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Legal Status for Thousands of Undocumented Spouses of US Citizens: Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship

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President Biden announced a plan to allow certain qualified undocumented spouses of US Citizens and children under 21 whose parents are married to a US Citizen to be eligible to become Permanent Residents.  The plan, set to roll out by the end of the summer includes the following:

  1. Protection from Deportation
  2. Work Authorization for 3 years
  3. Ability to be Paroled in Place to be eligible to adjust status to become a Permanent Resident.
  4. Set to help 500,000 spouses of US Citizens and 50,000 children under the age of 21
  5. Eventual ability to become a US Citizen

Eligibility to date: To be eligible, qualifying spouses (and their children) must meet the following guidelines.

    1. Be present in the United States without admission or parole;
    2. Have been continuously present in the United States for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024; and
    3. Have a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.
    4. Cannot pose a threat to public safety or have a disqualifying crime.
    5. Must apply within 3 years

For undocumented individuals who entered the country without permission, to become a permanent resident based on marriage to a US Citizen, they must leave the country to obtain a permanent resident visa and re-enter. Depending on how long the undocumented spouse has been in the country, leaving to obtain a visa would trigger a 3- or 10-year bar to re-entering.  With Parole in Place now available to eligible foreign nationals, the undocumented spouse would be able to remain in the United States and apply to become a permanent resident without having to leave the United States. The risk of being required to remain outside the US for 3 or 10 years is also alleviated.

For those undocumented foreign nationals married to US Citizens and who have stepchildren in the US, they would also be eligible for Parole in Place as well.

For more information to determine if you are eligible – please call to schedule an appointment. Our office would be happy to help take advantage of this new path

Fiance Visas - How to bring fiance to the US

How do I bring my Fiancé to the United States?

By | Blog

Once a Fiance Visa Application is filed, it takes 6-12 months for USCIS to make a decision on the visa, depending on where the application is filed. Once a decision is made it will take 1-2 months for the approved visa to be sent to the National Visa Center, where it receives a case number and will be forwarded to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to where your fiancé lives. Once your Fiancé completes his or her visa application (DS160) and submits it with the visa fee, it will take 1-2 months for an interview to be scheduled. Once your Fiancé attends the interview and receives the approved K1 Fiancé Visa, he or she will have 90 days to enter the United States. Then you and your fiancé are free to marry within 90 days after his or her arrival.

How Much Does it Cost for a Fiancé Visa:  Costs for the Fiancé visas are as follows:

  1. I129F (K1 Visa Petition) = $535
  2. DS160 Visa Application = $265
  3. Medical Exam– Varies $60-300

What Happens After We Marry? After you and your Fiancé marry, he or she will file a Petition to become a Permanent Resident (Also known as Green Card Holder). This form is called Form I485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.   While filing, you can also ask for permission to work (Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization) and permission to travel outside the United States while the Petition is pending (Form I131, Application for Travel Document).

How Long Does It Take to Become a Permanent Resident:  Processing times vary but will generally take 9-15 months depending on where you live.  You should receive your permission to work and travel between 90-180 days after filing.

If you have been married for more than 2 years by the time your Application to become a permanent residence is approved, you will be granted permanent residency. If you have been married less than two years, you will be granted conditional residency and you will need to file to have the conditions of your residency removed in two years.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Permanent Resident:  The cost to become a permanent resident are as follows:

  1. I485 (Permanent Resident Application) = $1225
  2. I765 (Work Authorization) and I131 (Permission to Travel) = No additional cost.
  3. I751 (Petition to Remove Conditions) = $595 +85 $Biometrics Fee
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