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Thread: U.S. Immigration - Your Questions Answered

  1. #1
    Guzman Ariza/Malcolm Cisneros
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    Default U.S. Immigration - Your Questions Answered

    Hello, my name is Maria De La Luz Hernandez and I am an Immigration Attorney handling all Immigration related matters to the U.S.

    It would be a pleasure to answer any questions you may have pertaining to U.S. Immigration.

    You can also reach me at: maria@mclaw.org or toll free at 800-741-8806. Kindly let our staff know you are being referred by DR1/Guzman Ariza.

    Thank you and I look forward to answering your Immigration questions.

  2. #2
    Guzman Ariza/Malcolm Cisneros
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    Business immigration
    We handle work helping companies, investors, and individuals obtain visas for business purposes. Business visas fall into several categories:


    1. Investment Based, Permanent Residency
    2. Employment-related Temporary Workers
    3. Intra-Company Transfers
    4. Extraordinary Ability
    5. Cultural Exchange Programs

    Let us begin by focusing on the Invesment Based, Permanent Residency visas:

    EB-5 VISAs

    The EB5 category requires an investment of $500,000 to $1,000,000 in a new commercial enterprise (buying an existing business or expanding an existing business is permissible in some instances) that will result in a benefit for the US economy and produce ten full time jobs for workers not related to the EB5 petitioner. There are 10,000 EB5 green cards available annually. Once the EB5 petition is approved, the investor becomes a conditional resident for two years and once the conditions are removed, a permanent resident.



    For whom is an EB5 Green Card appropriate?

    Foreign entrepreneurs who invest between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the US economy and create at least 10 full-time employees



    What are the requirements for obtaining an EB5 Green Card?

    10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise. Of the 10,000 investor visas (i.e., EB5 visas) available annually, 5,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving an CIS-designated Regional Center.



    Permanent resident status based on EB5 eligibility is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children.

    Eligible foreign nationals are those who have invested -- or are actively in the process of investing -- the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise that they have established. They must further demonstrate that this investment will benefit the United States economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the United States.

  3. #3
    Guzman Ariza/Malcolm Cisneros
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    Default Family based immigrant visas to the united states

    FAMILY-BASED IMMIGRANTS (Immigration through Relatives)

    The Immigration and Nationality Act allows for the immigration of foreigners to the United States based on relationship to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. Family-based immigration falls under two basic categories: unlimited and limited.




    UNLIMITED FAMILY-BASEDImmediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens (IR): The spouse, widow(er) and unmarried children under 21 of a U.S. citizen, and the parent of a U.S. citizen who is 21 or older. Returning Residents (SB): Immigrants who lived in the United States previously as lawful permanent residents and are returning to live in the U.S. after a temporary visit of more than one year abroad.




    LIMITED FAMILY-BASED

    •Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their children, if any. (23,400)
    •Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (over age 20) of lawful permanent residents. (114,200) At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder will be allocated to unmarried sons and daughters.
    •Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children. (23,400)
    •Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of United States citizens, and their spouses and children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (65,000)


    VISA INELIGIBILITY / WAIVER
    The immigration laws of the United States, in order to protect the health, welfare, and security of the United States, prohibit the issuance of a visa to certain applicants. Examples of applicants who must be refused visas are those who: have a communicable disease such as tuberculosis, have a dangerous physical or mental disorder, or are drug addicts; have committed serious criminal acts; are terrorists, subversives, members of a totalitarian party, or former Nazi war criminals; have used illegal means to enter the United States; or are ineligible for citizenship. Some former exchange visitors must live abroad two years. Physicians who intend to practice medicine must pass a qualifying exam before receiving immigrant visas. If found to be ineligible, the consular officer will then advise the applicant if the law provides for some form of waiver.




    OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

    Documents for a Visa ApplicationAll applicants must submit certain personal documents such as passports, birth certificates, police certificates, and other civil documents, as well as evidence that they will not become public charges in the U.S. The consular officer will inform visa applicants of the documents needed as their applications are processed.
    Medical ExaminationsBefore the issuance of an immigrant visa, every applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination. The examination will be conducted by a doctor designated by the consular officer. Costs for such examinations must be borne by the applicant.

    Numerical Limitations
    Whenever there are more qualified applicants for a category than there are available numbers, the category will be considered oversubscribed, and immigrant visas will be issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed until the numerical limit for the category is reached. The filing date of a petition becomes the applicant's priority date. Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached. In certain heavily oversubscribed categories, there may be a waiting period of several years before a priority date is reached. For the latest priority dates, call (202) 663-1541.

    Miscellaneous
    Since no advance assurances can be given that a visa will be issued, applicants are advised not to make any final travel arrangements, not to dispose of their property, and not to give up their jobs until visas have been issued to them. An immigrant visa can be valid for four months from date of issuance. With few exceptions, a person born in the United States has a claim to U.S. citizenship. Persons born in countries other than the U.S. may have a claim, under United States law, to U.S. nationality if: Either parent was born or naturalized in the U.S., or Either parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of applicant's birth. Any applicant believing he or she may have a claim to U.S. citizenship should not apply for a visa until his or her citizenship has been determined by the consular office.

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  5. #4
    Guzman Ariza/Malcolm Cisneros
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    Default Immigrant visas for spouses and fiance(e)s of an american citizen

    IMMIGRANT VISAS FOR SPOUSES AND FIANCE(E)S OF AN AMERICAN CITIZEN

    There are four sub-groups within this category:

    Immigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

    1. Immediate Relative (IR1)

    A U.S. citizen who marries a foreign national may apply for their permanent residency by filing an Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative.

    2. Conditional Resident (CR1)

    If a couple has been married for less than two years when the foreign citizen spouse enters the United States on an immigrant visa; his or her permanent resident status is considered “conditional.” Both foreign citizen spouse and petitioner must apply together to USCIS to remove the conditional status within the ninety days before the two-year anniversary of the spouse’s entry into the United States on his or her immigrant visa. The two-year anniversary date of entry is the date of expiration on the alien registration card.

    3. Nonimmigrant Visa for Spouse (K-3)

    The K-3 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen spouse of a United States (U.S.) citizen. This visa category is intended to shorten the physical separation between the foreign-citizen and U.S. citizen spouses by having the option to obtain a nonimmigrant K-3 visa overseas and enter the United States to await approval of the immigrant visa petition. K-3 visa recipients subsequently apply to adjust status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) upon approval of the petition. Because the spouse of a U.S. citizen applying for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa must have a immigrant visa petition filed on his or her behalf by his or her U.S. citizen spouse and pending approval, a K-3 applicant must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa. It should be noted that under U.S. immigration law, a foreign citizen who marries a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. must apply for the K-3 visa in the country where the marriage took place.

    4. Fiance(e) (K-1)

    The fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a United States (U.S.) citizen. The K-1 visa permits the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) to travel to the United States and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The foreign-citizen will then apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Because a fiancé(e) visa permits the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen shortly after arrival in the United States, the fiancé(e) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa. Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants receive K-2 visas.

  6. #5
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    Default vaccinations

    What vaccinations are REQUIRED by the US for Immigrant (spouse) visas prior to entry to US.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogstar View Post
    What vaccinations are REQUIRED by the US for Immigrant (spouse) visas prior to entry to US.
    Go to Immigrant Visas for Spouses of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1)

    Under Vaccination Requirements click on Vaccination Requirements for IV Applicants

    Looks like the following are listed:

    Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis B
    Influenza
    Influenza type b (Hib)
    Measles
    Meningococcal
    Mumps
    Pneumococcal
    Pertussis
    Polio
    Rotavirus
    Rubella
    Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
    Varicella
    Last edited by sangria; 05-10-2011 at 10:49 PM.

