially granted conditional lawful permanent residency for a period of 2 years. Ninety days prior to the expiration of this 2 year period the conditional lawful permanent resident and his or her U.S. Citizen spouse are required to file a joint petition to remove the conditions on the residency.
Cases that involve foreign nationals who entered the United States illegally are difficult. First, it is important to define what it means to be illegal. For immigration law purposes, a person who is an illegal alien is one who entered the country without inspection by an immigration officer. Simply put, this means someone who snuck across the border.
Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Assocation, or AILA, recently reported some outstanding statistics about denial rates for visas to the U.S. In fiscal year 2009. The Department of State (the government agency responsible for adjudicating visa applications) denied and returned over 54,000 visa applications to the USCIS for revocation. Although no case specific date was presented, AILA experts believe that a majority of these denials were marriage-based immigrant visa petitions or fiance visa petitions.
Parents of U.S. citizens are considered immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. This means that an immigrant visa is available for the parent. However, a child cannot file a petition for his or her parent until he or she reaches the age of 21.
The USCIS recently reported that it is experiencing processing delays of up to 8 weeks for lawful permanent resident cards. The delay is reportedly the result of an upgrade to USCIS card production equipment.
Although we handle family-based immigration cases from all over the United States and the world, we see a lot of cases from Canada because we are located in Michigan. Family-based immigrant visa petitions for Canadian citizens are not any different than green card petitions for family members from other countries. However, because Canadians can easily enter the U.S. as non-immigrants it can create some unique issues.