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U.S. Citizenship Wait Time in 2018

The Washington Post ran an interesting article recently titled: “Immigrants seeking citizenship face growing longer wait times for their applications”.

The article starts out by letting the reader know that “more than 700,000 immigrants are waiting on applications to become U.S. citizens, a process that once took about six months but has stretched to more than two years in some places under the Trump administration.”

“The number of immigrants aspiring to become U.S. citizens surged during 2016, increasing 27 percent from a year earlier as Trump made cracking down on immigration a central theme of his campaign.

At first, the government kept up with the applications, but then the wait grew.

Backlogs are nothing new in the U.S. immigration system. It often takes years to receive asylum or to be deported. But naturalization — the final step to become a citizen, obtain a U.S. passport and receive voting rights — had not been subject to such delays in recent years.

Now the average wait time for applications is more than 10 months. It takes up to 22 months in Atlanta and as long as 26 months in parts of Texas according to official estimates.”

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said the longer waits to naturalize are because of the surge in applications, not slower processing. The agency decided 850,000 cases in 2017, up 8 percent from a year before.

Despite “a record and unprecedented” spike in applications, the agency is operating more efficiently and effectively and “outperforming itself,” spokesman Michael Bars said in a statement.”

How to Qualify for U.S. Citizenship

“Citizenship applications typically rise before an increase in filing fees and during presidential election years as immigrants get excited about the prospect of voting and advocacy groups conduct widespread outreach to get more eligible voters to the polls.”

Wait times are varying by region in the United States.  In Sacramento California the wait time is currently about 6 months.   San Francisco’s wait time is about a year.  San Jose’s wait time is about 9 months.  These time periods will likely change over the next year or two.

I expect the wait times in these areas (as well as many other places in the country) to increase over the next two years.

However, despite the wait time, many people want to apply to become U.S. Citizens. If you are considering applying to become a U.S. Citizen you should read our popular blog post titled: ”  10 reasons to become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.”

Lawrence Gruner is an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases including fiance visa cases, marriage green card cases and naturalization cases.  His office handles cases in California, the United States, and the World. He would be happy to consult with you about your immigration case.  He may be reached at 888-801-6558 or attorneygruner@gmail.com

 

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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

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YOUR PRIVACY IS
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Fiance Visa Denial Rates 2018

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an interesting story recently titled “We fell in love before we met: Wisconsin Man sues over visa denial for his Chinese Fiance”.  The article is about an American man who is trying to compel the U.S.government to reactivate a fiance visa application after a fiance visa denial.

The article quoted Edward Fallone, a Marquette Law School professor who taught immigration law for years, saying that he’s not surprised at (the U.S. Citizen’s) predicament, given the current policies on immigration.

“Definitely, any opportunity for a discretionary denial, that’s going to be exercised against the immigrant and their admission,” Fallone said.

The article cited the Center for Immigration Studies stating that foreign national fiancée visas were approved about 99% of the time by consulates in 2015 but dropped to about 80% in 2016 and so far this year is running about 67%.

I would expect this number to continue to decline as we move forward and I would not be surprised , given the current political climate, that this number dips into the 50 percent range over the next year or two. (Update: according to a report the number has in fact dropped into the 50 percent range in late 2018)

The decline began before Trump took office, in part due to the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., in December  2015. One of the shooters, Tasheen Malik, had entered the U.S. on a K-1 visa. She and her husband died in a shootout with police after the couple killed 14 people and wounded 22 others.

Anyone considering filing a fiance visa should read this article in order to get a feel for the fiance visa process and about the discretion immigration officers have in fiance visa cases.  You should, at a minimum, consult with an experienced immigration attorney, prior to filing any documentation with USCIS.

Lawrence Gruner is an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases.  He can be reached at 916-760-7270 or attorneygruner@gmail.com

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

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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

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What is a K1 Visa?

What is a K1 visa

I am often asked: What is a K-1 visa?  A K-1 visa is another name for a fiance visa.  A fiance visa is used to bring someone who you intend to marry into the United States. If you only want a friend or family member  to come visit you in the United States then you would not undergo the K1 visa process.  Instead you would try to help your friend or family member obtain a visitor’s visa.

A visitor’s visa can be obtained much faster than a fiance visa.  Many times a person can find out the same day if a visitor’s visa would be granted.  Unfortunately, a fiance visa currently takes between 7 and 9 months to obtain.  This timeline is likely going to increase over the next couple of years.