  8. #7
    Guzman Ariza/Malcolm Cisneros
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    Default K-visas: Overview/ requirements & procedure

    K-VISAS: OVERVIEW/ REQUIREMENTS & PROCEDURE

    I. INTRODUCTION

    The K visa has been called a “hybrid” visa because it is a nonimmigrant classification that is designed to facilitate the admission of intending immigrants. It includes the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen and his or her unmarried children under 21 years of age. The Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act expanded the K nonimmigrant category to include the spouse of a U.S. citizen and his or her unmarried children under 21 years of age. The K nonimmigrant is allowed to enter the United States and, under conditions described below, apply for permanent residence.

    II. THE FIANCE(E) (K-1) VISA

    The K-1 category permits the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen petitioner to enter the United States for a 90 day period to marry the petitioner and apply for permanent residence. Because it facilitates the entry of an intending immigrant, K visa processing is similar to immigrant visa processing for immediate relatives. Additionally, K visa processing can take longer than processing for other nonimmigrant visas as it entails the submission and consideration of comprehensive (and often duplicative) biographical and admissibility data at two stages of the process, rather than a single stage.

    III. BASIC REQUIREMENTS

    1. Have previously met in person within two years of the date of filing the petition, unless a waiver is
    granted.
    2. Have a bonafide intention to marry; and
    3. Are legally able and actually willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States within 90 days after
    the fiancé(e)’s arrival

    **If the parties DO NOT MARRY within 90 days, the K-1 fiancé(e) (and any K-2 dependents) will be required to depart, and failure to depart renders them removable. **

    IV. FILING LIMITATIONS

    Immigration Regulations impose limitations on the number of petitions a K-1 petitioner may file or have approved without seeking a waiver. If the petitioner has filed two or more K-1 visa petitions at any time in the past, or previously had a K-1 petition approved within two years prior to the filing of the current petition, the petitioner must request a waiver.

    V. PROCEDURAL CONSIDERATIONS

    Place of Filing the Petition

    The K-1 visa petition is filed by the petitioner “with the director having administrative jurisdiction over the place where the petitioner is residing in the United States.” The K-1 petition may not be filed with or considered by the consulate abroad; however, a citizen abroad can execute the visa petition before a consular or immigration officer there and then forward the completed application to the appropriate USCIS office in the United States.

    The K-1 Petition & Supporting Documents

    The K-1 petition must include color photographs of both parties and a signed biographical information form for both petitioner and the beneficiary. The petition must be supported by proof of the following:

    1. proof that the parties have met in person within two years before filing;
    2. intend to marry;
    3. are legally able to marry, including proof of the legal termination of any prior marriages of either;
    4. and are willing to marry within the 90-day period.
    5. Affidavits of the parties and persons with personal knowledge of the relationship,
    6. dated photographs showing the parties together,
    7. correspondence between the parties by letter or e-mail,
    8. telephone bills,
    9. receipt for engagement ring,
    10. documentation of wedding plans (such as invitations and receipt for deposit for a party hall), and similar
    types of evidence can be helpful in establishing these requirement.

    Upon receipt of the petition, USCIS creates an “A” file for the beneficiary. On approval, USCIS sends the petition to the US Embassy in Santo Domingo. An approved petition remains valid for four months from the date of USCIS action. A consular officer may revalidate the approved petition for additional four-month periods upon proof that the parties are free to and intend to marry within the 90-day period.

    A denial of the petition is appealable to the Administrative Appeals Office. An approved K-1 petition is automatically terminated when the petitioner dies or withdraws the petition before the beneficiary arrives in the United States.

    VI. K-2 DEPENDENTS

    The minor unmarried children of a K-1 principal beneficiary who are listed in the petition may be accorded K-2 status if accompanying or following-to-join the beneficiary. Neither a separate petition nor a separate filing fee is required.

