Ten Things to Know About Obtaining a Fiancee Visa

A fiance visa can get a foreign person that you intend on marrying into the United States.

If you intend on marrying a foreign person, a fiance visa can get your potential spouse into the United States and pave the way for your marriage as well as his or her permanent residency, and eventually citizenship. Here are a few things you need to know about how the fiance visa works.

1. You need to have met your fiancée in person in the last two years. USCIS does not want mail order brides. You will need to prove that you have met your fiancée face to face sometime in the past two years. Meeting on Skype is not a face to face meeting. You may be able to get a waiver to this face to face requirement based on medical or religious reasons.  You can show that you have met your fiancé via a date stamped photo of the 2 of you together.  Other helpful evidence includes: entry visas showing you visited your fiancée in her home country, hotel receipts, restaurant receipts,copies of plane tickets, affadavits of friends or family members who witnessed the 2 of you meeting in person.

2. You must not have filed more than two fiancée visas in the past nor had an approved fiancée petition in the last two years.  The U.S. Citizen petitioner must not have 2 or more K-1 petitions pending at any time or had a K1 visa approved in the past 2 years. Once again, a waiver is available but there is no guarantee that it will be granted.  Also, the Beneficiary will very likely be asked about the U.S. Citizen’s previous petitions.  If she cannot answer these questions then this will look bad at the interview and could result in the case being denied.

3. You must make over 125% of the poverty guidelines or have a joint financial sponsor. The poverty guidelines change every year. Currently, if you are a single person with no children (and with no dependents on your taxes) then $20,000 of gross yearly income is sufficient. Each dependent you have raises your income requirement for the fiancée visa by approximately $4,500.00.  You can also meet this requirement if the U.S. Citizen owns enough assets or has a co-sponsor who is willing to be involved.  If the U.S. Citizen does not have enough income from a job or self employment to meet this requirement then an attorney should be involved to help in this area.

4. You cannot have been convicted of certain crimes. You, the US citizen, must not have been convicted of a variety of crimes such as domestic violence and homicide. Your fiancé needs to know about these crimes or the case can be denied.

5. You and your fiancée must both be free to get married at the time you file your petition. This means that you are both unmarried (not separated or in the process of divorce) at the time the petition is filed with USCIS.  If you were previously married then you need to prove that the marriage is over.  This can be proven by a certified divorce decree or death certificate.  You also must be old enough to get married.

6. You must get married to your fiancée within ninety days of your fiancée entering the United States. In addition, your fiancée will only be able to marry you (she cannot substitute someone else) once she comes over on her fiancée visa. If she enters the United States on a fiancée visa and does not marry you within 90 days then she will need to return to her home country.

7. Your fiancée must not have: a dangerous physical or mental disorder; a communicable disease; or committed serious criminal acts (including drug trafficking and prostitution). Also, you fiancée must not be: a drug addict; likely to become a public charge (welfare recipient); or ineligible for citizenship.  If you have any of these issues you must work with an attorney to see what may be done to overcome them.

8. Your fiancée must not have violated U.S. immigration laws. He or she cannot have used fraud or other illegal means to enter the United States.  Also, other problem areas include: overstaying a previous visa; violating the terms of your visa; entering the U.S. without a visa; and working in the United States without authorization.  Consult with a competent Immigration Attorney if you are dealing with any of these issues.

9. You must show USCIS that you intend to marry your fiancée. You both must have a bona fide intent to get married to your fiancé within 90 days of her arriving in the United States.  You can both prepare and sign affadavits which will indicate how you met and how the relationship developed.  It will also include a statement that you both intend to marry each other within  90 days of your fiancée’s arrival in the United States. You should also provide evidence that your relationship is bona fide.  This would include copies of letters, emails, phone records.  In addition you can provide evidence of any engagement party you had (photos etc.)

10. You must be a United States Citizen. Lawful permanent residents (green card holders) cannot submit fiancée petitions.  If you are a green card holder you should look into the possibility of becoming a United States Citizen as soon as possible. You may prove you are a United States Citizen via your birth certificate, U.S. Passport, or Certificate of Naturalization.