(The logical question then becomes: Why not have my fiance come into the United States with a visitor’s visa as it is much faster to obtain than a fiance visa.  The reason is that USCIS would consider this to be visa fraud.  The misuse of the tourist visa could lead to your fiance losing the ability to obtain a marriage based green card and other very severe  long term problems.  Do not go this route.)

A fiance visa will not allow your fiancé to live in the United States indefinitely.  It only allows your fiancé to enter the United States on a very temporary basis (90 days).  If your fiancé wants to stay in the United States the she will need to marry you within 90 days and then apply for a green card.  The process used to change from the K1 visa to the green card is called adjustment of status.

Fiance visa vs. CR-1 options

Whenever anyone contacts my office about a fiance visa I make sure to talk to them about the possibility of going to their fiance’s home country and marrying their fiance instead.  There are definite benefits to going this route instead of the fiance visa route.  However, as the fiance visa is a faster way to bring their future spouse into the United States, most of my clients choose this option.  Here are some things to consider when choosing between both options.

   a) Why the Fiance Visa Process is Better

The fiancé visa is a faster way to bring your loved one into the United States.  The current fiancé visa waiting time, from start to finish is between 6-9 months with 8 months being the most likely amount of time to wait.  The fiancé visa should allow your loved one to arrive 3-5 months sooner than if you do a CR1 case.  However, the fiancé visa process is a 2 case process.  Once your loved one enters with a fiancé visa, you will have 90 days to marry her and then you will need to file for her green card in the United States.  The fiancé visa is the preferred way to go if you wish for your loved one to be in the U.S. sooner (even though it will likely cost more overall as you are filing 2 cases); you do not know your loved one as well, or your loved one has never been to the U.S. and you are concerned that they may not like living here; or if you wish to have a prenuptial agreement prepared  prior to marriage.

Eligibility: You must be a U.S. Citizen, you must be able to marry (not currently going through a divorce); you must have met face to face in the past 2 years; you must be able to financially support your fiancé (and any children involved in the case).

      b) Why the CR1 case is Better

The CR1 (marriage green card when your spouse is out of the country) case will take longer to obtain than a fiancé visa.  Generally the wait is an extra 3-5 months.  However, if you get married to your loved one and pursue this route there are some benefits.  The first one is that you do not need to file for a green card once your spouse arrives in the U.S. as he will arrive with a green card.  As you are only doing 1 case, instead of 2 as you are with a fiancé visa, the cost should be less (you will have travel expenses if you are in the United States and you wish to go to your future spouse’s country to get married.  So there is a possibility that this route overall could cost more than the fiance visa then green card via adjustment of status route listed above) .  In addition, with a CR1 your spouse will be able to start working upon arriving in the U.S.  With a Fiance visa your spouse may not be able to start working for 3-5 months.

Eligibility:  You must be married to each other at the time of filing the case; you can do this case if you are a permanent resident (green card holder); You must be able to financially support your spouse (and any children involved in the case).

The K-1 fiancée visa can be approved if all of the requirements are met.

The petitioner must be a United States citizen (not a permanent resident).  Only U.S. Citizens are eligible to use the fiance visa process;

You must  both be free to get married.  You must wait until any current divorces are final.  Do not file a fiance visa case while you are still technically married to another person;

You must have met each other, in person within the last 2 years.  (Some potential clients have contacted my office with the mistaken belief that you must have been in a relationship with your fiance for 2 years–this is not true.  Again, you only need to have had a face-to-face meeting sometime in the past 2 years. Video conversations do not count and do not satisfy this requirement.  You may be able to obtain a waiver of this requirement based on religious or medical reasons.  You cannot obtain a waiver if you cannot get the time off of work or you do not have the financial ability to pay to visit your fiance.

You must be able to show that you can financially support your fiancé in the United States.  You must make 100% of the U.S. poverty levels unless there is an exception that applies in your case.  This requirement is based on your family size.  If you do not qualify based on your income you may be able to qualify based on your assets.  Some embassies and consulates will also let you use a co-sponsor to meet this requirement.  However, some will not let you use a co-sponsor.  Check with us for current information in this area; and

You both intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancée entering the United States.  You will both be required to state to the U.S. government that you intend to marry each other.