    VII. THE VISA PROCESS

    Visa Application

    Upon receipt of an approved petition from USCIS, the consulate generally issues a letter to the beneficiary outlining the steps for visa application. Since the K-1 nonimmigrant seeks to enter the United States ultimately to apply for immigrant status, he or she must present the following documents, some of which can take considerable time to obtain:

    1. Visa Application
    2. Valid Passport
    3. Birth Certificate
    4. Evidence of termination of prior marriages (even if such evidence was a required part of the underlying
    petition);
    5. Police Certificates, from the beneficiary’s present place of residence and any place in which he or she has
    resided for six months or more since reaching age 16;
    6. Medical Examination Record and
    7. Evidence of available financial resources to demonstrate that the beneficiary will not become a public
    charge.

    VIII. CLEARANCE PROCEDURES, INTERVIEW, AND VISA ISSUANCE


    1. Upon receipt of the requisite documents, the consular officer initiates clearance procedures, requesting
    priority handling and a response within 30 days.
    2. When security clearances have been completed, the consular officer interviews the applicant to determine
    eligibility as if the beneficiary were applying for an immigrant visa as an immediate relative.
    3. If the consular officer finds the beneficiary to be eligible, he or she issues the K visa valid for six months
    and a single entry without charge and without requiring fingerprints.
    4. The consular officer then seals the petition and all supporting documents in an envelope and give s it to
    the beneficiary for presentation at the port of entry.

    IX. ADMISSION TO THE UNITED STATES AND ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

    K-1 nonimmigrants are admitted with a single entry visa for 90 days to marry the petitioner. Employment may be authorized during this period. The general rules regarding visa-exempt persons do not apply to K nonimmigrants, who must be in possession of a valid visa. Additionally, K nonimmigrants are ineligible for an extension of stay or change of status.

    Upon marriage to the petitioner within 90 days of arrival, the K-1 fiancé(e) must apply for adjustment to permanent residence pursuant to INA Section 245. If the marriage does not occur within 90 days, the K nonimmigrant must leave the United States or remain subject to removal.


    Maria Hernandez, Esq.
    Immigration Attorney

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  10. #8
    Guzman Ariza/Malcolm Cisneros
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    Where You Born In A Different Country But Have At Least One Biological Or Adoptive Parent Who Is A U.S. Citizen?

    If atleast one of the questions above applied to you or some one you might know then i believe the following information will be of great use for them.

    Biological or adopted children who regularly reside outside of the United States may qualify for naturalization under section 322 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Child Citizenship Act (CCA). In general, to be eligible for citizenship under section 322 of the INA, a child must meet the following requirements:

    • At least one parent is a U.S. citizen or, if deceased, the parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of death.
    • The U.S. citizen parent or his or her U.S. citizen parent has (or at the time of death had) been physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for at least 5 years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of 14.
    • The child is under the age of 18 years.
    • The child is residing outside of the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent (or, if the citizen parent is deceased, an individual who does not object to the application).
    • The child is temporarily present in the United States after having entered lawfully and is maintaining lawful status in the United States.
    • An adopted child may be eligible for naturalization under section 322 of the INA if the child satisfies the requirements applicable to adopted children under sections 101(b)(1)(E), (F) or (G) of the INA.

    To qualify as a “child” for purposes of this section, the person must be unmarried. Also, a person who was born out of wedlock (meaning that the parents were not married at the time of the person’s birth), must be “legitimated” while under the age of 16 and while in the legal custody of the legitimating parent. See section 101(c)(1) of the INA. Finally, a stepchild who has not been adopted does not qualify as a child under this section.

    To obtain citizenship under section 322 of the INA, the application must be filed, approved, and the child must take the oath of allegiance, if required to do so, before the child reaches age 18.

    Note: For children of some members of the military who are overseas on active duty, section 322(d) of the INA waives the requirement that the child be temporarily present in the United States and provides that any period of residence overseas on active duty qualifies as residence in the United States.

  11. #9
    Guzman Ariza/Malcolm Cisneros
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    Default Citizenship for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

    Naturalization for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

    In general, you may qualify for naturalization under Section 319(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) if you
    • Have been a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 3 years
    • Have been living in marital union with the same U.S. citizen spouse during such time
    • Meet all other eligibility requirements under this section
    In certain cases, spouses of U.S. citizens employed abroad may qualify for naturalization regardless of their time as permanent residents. These spouses may qualify under Section 319(b) of the INA.