These are only the Top 10 Things To Know About the Fiance Visa Process.  There are many other things you should know about before you apply for a fiancé visa.  Feel free to call our office at 888-801-6558.  We would be happy to consult with you, free of charge, about the K1 Fiance Visa Process.

 

If you do meet these restrictions then a fiancée visa is likely to be approved. If your fiancée has minor children these children can come to the United States on K-2 visas. These visas are automatically granted upon the fiancée visa being granted.

If you do not meet these restrictions then the fiance visa process will not work for you. However, you may be able to go to your fiancee’s home country, marry her, and bring her into the United States on a marriage visa. The requirements for a marriage visa are outside the scope of this article. You should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to review your situation.

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
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Ten Things to Consider When Choosing Between a Fiance Visa and a Marriage Visa

Fiance Visa or Green Card Based on Marriage?  Which is best

for you?

So you are in love and can’t wait to spend the rest of the life with that special someone. The only problem is that she lives in another country. Should you file a fiancé visa in the United States or go back and marry her and bring her in with a green card?  This is a tough question to answer. While every situation is different, here are 10 factors to consider:

1. Does your romantic interest have children who will come with her to the United States?

If she does, it is important to note that children under twenty-one can come to the US as derivatives (K-2) of a fiancé visa (K-1) but that if you get married you have to file the children separately and that you can’t file for step-children if you married the parent after the children were eighteen. By contrast children who enter as K-2’s can file their separate adjustment of status application until they are twenty-one.

2. Are you a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident?

Only US citizens can file both a fiancé visa and a marriage visa. Lawful Permanent Residents may file for a marriage visa only. However, this process generally takes several years to process. It may make more sense, in this situation, for the lawful permanent resident to obtain US citizenship and then choose between the two options.

3. Where do you want your wedding to take place?

This is an important issue. Your romantic interest or your romantic interest’s family may wish to have the wedding in their home country. If you get married before your romantic interest enters the United States then you cannot use the fiancé visa process. You must do the marriage visa process.

4. Is your romantic interest still in school and do they want to finish school before migrating to the United States?

A marriage case allows you to have more control of the time frame in which your romantic interest will come to the United States. The time constraints are tighter on a fiancé visa and so in this situation a green card based on marriage case would be preferable.

5. Does your romantic interest have a “good job”?

If your romantic interest enters on a fiancé visa there will be a longer period of time before they are authorized to work. When someone enters the US after being petitioned as a spouse they enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident and only need to obtain a social security number to work. A fiancé has to enter the US get married and then file for work authorization which takes approximately three months. So if your romantic interest is anxious to work in the United States than a marriage case is probably the better route to take.

6. Have you committed certain crimes in the past?

A fiancé petition specifically asks if the petitioner (you the U.S. Citizen) have committed certain crimes such as domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. If you committed one of these crimes it is very difficult to obtain a waiver and have a fiancé visa approved. These questions are not on the paperwork (petition) in a green card based on marriage case.

7. How many times have you met your romantic interest?

You want to show the consular officer who will be adjudicating your case that you have a serious and committed relationship, if you only met briefly on one occasion that is harder to do. In situations like that it may be better to return and visit again and then get married to your romantic interest.  This area is tricky and you should speak to an immigration attorney if you have only spent a limited amount of time with your loved one in person.

8. Which process is the quickest to make your romantic interest a lawful permanent resident?

Processing times vary. However, at the present time, you should expect a fiancé visa to process about 2-3 months sooner than a green card case.  This means that your loved one should enter the U.S. about 2-3 months sooner on a fiancé visa case.  However, a fiancé case requires that your loved one get her green card in the U.S.

Bottom line: Your loved one would enter the U.S. quicker with a fiancé visa but because they would have to process the green card in the U.S. your loved one would have a green card sooner if you married her abroad and processed the green card while she lived there.

