September 13, 2022

legal aspects you should know before marrying a foreigner

Love is accidental; out of nowhere, it can suddenly appear while visiting a relative abroad, on vacation during a Caribbean cruise, on a business trip, or even during a pilates class. No matter how or where you met “your soulmate,” love has no boundaries. That being said, your spouse’s immigration status and their process should not be a problem. Therefore, to help you build a future alongside your loved one, we will explain the top 3 legal aspects you should know before marrying a foreigner.       1) There is the K-1 Visa, for those who want to get married on U.S. soil. Whether you proposed on a trip to Paris or met your fiancé(e)’s family overseas and decided to have them as part of the proposal, where and how you proposed doesn’t matter that much. What matters is whether the wedding will be on U.S. soil or not. If so, as a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor your fiancé(e) and apply for the K-1 visa to get married here. The K-1 visa, also known as a fiancé(e) visa, allows your future spouse to travel to the U.S. for marriage. The condition is that there must be an intention of getting married within 90 days of their arrival. We recommend your fiancé(e) doesn’t extend their travel period. In the unfortunate event you don’t get eloped during this time, your fiancé(e) must leave the country. Failing to comply can cause them to be deported and jeopardize their chances of having other immigration benefits. After getting married, your new spouse can later apply for an adjustment of status to become a U.S. permanent resident and receive a green card. Remember, the USCIS states that the marriage must be legitimate in which there is an intention that both you and your fiancé(e) are going to establish a life together and that the marriage is not to provide them immigration benefits.       2) K-3 Visa, for those couples that wish to get married outside the U.S. In the event you marry your fiancé(e) in their native country or outside of the United States, your partner can still enter the U.S. by applying for the K-3 visa. By having this visa category, your spouse is also eligible for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident. With the K-3 visa, it is important to know that your partner must apply for it in the country where you got married. In addition, in order for your loved one to be legally qualified as a spouse, it is not enough to live together in the U.S.; you must legally elope. However, according to the USCIS, couples that have a material union in another country may qualify for the K-3 visa dependent on how each country defines common-law marriage. It is important to note that in polygamous relationships, only the first spouse is eligible for this visa.       3) Is it possible to get married on a tourist visa? When getting married to your partner that has a tourist visa, we recommend following a series of steps that will help avoid any legal problems. For starters, you should […]

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August 30, 2022

Can Immigration Officers check your social networks?

Can Immigration Officers check your social networks? If you’re currently applying for U.S. citizenship or residency, you may need to refrain from posting any controversial comments about the U.S. government or not uploading any pictures or tweets that may not show the best version of you. Since 2019, immigration authorities have been asking for the usernames and social media accounts of all applicants that desire to obtain their immigration visa, residency, or naturalization; as well as tourists that travel to the United States. Despite the fact that some organizations who fight for immigrant rights have argued that requesting applicants’ usernames and social media accounts is a violation of their privacy, and that checking this info could increase delays within the immigration system; the U.S. government has stated that this information is solely used to verify their identities while carrying out a background check to rule out possible security threats.   What is exactly this social media policy for immigrants? The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) usually requests applicants to give out a list of all their usernames on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Additionally, they may also ask for other social media handles like Myspace, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, and TikTok accounts. When an applicant starts their immigration process, they need to provide the usernames of the social media accounts that they’ve been active in during the last five years. However, according to the DHS requirements, there is no need to share passwords. This requirement is only intended to find any “red flags”, and to go over personal information or posts that are easily accessible online. The application forms that the DHS asks for social media accounts are the I-485 (formerly known as the “Application for Adjustment of Status”), and the N-400 (known as the “Application for Naturalization”), as well as seven other official immigration documents.   How might your social media posts affect your immigration process? Essentially, the U.S. government assures that they request applicants’ social network accounts to see if there is any evidence of the applicant being a threat to national security, any close ties to known criminal organizations, or if they committed fraud with any personal information given on immigration forms. An example to make sure you’re not committing fraud is when you’re getting married to a U.S. citizen. You may ask yourself: do I want to prove I got married in good faith and not because I wanted to become a U.S. resident through a marital union? In this scenario, it is likely that immigration officials who review your application will take a closer look at you and your spouse’s social media accounts to confirm that your marriage is legitimate. Additionally, when you share your social media accounts with the U.S. government, you’re also granting them access to your photos, locations, dates of birth, or any relevant milestones published on your accounts, as well as other data that is normally shared on social media.   What can I do to protect the privacy of my social media accounts? Since the U.S. government has pledged that they only review any […]

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July 29, 2022

What is TPS, and how do these authorizations benefit migrants?

The U.S. government has announced an 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans. This action is a direct response to the petitions of various political and economic sectors that have asked the government to continue protecting those migrants that left Venezuela in 2014 due to the sociopolitical crisis they’re currently in. However, TPS does not only cover Venezuelans. Other migrants can also apply and benefit from this travel authorization document. But how? In our blog post, we will explain to you what exactly is TPS and how it helps those who benefit from this immigration process. What is Temporary Protected Status? Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is an immigration program that the government provides to citizens in certain countries under particular circumstances that allow them to remain temporarily in the U.S. TPS was created by Congress as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 to protect citizens of certain countries that cannot return to their homeland because of: An ongoing armed conflict between their country and another nation or a civil war. Environmental disasters in their nation. Pandemics. Other temporary and extraordinary conditions. Which countries can apply for TPS? The Department of Homeland Security allows citizens of these countries to be potential beneficiaries of TPS:   Afghanistan Myanmar Cameroon El Salvador Haiti Honduras Nepal Nicaragua Somalia Sudan South Sudan Syria Ukraine Venezuela Yemen If you are a citizen or a stateless person that has resided in one of these countries, you are qualified to benefit from TPS. What are TPS’s benefits? Despite the fact that this immigration program does not grant permanent residency or any other immigration status, immigrants that are under TPS can benefit from a series of measures to help them incorporate their lives in the United States. Therefore, beneficiaries will be provided with: Protection from being deported. Remaining for a period of time in the United States designated by their TPS. An employment authorization document (EAD). An application for travel authorization. What criteria must I meet in order to be eligible for TPS? To become a TPS beneficiary, first, you must either be a citizen from one of the designated countries or a stateless person that has resided in these countries before immigrating to the U.S. In addition, you must have been residing or continually physically present (CPP) in the United States prior to the effective date of the most recent designation date for your country.  Although there are some exceptions in TBS that do not require you to be physically present in the U.S. at all times, the law allows beneficiaries to leave the U.S. for a brief period under innocent circumstances. However, all of these departures must be reported to the USCIS. Does TPS have to be renewed? Yes. Since this is a temporary permit, once you are granted TPS benefits, you must renew your status in each re-registration period to continue having your temporary protected status. This requirement applies to all TPS beneficiaries, including those who were initially granted TPS by immigration authorities, a judge, or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If you’re a resident of these countries that is eligible for […]

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