Short Hills Family Immigration Consultants
Helping Your Loved Ones Secure Green Cards
If you are a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, you can sponsor certain family members for green cards, which confer lawful permanent residency. With a green card, your loved ones will be able to live anywhere in the U.S. and, after a waiting period, apply for permanent citizenship.
Our Short Hills family immigration consultants at Worldwide Legal Services have over 50 years of combined professional experience and have handled over 10,000 immigration cases. Our team understands the intricacies of the U.S. immigration system and understands what United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) looks for when evaluating these cases.
We are passionate about helping families reunite with their loved ones and are prepared to provide comprehensive guidance through each step of the family petition application process.
The Family Petition Application Process
The types of family members you will be able to sponsor will depend on whether you are a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. Only spouses, children, parents, and siblings are potentially eligible for sponsorship.
Immediate relative categories include:
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Unmarried children (under 21 years old) of U.S. citizens
- Parents of U.S. citizens
Family preference relative categories include:
- Unmarried adult children (over 21 years of age) of U.S. citizens
- Spouses of U.S. lawful permanent residents
- Unmarried children (under 21 years old) of U.S. lawful permanent residents
- Married children (any age) of U.S. citizens
- Siblings of U.S. citizens
To begin the sponsorship process, the petitioning citizen or lawful permanent resident will need to submit application materials to USCIS. Documentation included in this application will establish that a valid and eligible family relationship exists between you and your loved one.
If USCIS approves the petition, immediate relatives can immediately apply for their green cards through an adjustment of status (if they are already in the U.S.) or consular processing (if they are abroad).
Family preference relatives must wait for a visa to become available: USCIS only issues a limited number of visas across each family preference category each year.
The extent of your wait will depend on your loved one’s:
- Specific category
- Their country of origin
- And the current backlog
Our Short Hills family immigration consultants can help you prepare your petition materials and manage all communications with USCIS. If you are sponsoring a loved one under the family preference category, we can assess current conditions and advise on what
Obtaining Green Cards Through Marriage
Obtaining a green card through marriage requires demonstrating the legitimacy of your relationship to USCIS officials. We can guide you through this process and ensure that you provide all of the necessary evidence.
You can begin the sponsorship process as soon as you and your spouse are legally married. The first step will involve submitting an application package to USCIS that establishes the marital relationship. You will need to prove that you are a current U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and provide a copy of your marriage certificate.
Do You Automatically Get a Green Card When You Marry a U.S. Citizen?
No, you and your spouse will also need to provide evidence that demonstrates the authenticity of your marriage.
This will generally require submitting documentation of:
- Joint accounts
- Joint credit cards
- Joint health insurance policies
- Jointly owned property (including a mortgage or auto leases
- You should also plan to provide proof that you cohabitate and share a life together
Our team can help you prepare your application materials and ensure that you submit a sufficient level of evidence. We can also help you respond to any additional Requests for Evidence sent by USCIS. Once any RFEs have been addressed, most couples will receive a decision within 15 months.
If your application is approved, what comes next will depend on whether you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. If you are a citizen, your spouse can immediately seek their green card through consular processing or an adjustment of status. If you are a lawful permanent resident, your spouse will need to wait for a visa to become available.
If your spouse is currently in the United States, they can apply to adjust their status once a visa is available. This process confirms that your fiancé is eligible for a green card. If your spouse is abroad, they will instead apply for consular processing through the National Visa Center (NVC).
The final steps involve participating in an in-person interview with a USCIS official. If your spouse is already in the United States, you will attend the interview together at the nearest field office. If they are abroad, they will attend the interview alone at their country’s U.S. embassy or consulate.
The interview seeks to again confirm the marriage is authentic. The official will likely ask questions about your marriage and the evidence you provided with your application.
We can help you overcome obstacles and avoid common mistakes when sponsoring loved ones for green cards. Schedule a consultation by calling or contacting us online.
Removing Conditions from a Marriage Green Card
Most family green cards will have an initial validity period of 10 years and are generally easy to renew. If you have been married for less than 2 years at the time your marriage green card is issued, your spouse’s visa will be conditional and expire after 2 years. This policy is designed to curb marriage fraud, and you will need to take carefully timed steps to remove these conditions.
To remove conditions, you will need to submit a jointly filed petition in the 90-day window before the green card is set to expire. Individuals with conditional green cards can sometimes petition to remove conditions without the cooperation of their spouse under certain special conditions.
You will once again need to prove to USCIS that your marriage is legitimate. This involves submitting new documentation to show that your marriage has continued over the preceding 2 years. You also likely be required to participate in another in-person with USCIS officials. If your petition is approved, your spouse will receive a non-conditional green card with a 10-year validity period.
Our Short Hills family immigration consultants at Worldwide Legal Services can help you remove conditions and assist with overcoming any other obstacles you might encounter during the family immigration process. We will work to protect your interests and do everything possible to reunite your family in the U.S. as efficiently as possible.
Payment plans are available, and we offer our services in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Call or contact us online to discuss your case with us.