9. Which process is more expensive?.

Trick question. The fiancé visa is cheaper than bringing your fiancé in on a green card.  However, with a fiancé visa you will still have to go through the green card process in the United States after your fiancé comes in with a fiancé visa.  On the other hand, with a fiancé visa you will not need to buy a plane ticket to fly out to marry your loved one in their home country in order to get started (with the other option you will).

10. Can I just lie to the government and have my fiancé come in as a tourist and marry in the US?

While such an option is tempting, particularly for people from visa waiver countries, it is a bad idea. The people who work for the government are not stupid. If someone who enters as a tourist gets married within a few weeks of entering the United States the officer adjudicating the case will know that they entered the country with preconceived intent to get married and they will deny the Adjustment of Status application and at a minimum your loved one will be forced to return to their home country to process the application (they could be banned from the U.S. for a very long time.)  This is not worth the risk.

Call Attorney Lawrence Gruner at 888-801-6558 to review your options for FREE.  In 5 minutes he can help you determine which is the better option for you.  There is no cost or obligation for the consultation.

Learn more about marriage based visas in our section on Visas and Green Cards Based on Marriage to U.S. Citizen.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. Every Case is Unique. You should seek a competent immigration attorney to review the specific facts and circumstances of your case before proceeding with your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

10 Reasons To Become a Naturalized United States Citizen

Green card holders (permanent residents) can get naturalized U.S. citizenship, and there are many reasons to do so.

If you’re a permanent resident of the United States, you can file for U.S. citizenship through the USCIS fairly easily (barring any complications like a criminal conviction). The cost is relatively low and the benefits are great, as you can see below.

1. No Need To Renew Your Green Card. As a United States citizen you will not need to renew your green card every 10 years. In addition, you will no longer be required to carry your green card with you.

2. The Risk of Removal (Deportation) is Reduced. Green Card holders may be removed for committing certain crimes. A U.S. citizen who commits a crime cannot be deported.

However, you should always be aware that U.S. citizenship may be taken away from you if USCIS finds that you lied to obtain either lawful permanent residence (“green card”) or your U.S. citizenship.

3. Easier Travel and Re-Entry into the U.S. You will no longer have to deal with the longer lines reserved for green card holders. In addition, as a U.S. citizen you can have easier entry into other countries. In many instances, you can visit foreign countries without a visa.

4. Ability to Take Long Trips Outside the United States. You will have be allowed to take long trips out of the United States without the risk of losing your ability to return.

If you leave the United States for more than 180 days then you, as a permanent resident, can lose your green card upon attempted re-entry into the United States. The immigration officer can deem that you have abandoned your green card. If you know you are leaving the United States for more than 6 months you should speak to an immigration attorney. You may be able to obtain a re-entry permit prior to leaving the United States. This would allow you to travel out of the United States for as long as 2 years without abandoning your green card.

5. Ability to Petition More Family Members. United States citizens can petition more types of loved ones into the United States than green card holders. Only U.S. citizens may petition parents, siblings, and married children. In addition, in the cases where both U.S. citizens and green card holders may do a petition (such as for spouses), the wait time is generally significantly shorter for U.S. citizens’ relations. (If you wish to petition a family member, please consult with a competent immigration attorney before taking any action.)

6. Ability of Your Green-Card-Holding Children to Become U.S. Citizens. When you become a U.S. citizen, your unmarried children under 18 will automatically become U.S. citizens, too. However, they must meet the following criteria: They must be lawful permanent residents; they must be residing in the United States; and they must be in the legal and physical custody of the naturalizing parent.

7. Ability to Vote and to Run for Public Office. Only United States citizens may vote. Naturalized U.S. citizens can run for most elected public offices.

8. Ability to Obtain Federal Jobs, Grants, and Other Government Benefits. Certain jobs require U.S. citizenship. These include many local, state, and federal government jobs. Many federal grants and scholarships are available only to U.S. citizens.

9. Tax and Estate Reasons. United States citizens and permanent residents are not always treated the same for tax and estate purposes. You should speak to a Certified Public Accountant about these issues.