Please see our very popular  blog post: ” 10 things to know about fiancé visas” for a more in-depth look at the fiancé visa process.  If mistakes are made, even small mistakes, then there can be serious delays in the processing of the K1 fiancé visa. If you would like to get a fiancée visa for your loved one then you need to follow these two main steps.  They are:

 File a Petition with USCIS

The U.S. Citizen will file the fiance visa petition with USCIS. (Remember, only  United States Citizens, not green card holders, can apply for a K-1 fiancé visa.  If you are not a United States citizen but would like to become one then click here for information on becoming a United States Citizen)  Once approved by USCIS it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC).  The National Visa Center will run security background checks on your fiance.  If all is in order the case will be sent to the appropriate US Embassy or Conulate. After the US Embassy or Consulate receives the petition, your fiancé will be notified as to what documents to bring to her interview and when and where the interview will take place.

The Fiance Visa

The application process for the  K-1 visa includes the following:  the required documentation, a medical examination along with any  vaccination requirements.  In addition there needs to be a showing of proof of support along with a completed affidavit of support form (with any supporting evidence–tax returns, letter from your employer showing that you are employed, bank statements). The required documentation for this step can vary by consulate.   However, the documents which will be required can be viewed on the applicable US Consulate website.

Can I pay extra to make the process go faster?

Surprisingly, I am asked this question regularly.  U.S. Citizens are ready and willing to pay an extra $1000 or more to USCIS in the form of fees if their fiance can come to the United States sooner.  While there is a way to see if your H-1b case can process sooner by paying extra fees (premium processing) unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, this option is not available for k-1 fiance visa cases.  This could change.  However, as of today, it is not available.  The best way to bring your fiance here  as soon as possible is to retain a quality immigration law firm which is not going to make mistakes to delay your case.  The law firm will be able to anticipate and resolve trouble areas prior to your case being filed and also resolve any issues should they arise in your case.

Will Mistakes really delay my case?

The very short answer is definitely yes.  Usually when mistakes are made in a case the delay is between 3-6 months overall.  This means that a well filed petition would have resulted in your fiance being with you 90 to 180 days sooner.  These are days that are simply lost to the two of you.  I have had cases that were brought to me after the case had been denied at the interview.  My office was able to successfully re-file the case but the client was simply out 9 months of time.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Obtain help from a quality immigration law firm to help you navigate the K-1 fiance visa process.

I should just use an immigration consultant for my fiance visa as it is cheaper

Do you remember the old adage that  said “you get what you pay for”.   This should be kept in mind as you make a decision as to how you wish to proceed in your case.

It is definitely true that you can save some money by working with a paralegal, notario, or immigration consultant.  However, many times these immigration helpers are not required to be regulated, licensed or insured.  They will also not have the training to spot any and all potential issues or problems which could occur in your case (which could be overcome by proper planning).  As a result you could go through the whole process and have your case delayed or worse denied.  Do you want to risk your case being delayed an extra 6 months because you wanted to save a bit of money?  In addition, if there is a problem in your case only an attorney will be able to talk to USCIS on your behalf.  Moreover, you will be turning over highly sensitive documents to your legal representative (birth certificates, federal tax returns, bank statements etc.).  Do you really want to turn these documents over to a non-lawyer.  If you work with our office only an attorney would have access to these highly sensitive documents.

Our office makes the process quick, painless, and easy.  We have handled these cases for over 20 years.  There are no surprises for us.  We handle everything for you from start to finish.  Our fees are very competitive and we allow you to make low monthly payments on your case.  You can call or email us, at no charge, and we can help you come up with the best immigration plan for your situation.

 

Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience handling fiance visa, green card and other immigration cases.  His office is located in Sacramento California.  His office handles cases in California, the United States, and all over the world.  He may be reached at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558.  In addition, you may email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com  He would be happy to answer your immigration questions.

The above information is general in nature and is not intended to take the place of a consultation with an immigration attorney.  No attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading this blog article. Always consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing any documents with USCIS.

 

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

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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

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Limiting Legal Immigration is Hurting U.S. Businesses

The New York Post ran an interesting article recently titled: “Companies Say Trump is Hurting Business by Limiting Legal Immigration”.

