For many years, same-sex couples faced discrimination regarding the ability of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their spouse for a green card. In recent years, court decisions have set these laws aside, allowing same-sex couples to enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples.
If you are seeking a visa for your same-sex partner, a dedicated visa attorney can provide crucial assistance. Although pursuing a visa is now possible for same-sex couples, the immigration process is still challenging. A Naperville same-sex marriage visa lawyer could help you navigate any hurdles and advise you at every step of the way.
The K-1 visa is the primary tool used by couples to bring a foreign fiancé to the United States and secure his or her legal status after marriage. With the help of a Naperville lawyer, a same-sex couple could secure a visa that allows their marriage to proceed in the United States.
However, there are several requirements that the applicant must meet to be eligible for a visa. This is true even if he or she is engaged to a U.S. citizen. In a time where online relationships are common, it is important to note that the couple must have met in person. This meeting must have occurred within two years of the filing of the application.
Additionally, applicants must submit their criminal records for evaluation. While a visa might be an option following some convictions, a conviction for a sex crime will render a person ineligible. Finally, the applicant must also have never been present in the United States unlawfully. This includes both entering the country illegally or remaining in the U.S. after the expiration of a student visa. An experienced Naperville attorney can help a same-sex couple understand these requirements when pursuing a marriage visa.
The federal government takes steps to prevent fraudulent marriages from allowing a person to immigrate that otherwise would not qualify. This means investigators will look into the lives of same-sex partners to ensure they are a bona fide couple. This is not unusual and occurs with heterosexual couples as well. These investigative efforts could involve a review of social media posts or even interviews with friends and families. The government will look for evidence of a genuine romantic relationship by seeking out signs of authenticity as well as signals that the couple might have other motives.
When the non-citizen spouse lives outside of the United States, the couple must go through what is known as the consular process to apply for a green card. However, many same-sex couples involve a U.S. citizen and a foreign citizen legally residing in the United States. When the resident marries and seeks a green card, he or she can use a process known as adjustment of status.
Adjustment of status is the process in which a person that is already living in the United States applies to stay under a different type of visa. For example, a person that is in the country on a student visa could adjust his or her status to obtain lawful permanent residency as a spouse of a citizen. A local attorney with experience handling same-sex marriage visas could provide useful insight into how this process works.
Today, same-sex couples enjoy the rights that heterosexual couples have had for years. However, this does not guarantee that the process to obtain a visa for a same-sex fiancé will be simple.
If you are going through the immigration process, a Naperville same-sex marriage visa lawyer could help. Reach out today for a private consultation.