10. Ability to Obtain a U.S. Passport. U.S. citizens have the right to obtain a passport and the ability to obtain assistance from U.S. Embassies and Consulates when traveling in other countries.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. You should seek a competent immigration attorney to review all of the specific facts and circumstances of your case before proceeding with your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

10 Things You Will Be Asked About at Your Naturalization Interview

Once you’ve submitted your application, paid your fees and gone through the biometrics, you will need to interview with a USCIS official before you can get naturalized U.S. Citizenship.

When an applicant petitions to become a United States Citizen USCIS will review the applicant’s entire immigration history to determine if the application can be approved. It is imperative that you review your entire immigration history (preferably with an Immigration Attorney) prior to filing for Naturalization. This is especially true if you have received your green card through Political Asylum or if you have had any criminal problems in the past.

1. Your Application

After you have arrived at your interview, been sworn in, and shown your identification the immigration officer will go through your application for citizenship. He will be reviewing it line by line. He will be trying to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements. Therefore, you should review your application before you go to your interview. If you have made a mistake on your application then make sure you bring it to the attention of the interviewer.

2. How You Obtained Your Green Card

If you obtained your green card through marriage USCIS will ask you about your marriage. Are you still married? The interviewer will want to know if you are still married or were you ever separated or divorced from that spouse. If you are divorced or separated they will ask you why and when you separated or divorced. USCIS wants to make sure that you were still together when you received your permanent green card.

If you got your green card through your employer they will ask you questions about your employment. Questions will concern when you worked there and if you still work there. USCIS wants to make sure that you were working there when you received your green card.

If you received your green card based on Political Asylum then USCIS will want to confirm the information on your asylum application. You will be asked if you were arrested before? Are you a member of any groups? USCIS will want to know if/why you went back to your home country. Note: If you did go home you need to speak with an immigration attorney before filing for Naturalization.

3. Your Travel

You need to have all of your passports that you have used since entering the United States. The officer will go through your passport to make sure you listed the correct travel dates on your application. If you don’t have your old passports the officer may ask you to prove your physical presence in the United States through bills, taxes etc.

4. Your Knowledge of US History and US Government

You will be tested on your knowledge of US History and form of government. After you apply for US Citizenship, USCIS will schedule you for fingerprinting (biometrics). At your biometrics appointment USCIS will give you a book to study with the information on the US History exam. You will be given a quiz on US History and US government during the interview. There will be up to 10 questions. You need to answer six of the ten questions correctly to pass.

5. Your Ability to Speak English

You have to also be able to read and write a simple sentence in English.

You also have to be able to demonstrate the ability to speak English throughout the interview.

You may be exempt from the English requirement. If you are exempt then you may bring an interpreter to the interview with you.

6. Your Family

If you have minor children and you don’t live with them you have to prove that you support them financially. This may be proven with the following evidence: a notarized affidavit from your ex-spouse stating that you provide support; cancelled checks showing support; or proof by showing money transfers. If there is a court order of support then you have to prove that you are paying the amount ordered by the Court. If you owe back child support you may not be able to naturalize.

If you were married, divorced, or have children then you must bring documents which establish these relationships (marriage certificates, birth certificates and divorce decrees).

7. Your Criminal Records

If you have ever been arrested, you will have to provide the certified final disposition of your record from the court. If you are currently on probation you will not be able to naturalize. If you have been on probation or were arrested during the last five years your application may be denied. If you have ever been arrested then you need to speak with an immigration attorney before you apply for naturalization. Some arrests may lead to removal (deportation) and or a loss of your permanent residence.

8. Your Membership in Groups or Organizations

You will be asked about political groups, religious organizations and work organizations that you are a current member in or have been a member of in the past. For example, if your asylum application was based upon membership in a political group then you need to mention that group in your application

9. Your Commitment to the United States

You will be asked if you believe in the constitution, if you are willing to take an oath to the United States and if you are willing to fight for the United States. If you don’t have a commitment to our system of government and are not willing to defend our country you may not be able to naturalize. As part of your commitment to the United States any male who lived in the USA between the ages of 18-26 must have registered for selective service.