According to the article: “The government is denying more work visas, asking applicants to provide additional information and delaying approvals more frequently than just a year earlier. Hospitals, hotels, technology companies and other businesses say they are now struggling to fill jobs with the foreign workers they need.

With foreign hires missing, the employees who remain are being forced to pick up the slack. Seasonal industries like hotels and landscaping are having to turn down customers or provide fewer services. Corporate executives worry about the long-term impact of losing talented engineers and programmers to countries like Canada that are laying out the welcome mat for skilled foreigners.”

A few months later, the president endorsed legislation that would cut legal immigration by half. The bill was introduced by two Republican senators, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia. But Republican leaders in Congress have not advanced it.

Some lawmakers say Mr. Trump is using administrative means to reshape immigration policy because those changes have stalled on Capitol Hill.”

“In practice, businesses say the increased red tape has made it harder to secure employment-based visas.  That has added to the difficulty of finding qualified workers with the unemployment rate falling to 3.9 percent.”

“Experts say a sustained reduction in immigration could dampen growth over time as more baby boomers retire, leaving big gaps in the job market.

That goes for high-skilled immigrants and low-skilled workers, said Francine D. Blau, an economist at Cornell. The latter will be vital in fields like elder care and child care, as well as construction and cleaning.

“A lot of our labor-force growth comes from immigrants and their children,” Ms. Blau said. “Without them, we’d suffer the problems associated with countries with an aging population, like Japan.”

“The H-1B program, which was created to bring in foreigners with skills that business leaders argued would strengthen the economy, has long been a target for some politicians. The visa program has been criticized because corporations have exploited it to replace American workers.

Still, many economists say H-1B holders are valuable. Immigrants file patents at twice the rate of native-born Americans and start about 25 percent of high-tech companies in the United States.

There’s absolutely no research that supports the idea that cutting legal immigration is good for the economy,” (emphasis added) said Ethan Lewis, a Dartmouth economist.”

“Giovanni Peri, an economist at the University of California, Davis, agrees that individual workers can be hurt by competition from lower-paid foreigners. But he said the overall effect on wages was modest. Immigration also tends to bolster the incomes of college-educated Americans.”

Mr. Peri points to what happened when the government deported between 400,000 and 500,000 Mexicans between 1929 and 1934, most of whom worked in agriculture and construction. With fewer people to work the fields, farm owners and agricultural businesses cut administrative, sales and clerical jobs because there was not enough to do.

“Out of eight or 10 positions held by Mexicans, maybe one or two were taken by Americans,” Mr. Peri said. “The rest disappeared.”

It looks like our friends up north are benefiting from the current immigration stance in the United States. “Canada has long welcomed immigrants. “But that is even more so relative to the United States, given the climate in America now,” Mr. Waisberg said. “It’s certainly helped us recruit.”

“Mr. Trump’s “hire American” push is helping some domestic businesses. One of those is Nexient, which provides software services and competes with firms in India and elsewhere.”

Overall this was a very interesting article.  It should be read to help the reader understand our current economic climate and also to understand how the current stance toward legal immigration may affect our country in the future.

Lawrence Gruner is an immigration attorney located in Sacramento California.  He would be happy to talk to you about your immigration case.   His office handles fiance visas, green card cases, and U.S. Citizenship cases. He may be reached at 916-760-7270, 888-801-6558 or at attorneygruner@gmail.com

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

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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

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How Long Does it Take to Get a Green Card?

How Long Does it Take to Get a Green Card?

I am often asked by potential clients : How long does it take to get a green card for my spouse?  (This article deals with spousal green cards, not other family based green cards or employment based green cards.  Those types of green cards are outside of the scope of this article.  If you wish to pursue those types of green cards simply call or email us for a free consultation.)

The wait time for a green card for your spouse depends on where your spouse is located and what is your immigration status.

If you are a U.S. Citizen and your spouse is in the United States and is also eligible to file while in the United States the wait time is currently 6-12 months.  This is based on the current time line we are observing in the Northern California immigration offices.

If you are a U.S. Citizen and your spouse is abroad the current wait time is about 12-14 months.   This is a moving average and it can take longer for your case to complete.  (In fact, given the way things are going, I would not be surprised if these types of cases start to take even longer to complete.  I could be wrong as some types of cases, which were taking longer in 2017 seem to be moving quicker in 2018.  However, these are the exceptions and not the rules.) The 12-14 month wait period  assumes that you file everything correctly in your green card case and are not from a country which USCIS considers to be a high fraud area.  If you do not file things correctly with USCIS or make mistakes during the process the case will be delayed several months or longer.

