I am an American citizen who just got engaged to a Dutch citizen. We want to get married soon and we want to live in the US. We have been dating for nearly a year and the costs of airfare back and forth, the amount of vacation time, all added in with the heartbreak of having to leave each other each time is wearing on us. We want to be together as soon as possible without having immigration rules forcing us apart. We are considering getting married in January or February, but are unsure if that's a realistic possibility. We have plenty of proof of our relationship in the way of pictures, hotel bills, airline tickets etc. What are the best ways to make this happen as fast as possible so we don't have to keep flying back and forth or be separated again and again?
I'm in southern California, and would be most interested in any help I can get. I will be looking for a lawyer (preferably as close to Mission Viejo, California as possible) to help facilitate the procedures and make sure we are doing everything correctly and filling out all the right forms.
We are also interested in finding out things like: How soon during this procedure is the foreign national able to go to work or school in California (or elsewhere in the states). Are there phone calls / letters that are involved in this process and if so are they usually included in what the lawyer provides or is that something I would need to do on my own?
3 Answers from Attorneys
You may apply for a fiance visa which can take anywhere from 5-9 months. The fiance visa is a three step process towards your fiance getting his green card. First, the petition is filed with the immigration service, and it is currently taking about 4 months to process those. Shortly after that, it is forwarded to the consulate abroad where your fiance will get directions about other forms to be completed / prepared for the interview at the consulate. Once the fiance visa is approved, he enters the U.S. with the K-1 visa, and you must get married within 90 days of his arrival. Once married, then he files for his adjustment of status in the U.S. Along with this adjustment, you would file an application for employment authorization. Throughout this process, you will need proof of the relationship being bona fide, including demonstrating a meeting in person at least once during the last two years. I'd be happy to further discuss with you, and am very experienced with fiance visas. Our office is in San Francisco, and can most definitely handle the filing of everything through the mail. For the adjustment interview in the U.S., you may want to have local counsel, but it may not be necessary either. Our phone number is 415-387-1364 or email [email protected]
My legal fee is $950 and you may find detailed information on the process as well as comprehensive information on the services I provide for my clients here:
Congratulations on your engagement!
There are 1 of 2 things you can do to have your fiance be with you permanently in the U.S.
1) The quickest way is if you apply for a fiance visa, which is a temporary visa that allows your fiance to come into the U.S. You must show proof that you have met and continue to communicate, as well as provide identification documents. Right now, this process takes 5 months, but the processing time may change monthly, depending on the number of applications at a given time. This visa (a K-1 visa) allows your fiance to enter the U.S. Once in the U.S., your fiance must marry you within 90 days of entry. After you get married, you may apply for an immigrant/permanent petition, along with your fiance's application for a green card and a work permit. You will have to show proof of marriage, including, among other things, joint documents and a marriage certificate. You must also show your ability to financially support yoru fiance. Your fiance will be able to obtain a work permit after 90 days of the application for work permit, along with a social security number and driver's license. Although the work permit is included in my attorney services, your fiance can obtain his social security card and driver's license without me. However, I can direct you to the proper agencies for these things.
2) The slower way is to directly apply for your fiance's immigrant petition, while your fiance waits in the home country. Depending on the country, this process may take 1-2 years. This process is a 2 step process: you would first apply for an immigrant petition, and once that gets approved, then your fiance can apply for visa/green card at the home country's U.S. consulate. Once your fiance enters the U.S., your fiance will be a legal permanent resident, and can begin working, as that status will give authorization to work. Although this process is 2-4 times slower in getting your fiance to the U.S. than applying for the fiance visa, it will save you the attorney's fees and government filing fees you have to pay for the extra step of a fiance visa. It depends on whether you want to save time vs. costs.
To discuss your options further, kindly call me at my office located in Orange County in the city of Orange: 714 288 0574 or email me at [email protected] Our offices offers a FREE initial consultation and payment plans. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Note: The above response is provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice, nor to create an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established through payment of consideration.
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