10. Your Identity Documents

You need to bring your green card, passport (even if it has expired) any re-entry permits you may have, and your local state identification with you to your interview.

Besides the foregoing, USCIS can ask you to bring other documents with you to your interview. These documents will be listed in your appointment letter. Make sure to carefully read your appointment letter before you go to your interview. If you do not bring the documents listed above then you risk having your case continued (delayed to another date) or denied.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. You should seek a competent immigration attorney to review the specific facts and circumstances of your case before proceeding with your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

Ten Things to Know About Conditional Permanent Residency Based on Marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Here are some tips to follow if you’ve obtained conditional residency based on marriage to a U.S. citizen.

A Conditional Permanent Resident will have a green card which is only valid for two years. The conditional permanent resident must make his or her conditional green card permanent within 90 days of when the green card expires.

Here are ten things you need to know about your conditional permanent residency after marrying a U.S. Citizen.

1. Why am I a conditional permanent resident and not simply a permanent resident?

This is because you were married less than two years to your US Citizen spouse before you obtained your green card. If you have not yet applied for your green card, and you have been married for almost two years, you may want to wait until you reach the two year mark. This will save you from having to remove the conditions on your green card in the future.

2. Does the time I am a conditional green card holder count towards the time needed to naturalize?

Yes it does. While you have your conditional green card you are accruing time towards becoming a naturalized US Citizen.

3. When do I remove the conditions on my conditional permanent residence?

You must remove the conditions on your green card within the ninety day period of time before it expires. Your green card itself will tell you when it expires.

4. What form do I use?

Use the I-751 form. Do not use the I-90 form. The I-90 form is for people renewing their ten year green card.

5. Can I work and travel with my conditional permanent resident card?

Yes. You may do both.

6. Should I continue to gather marital bona fide documents like I did before my green card interview?

Yes. The documented proof of your shared life with your spouse will be needed when you file to renew your green card. So keep your pictures and proof of joint travel and joint financial documents

7. Is it easier to remove the conditions on my green card if I file with my spouse?

Yes, it is much easier when you file jointly than if your spouse will not cooperate (for whatever reason) and you have to file a waiver.

8. Can I file to remove the conditions on my green card without my spouse?

Yes. Sadly some marriages don’t last very long and in that situation you can file a waiver of the joint filing requirement for the I-751. I strongly suggest you speak to an experienced immigration attorney if you are in this position.

9. What kind of waivers are there available?

If your spouse dies you can apply for a waiver.

If you are divorced then you can file for a waiver. You will have to prove that you entered into the marriage in “good faith”. This means that you really wanted to get married to each other (it truly was a legitimate marriage) and you were not married just to obtain a green card.

If you are not divorced but your spouse does not wish to help you remove the conditions on your green card then you can still apply for a waiver. If your divorce is pending there are certain situations where you can file your waiver under the “good faith” standard. You will have to prove that you suffered extreme cruelty or abuse from your US Citizen spouse or that the termination of your status would result in “extreme hardship”.

I strongly suggest that if you find yourself in the any of these situations that you retain an experienced immigration attorney to help you. Except in the case of a death of a spouse I would also suggest that you consult with a family law attorney.

10. Do I need an immigration lawyer?

Even the simplest immigration matter can quickly turn into a nightmare, so it is always better to at least speak with an experienced immigration attorney.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. You should seek a competent immigration attorney to review your specific facts and circumstances before proceeding with your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

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How to Renew Your Green Card

I have noticed that my green card has an expiration date. I thought my green card never expired. Am I wrong?

Your permanent residency does not expire. However, the actual permanent residency cards “green cards”, which have been issued since 1989, do expire. They must be renewed every 10 years.

You need to make sure that your green card is always current. You are required by law to carry evidence of your immigration status (a valid unexpired green card). If your green card is not current then you can also run into the following problems: you will have difficulty proving that you are a valid green card holder; you will have problems proving that you are eligible to work in the United States; and you will have a hard time re-entering the United States from trips abroad. If your green card is expired and you wish to travel please consult with an experienced Immigration Lawyer.