If you are a permanent resident, the current wait time for your spouse to obtain a green card while she is out of the United States is currently over 2 years.  (As noted above a U.S. Citizen will only have a wait time of 12-14 months to obtain a green card for his or her spouse.  Thus, it may, make sense to become a U.S. Citizen in order to expedite the process.)

If you are a permanent resident and your spouse is in the United States and you would like to apply for a green card for him please call our office to discuss.

If you are a permanent resident but you are eligible to become a U.S. Citizen it may make sense to apply for your citizenship and, at the same time, file for your spouse as a permanent resident.  You can ask USCIS to expedite your spouse’s case once you become a U.S. Citizen. ( If you naturalize you can ask USCIS to upgrade your petition to reflect their status as a US Citizen.) Definitely talk to an immigration attorney if you are in this situation as it may or may not be in your best interests to choose this path.

The above timeline assumes that you are filing a quality case.  If you have mistakes, are missing evidence or have other problems  in your case then the case will take longer.  Also, if the marriage green card interview does not go well the case may be delayed several months or even longer.  Thus, it is vitally important that you are well prepared for your green card interview and you do everything in your power to do well at this interview.

If your interview does not go well , and you are in the United States for your interview, you will likely have to undergo a second “fraud” interview.  This interview is much more intimate and can, and likely will, go on for a long time (possibly hours).  You will be separated from your spouse during this interview.  You will each be asked the same questions and your answers will be compared for accuracy.  This is likely going to be a very stressful day for you. You do not want to go through this.  Make sure you thoroughly prepare and do well the first time around.

Can I pay an Extra Fee to Expedite the Process?

Surprisingly, I am asked this question regularly.  U.S. Citizens are ready and willing to pay an extra $1000 or more to USCIS in the form of fees if their spouse can come to the United States sooner.  While there is a way to see if your H-1b case can process sooner by paying extra fees (premium processing) unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, this option is not available in spouse green card cases.  This could change.  However, as of today, it is not available.  The best way to bring your spouse here quicker is to retain a quality immigration law firm which is not going to make mistakes to delay your case.  The law firm will be able to anticipate and resolve trouble areas prior to your case being filed and also resolve any issues should they arise in your case.

Will Mistakes really delay my case?

The very short answer is yes.  Usually when mistakes are made in a case the delay is between 3-6 months overall.  This means that a well filed petition would have resulted in your spouse being with you 90 to 180 days sooner.  These are days that are simply lost to the two of you.  I have had cases that were brought to me after the case had been denied at the interview.  My office was able to successfully re-file the case but the client was simply out 9 months of time.  One time I met with a very intelligent man who I believe was a software engineer.  His case had been delayed over 2 years as he kept running into problems during the process.  He finally had enough and decided to make an appointment with my firm.  I went through his paperwork and I was able to spot the problem areas in his case.  We were able to successfully handle his case and his wife was in the United States with him very quickly.  Needless to say they were both very happy.

Will the timelines be shorter in the future?

Yes and No. (I sound like a politician I know.)  Timelines for immigration cases have varied over the years.  For example, when I first started practicing immigration law almost 25 years ago, naturalization cases were taking about 2 years to complete in northern California. Under the combined Bush and Obama administrations (16 years) naturalization cases seemed to be taking about 4 months to complete on average.  Currently these cases in northern California are taking about a year to complete.  The timeline seems to be based primarily on who the current U.S. President is, what is that administration’s stance on immigration, and the volume of cases being filed.  The volume of cases being filed is probably a reflection of the administration’s stance on immigration.  Many people are concerned when they believe that they may lose immigration benefits so they want to file their immigration case in order to protect themselves.

In the short term I believe that the wait times for spousal green card cases is going to be as long, if not longer, than the wait times of today.  The current stance of USCIS is more diligent than what it has been in the past.  Cases are reviewed more thoroughly for problem areas.  As a result wait times have increased.

The long term wait times will be based on future  USCIS policies and case volume.

 

Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Lawyer with over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases.  His office handles fiance visa cases, green card cases, and naturalization cases in California, the United States and the World.  He would be happy to talk to you about your immigration case.  You can email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com or call him at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558.  He would be happy to help you come up with an immigration plan for your case.