    General Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible for naturalization pursuant to section 319(a) of the INA, an applicant must:
    • Be 18 or older
    • Be a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
    • Have been living in marital union with the U.S. citizen spouse, who has been a U.S. citizen during all of such period, during the 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application and up until examination on the application
    • Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application
    • Have continuous residence in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
    • Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization until the time of naturalization
    • Be physically present in the United States for at least 18 months out of the 3 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
    • Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (also known as civics)
    • Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the UnitedStates, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law
    Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad

    Generally, the spouse of a U.S. citizen who is employed by the U.S. government, including the military, or other qualifying employer, whose spouse is stationed abroad in such employment for at least 1 year, may be eligible for naturalization under Section 319(b) of the INA.

    In general, a spouse of a U.S. citizen employed abroad must be present in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence at the time of examination on the naturalization application and at the time of naturalization, and meet of all of the requirements listed above except that:
    • No specific period as a permanent resident (green card holder) is required (but the spouse must be a permanent resident)
    • No specific period of continuous residence or physical presence in the United States is required
    • No specific period of marital union is required; however, the spouses must be living in marital union.
    Note: You must also establish that you will depart abroad immediately after naturalization and that you intend to reside in the United States immediately upon the termination of your spouse’s employment abroad.

  12. #10
    Guzman Ariza/Malcolm Cisneros
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    Default Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship by a Child Born Abroad

    Birth Abroad to Two U.S. Citizen Parents in Wedlock

    A child born abroad to two U.S. citizen parents acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under section 301(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provided that one of the parents had a residence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth. The child is considered to be born in wedlock if the child is the genetic issue of the married couple.

    Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent in Wedlock

    A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of the INA provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child's birth. (For birth on or after November 14, 1986, a period of five years physical presence, two after the age of fourteen, is required. For birth between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen, is required for physical presence in the United States or one of its outlying possessions to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child.) The U.S. citizen parent must be genetically related to the child to transmit U.S. citizenship.

    Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Father – “New” Section 309(a)

    A person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen father may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 301(g) of the INA, as made applicable by the “new” Section 309(a) of the INA provided:

    1. A blood relationship between the person and the father is established by clear and convincing evidence;
    2. The father had the nationality of the United States at the time of the person’s birth;
    3. The father was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions prior to the child’s birth for five years, at least two of which were after reaching the age of 14.
    4. The father (unless deceased) has agreed in writing to provide financial support for the person until the person reaches the age of 18 years, and
    5. While the person is under the age of 18 years --
    a. The person is legitimated under the law of his/her residence or domicile,
    b. The father acknowledges paternity of the person in writing under oath, or
    c. The paternity of the person is established by adjudication of a competent court.

    Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Father – “Old” Section 309(a) of the INA- A child born out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen father may acquire U.S. citizenship under the former Section 301(a)(7) of the INA as made applicable by the “old” Section 309(a) of the INA if the U.S. citizen father, prior to the child’s birth, had been physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for ten years, five of which were after the age of 14, and if the paternity of the child had been established by legitimation prior to the child reaching the age of 21.

    The “old” Section 309(a) of the INA is applicable to individuals who were 18 on November 14, 1986 and to individuals whose paternity had been established by legitimation prior to that date. Individuals, who were at least 15 on November 14, 1986, but under the age of 18, could opt to have their claim determined in accordance with the provisions of either the “old” or the “new” Section 309(a).

    Birth Abroad Out-of-Wedlock to a U.S. Citizen Mother:

    A person born abroad out-of-wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother may acquire U.S. citizenship under Section 309(c) of the INA if the mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of the person’s birth and if the mother was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for a continuous period of one year prior to the person’s birth. The mother must be genetically related to the person in order to transmit U.S. citizenship.

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