Renewal Process

A) Inside the United States

If you are in the United States and your green card is expired or is about to become expired (you cannot file form I-90 more than 6 months before your green card is going to expire) then you should apply for green card renewal immediately. This may be done via email to USCIS.

B) Outside the United States

According to USCIS, these are the ways you should handle a green card renewal if you are outside the United States:

If you are outside the United States and your green card will expire within 6 months (but you will return within one year of your departure from the United States and before the card expires) you should file for your renewal card as soon as you return to the United States.

If you are outside the United States when the card expires and you have not applied for the renewal card prior to your departure, you should contact the nearest US consulate, USCIS office, or US port of entry before attempting to file Form I-90 for a renewal green card.

Time It Takes to Obtain Green Card Renewal

Currently it is taking between 3-12 months to obtain your green card renewal. In the interim, you will receive a temporary proof of status from USCIS.

Conditional Permanent Residence

If you are a conditional resident (not a permanent resident) then this article does not pertain to you. You need to file your I-751 (within 90 days of your conditional green card expiring) in order to stay in status and not risk removal (deportation).

Naturalization

If you have had your green card for a long enough time period that it needs to be renewed then you are likely eligible for naturalization. However, given the fact that there could be pitfalls which, not only can cause your naturalization to be denied, but cause you to lose your green card, it is always highly recommended that you review your immigration history with a competent immigration attorney prior to applying for naturalization.

My office would be happy to talk to you about your Immigration case. We have offices in Sacramento, Roseville, Stockton, Fairfield and Auburn. We handle cases throughout the US and the World. You may reach us toll free at 888-801-6558

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. You should seek a competent Immigration Attorney to review your specific facts and circumstances before proceeding with your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

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YOUR PRIVACY IS
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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
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Ten Things to Know About Affidavits of Support

An applicant for a United States Visa may need a “sponsor” in the U.S. to ensure that they do not become dependent financially on the U.S. Government. The sponsor must submit an affidavit of support, which is a contract stating that the applicant will have adequate means of financial support while in the U.S. Here are ten things about the affidavits of support.

1. The I-864 and I-134 are the two main forms utilized.

2. The I-864 is used for aliens seeking admission or permanent residence as a family based immigrant or in certain employment based situations.

3. The I-134 form is used for fiancé visas and when offering support to an alien attempting to obtain a visitor’s visa to the USA.

4. The sponsor is liable if the immigrant receives certain benefits. If you file an affidavit of support for someone who becomes a “Public Charge”, the agency providing assistance to the alien may be able to sue you to recover the money that they gave to the alien.

If you file an I-864 and an intending immigrant becomes a permanent resident in the United States based on a Form I-864 that you have signed, then until your obligations under the Form I-864 terminate, your income and assets may be considered (“deemed”) to be available to that person, in determining whether he or she is eligible for certain Federal means-tested public benefits and also for State or local means-tested public benefits, if the State or local government’s rules provide for consideration (“deeming”) of your income and assets as available to the person.

This provision does not apply to public benefits specified in section 403(c) of the Welfare Reform Act such as, but not limited to, emergency Medicaid, short-term, non-cash emergency relief; services provided under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Acts; immunizations and testing and treatment for communicable diseases; and means-tested programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

5. There is no fee for filing an I-134 form or for filing an I-864 for someone in the United States. There is an $88 dollar fee for filing an affidavit of support for someone migrating to the United States who presently resides in another country.

6. You can use a joint financial sponsor. The joint financial sponsor has to file a separate I-864 or I-134 form. The joint sponsor has to be a United States Citizen or Green Card holder. The joint sponsor does not have to be a relative of the petitioner or beneficiary.

7. If the joint financial sponsor is a Household member(family member that you reside with) they file an I-864a form, that is signed by both sponsors.

8. Each immigrant needs their own I-864. One form I-134 can be used for an entire family.

9. Divorce does not end your liability under an I-864. You are liable until the person that you sponsored works for 40 quarters in the United States or becomes a citizen.

