Being separated by country borders and immigration issues is a harsh reality for many families. Often, one family member is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident struggling to secure legal immigration status for their loved ones. The family immigration process can be intimidating and confusing, and many people turn to a Kirkland family immigration lawyer for help. At ZafiroLaw, this is precisely what we do. Using our knowledge, experience, and expertise, we work with families to secure visas for foreign-born family members. To learn more about how we can help, consider contacting our office at (206) 309-9645 today.
A Safe Place for Immigrant Families
A city situated on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, Kirkland is home to over 90,000 residents. Of these residents, nearly a quarter of them were born outside of the country, according to recent demographic reports. Over ten percent are not United States citizens, indicating that a large number of immigrant families contribute to the vibrant culture of Kirkland city. With many residents coming from other countries, Kirkland is a hub for family immigration.
What is Family Immigration?
Family immigration is a type of immigration reserved for the family members of United States citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders). While only specific family members are able to immigrate to the United States using family immigration, this is an ideal option for individuals who wish to bring their loved ones to the country to live and work. In most cases, a family immigration petition results in a Green Card for the foreign-born family member.
What We Do – Our Services
Our client-centered practice is focused on easing the immigration process to the United States. ZafiroLaw was founded with compassion and care in mind, and our Kirkland family immigration lawyers work to secure visas, Green Cards, and citizenship for our clients. A major part of our practice rests in reuniting families who have been split up by country borders. As such, we guide our clients through the family immigration process, handling the following matters, among others:
- The K-1 Fiancé Visa: United States immigration law provides non-immigration visas for the foreign-national fiancés of United States citizens. Through the K-1 visa, a foreign-national fiancé of a U.S. citizen is able to travel to the United States with the specific purpose of marrying their partner. This visa is valid for 90 days and must be adjusted to a more permanent marriage-based visa after the marriage has been completed.
- Marriage-Based Green Card: It is possible to obtain permanent residence in the United States based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. There are two types of marriage-based visas, namely the IR-1 visa and the CR-1 visa. The IR-1 visa is available to couples who have been married for over two years at the time of application. In these situations, the foreign-national spouse will receive a Green Card based on their marriage. The CR-1 visa, on the other hand, is designed for couples who have been married for less than two years. The CR-1 visa offers conditional permanent residency for two years, which must be adjusted at the end of this period. The CR-1 visa can then be adjusted to a permanent, ten-year Green Card.
- Immediate Relative Visas: The parents and children of United States citizens are able to pursue a Green Card through the immediate relative visa option. The IR-2 visa is available for the children of U.S. citizens, regardless of age or marital status. Similarly, the IR-5 visa allows U.S. citizens to bring their foreign-born parents to the United States.
- Citizenship: After holding a Green Card for a specified amount of time, it is possible to pursue citizenship in the United States. Naturalization is the process in which citizenship is granted to a Lawful Permanent Resident. Green Card holders can apply for naturalization after five years of permanent residence in the United States.
Frequently Asked Questions
As experienced Kirkland family immigration lawyers, we have in-depth conversations with current and prospective clients regarding their immigration options in the United States. Some of the most common questions that we answer during these conversations include the following.
What Types of Family Immigration Visas Are for Immediate Family?
As previously mentioned, there are two different categories of family immigration visas, family preference and immediate relative. Immediate relative visas are reserved for close family relationships, which include:
- Children (unmarried and under the age of 21)
It is important to note that immediate relative visas are only available for the family members of United States citizens. Lawful Permanent Residents may only apply for family preference visas. Navigating these visa categories can be complicated, leading many to seek assistance from a knowledgeable Kirkland family immigration lawyer.
What Is the Minimum Stay in the U.S. for a Family-Based Green Card?
Family-based Green Card holders are free to travel in and out of the United States, as long as they do not remain out of the country for longer than one year. If the USCIS determines that you left the country without the intention to return to your permanent residence in the United States, you may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status. For this reason, it is important to take care when traveling internationally. If you intend to remain out of the United States for longer than one year, you can apply for a reentry permit using Form I-131.
Contact an Experienced Kirkland Family Immigration Lawyer at ZafiroLaw Today
Nobody wants to be separated from their family. Fortunately, immigration law provides different avenues for the relatives of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents to seek their own Green Card in the United States. Navigating this process can be long and arduous, and working with a Kirkland family immigration lawyer can help to avoid the common issues that applicants encounter when applying. To speak with an experienced attorney today, consider contacting ZafiroLaw at (206) 309-9645.