10. In the rare case that someone has worked 40 Quarters in the United States prior to being sponsored, that person does not need an affidavit of support to be filed on their behalf. A child who will become an automatic citizen upon entry to the US is also exempt, as are self-petitioning widows and abused spouses. These people file an I-864W form.

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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

Do I Have to Meet My Fiance in Person Prior to Applying for a K-1 Fiance Visa?

There are several requirements in order to obtain a K1 (fiancé) visa. One of them is that you must have met your fiancé within 2 years of filing your K1 petition.

Meeting Means Face to Face and In Person

You must meet face to face and in person with your fiancé. Internet chatting with a webcam, talking on dating websites or having telephone discussions over Skype do not count as a face-to-face, in-person meeting. You will need to travel to your fiance’s home country and meet with him or her in person.

Meeting Must Have Been Within Two Years

USCIS strictly enforces this requirement. If your fiancé is your childhood sweetheart with whom you went all through grammar school and high school but you have not seen him or her, face to face and in person, within the last two years, then you will not have met this requirement. Therefore the K-1 visa will not be granted.

Waivers

If you cannot meet your fiancé face to face and in person because of cultural, religious, or extreme hardship reasons, you may be able to obtain a waiver of this requirement. (Not being able to take time off of work or not being able to afford the trip to your fiancé’s country are not generally valid reasons for a waiver.)

Waivers are possible to obtain. If you believe you qualify based on these reasons you should consult with a competent Immigration Attorney.

How to Prove You Have Met Your Fiance in Person

The best way to prove that you have met your fiancé in person is to provide USCIS with a copy of your passport showing entry and exit stamps to your fiance’s country. A copy of an airline ticket is good, though not conclusive evidence, of a trip to your fiance’s country (keep your boarding passes).

When you are with your fiancé, you should take many pictures together (preferably with a camera which imprints the dates of the photos). While you are taking pictures, it does not hurt to take pictures of the two of you with your fiance’s family and friends. You should also save receipts from restaurants , hotels, or taxis obtained during your stay in at your fiance’s home country. You, not USCIS, will have the burden of proof concerning this issue.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. You should seek a competent Immigration Attorney to review your specific facts and circumstances before proceeding with your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
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  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
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Can I File for a K-1 Fiancé Visa if My Fiancé Is Still Married?

A requirement for a K-1 fiancé visa is that both you and your fiancé are free to marry.

In order to be legally free to marry, any prior marriage needs to have ended in annulment, divorce, or death.

If your fiancé is still married, then you cannot apply for the K-1 fiancé visa. If you, apply for the K-1 fiancé visa while one or both of you are not free to marry, then your case will be denied. This is true even if a divorce decree is obtained while your case is still pending.

Ultimately, prematurely filing a case will have the unintended consequence of having your fiancé arrive in the United States later than expected rather than sooner. Hence, you should not file your K-1 fiancé visa case until both you and your fiancé are free to marry.

Family and divorce law can be very complex. The difficulty and time required to obtain a divorce varies by country and even by state. Many individuals believe that they are divorced when their divorce is not yet final. A California study a few years back determined that over 20% of the people who thought they were divorced had not even completed all the paperwork needed to finalize their divorce. Hence, they were legally still married. It is advisable to consult with a family law attorney to ensure that any prior divorces or annulments are actually final. The attorney will likely need to review any applicable divorce, annulment, or death documents.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. You should seek a competent Immigration Attorney to review your specific facts and circumstances before proceeding with your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

When Can A Green Card Holder Apply For Naturalization?

Q. I have had my Permanent Residence for just over 3 years. I was told that I could apply for Naturalization now. Is this true?

A. It depends on how you received your permanent residence.

  • If you received your permanent residence based on marriage to a US Citizen then you may apply for Naturalization now. This assumes the following: you are currently married to and living with a U.S. Citizen; and you have been married to and living with that same U.S. Citizen for the past 3 years; and your spouse has been a U.S. Citizen for the past 3 years.
  • If you are an asylee then you must wait 4 years after your approval of your permanent residence (there are special rules for refugees )
  • If you received your green card in any other manner the wait will be 5 years.
  • There are special rules for current and former military members and spouses of military members who died during active duty in the US Armed Forces which are beyond the scope of this article. If this is your situation you should speak to an Immigration Attorney.

Your Permanent Residency begins on the date you were granted your permanent residence status. Look at your permanent residence card. It will state the date on your card.

Continuous Residency Requirement

There are special rules which apply if you have taken trips outside of the United States of 6 months or longer. In these cases you may have disrupted your “continuous residence” requirement (unless you can prove otherwise) and you will not be eligible for naturalization. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, which are beyond the scope of this article. If this is your situation, you may still be eligible to apply for naturalization. However, you should speak to an Immigration Attorney to review the facts and circumstances of your case.

Physical Presence Requirement

If your application is based on being a permanent resident for 3 years then you must prove that you were physically present in the US for 18 months within the three year time period before applying for naturalization.

If your application is based on being a permanent resident for 5 years then you must prove that you were physically present in the United States for 30 months within the five year time period before applying for naturalization.

You must have resided in the district or state in which you are applying for citizenship for the last 3 months. Students may apply in the district either where they go to school or where their family lives (as long as they are still financially dependent on their parents).

According to USCIS, you may file for your naturalization 90 calendar days before you complete your permanent residence requirement if your eligibility for naturalization is based upon being a : permanent resident for at least 5 years; or a permanent resident for at least 3 years if you are married to a United States Citizen. Please note that you have to have lived with your spouse in the United States for 3 full years before applying for naturalization under the 3 year exception. So if you entered with a conditional or permanent green card then you have to be present in the United States for 3 full years before applying for naturalization and you cannot file 90 days early.

There are also many other eligibility requirements which you must satisfy, besides the requirements listed above, in order for you to qualify to become a naturalized United State Citizen. As you can not only be denied your citizenship but also lose your permanent residency should problems arise in your case, it is always a good idea to consult with an Immigration Attorney before you apply for naturalization.

My office would be happy to talk to you about your Immigration case. We have offices in Fairfield, Sacramento, Roseville, Stockton, Oakland, Auburn, and Reno. We handle cases throughout California, the United States and the World. You may reach us toll free at 888-801-6558

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is not legal advice but general information only. This article is only a very basic introduction to this topic. You should seek a competent Immigration Attorney to review your specific facts and circumstances before proceeding with your case.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

  • S. Lucas
    TEMPORARY VISA
    img

    Our experience was amazing. The process was smooth. Larry and Jason helped us every step of the way to get my husband’s temporary visa. When I started getting anxiety about how long it takes, what’s the next step or what if’s, I would call either of them and they had no problems giving me answers. Jason went with us to our meeting with immigration, and made us laugh the whole time. He really helped keep me calm as I suffer from anxiety very badly. A year later, I can still call Larry and ask questions about the next step. I’m very thankful I found these guys!!! Highly recommend them!

  • L. Alvarado Jr.
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    I met the love of my life in China. When I was looking for an Immigration attorney to help me get the K1 Visa for my fiance, I was so glad that I found the Law Office Of Lawrence Gruner. Attorney’s Lawrence Gruner and Jason Marachi gave us excellent representation throughout the whole process and got us through the process very quickly and smoothly. It only took six month’s for my fiance to get her K1 Visa and move to the U.S. with me so we could get married and start our lives together. And in another six month’s later, my wife now has her Green Card. I highly recommend this Law Office for your Immigration Law needs.
    Thank you Mr. Gruner and Mr. Marachi!!

  • M. Obregon
    IMMIGRATION LAW
    img

    Lawrence and his legal team are stellar. They provided an affordable solution to our immigration related legal issues. My wife and I turned to Lawrence and his team from friends that also had a successful experience. Simply, we all agree that it was the right choice. Everything was completed as offered and his legal advice as a lawyer and a friend is always there. Thank You!

SEE ADDITIONAL TESTIMONIALS

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US