This article is for general informational purposes only.  It is not intended to take the place of an attorney evaluation of your case.  You should always have an experienced immigration attorney review your case prior to doing anything. Do not rely on your friends, well meaning family members, notarios , immigration consultants or others for your immigration advice.  The stakes are simply too high.  You should always speak to an immigration attorney prior to filing any documents with USCIS.  Failure to do so can lead to very severe consequences.

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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

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Jeff Bezos donates $33 million to a scholarship for Dreamers

Time magazine recently had an interesting article titled: ” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just gave $33 million to a scholarship fund for dreamers.”

The article states that “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, have donated $33 million to a scholarship fund for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children — the biggest grant in the organization’s history.

The Dream.US is the largest scholarship program in the country for participants in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program (DACA), who are often called Dreamers. The scholarship helps Dreamers who might otherwise be unable to afford college. ”

“Bezos — whose net worth is $108 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — is now the world’s richest person. His donation will fund college scholarships for 1,000 DACA recipients, The Dream.US said Friday.”

“The donation comes as Congress tries to negotiate a bipartisan solution for DACA recipients after the Trump Administration ended the program last year. The White House said Thursday that no deal has been reached yet.

Candy Marshall, president of TheDream.US, called Bezos’ donation a “magnificent gift.”

“It is a shot in the arm for Dreamer students at a time when some are questioning whether they should be in the United States at all,” she said in a statement. “We would invite anyone who questions the value of Dreamers to please come meet some of our students.”

The deadlines to apply for the two types of scholarships offered by TheDream.US are Jan. 23 and March 1.” (Click on these links for more information about the scholarships.”

I do believe that one day Congress and the President will be able to pass comprehensive immigration reform in this area.  Until that day happens this is at least one bit of good news.

According to the Washington Post, Bezos will be donating $2 billion dollars overall (this is the initial commitment) to create what he called the Day One Fund.  ” This fund will focus on providing help to homeless families and preschools for low-income communities…”  You can read the Washington Post article here.

 

Attorney Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases.  He may be reached at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558.  He would be happy to consult with you about your immigration case.

 

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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

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Fiance Visa Timeline

Fiance Visa Timeline

This article will break down the fiance visa timeline.  This is the timeline you should expect if you file your case in 2018.  If you handle your case correctly, and your fiance is not from a country that is considered to have high fraud, then the total wait should be between 7 to 9 months in 2018.  The majority of our cases are being completed in about 8 months.   Prior to 2018 the fiance visa timeline was closer to 6 months.  This fiance visa timeline can change. This blog article will explain, in detail, about the fiance visa timeline.

The most important thing you can do is file a quality fiance visa petition with USCIS.  If you are missing evidence or have other mistakes in your case it is likely that your case will take longer than average.  This is why it makes sense to at least consult with an experienced immigration attorney about your situation.  The attorney will review you case and point out weak areas or areas which may cause your case to be delayed or denied.  You can then take the steps to fix those areas prior to filing your case.

Here is the fiance visa timeline:

You will file your case with USCIS.      Happy Marriage Proposal

A Notice of Action will be sent to you from USCIS in a few weeks.  The notice of action is meant to let you know that USCIS has received your packet and that the case is being processed.  After this your case will go quiet.  You really should not hear anything for the next 5 to 7 months.  (This wait is quite a bit longer than the wait time just a couple of years ago)

If all is well with your case you will receive USCIS approval  at this point.  Unfortunately, this does not mean that your case has been approved (if only it were that easy).  It just means that you have passed the first of three hurdles.  Your case will now be sent to  National Visa Center.  At the National Visa Center level your case will be assigned a new Department of State case number. After the National Visa Center assigns a new case number your case will be sent to the local American embassy or consulate.  They will process the remaining part of the fiance visa case.

The interview should take place sometime within the next month 2 to 3 months.  The wait time will primarily be based on the number of cases being processed at the time your case is there.  At this stage your fiance will have her very important  interview, have her medical examination done, and be told about obtaining other documents to finalize her case.  She needs to make sure that she complies with everything that is requested of her at this point in the process.

The interview is very important.  This will probably be the most important interview in your fiance’s life.  If it goes well then she will be able to start her life with you in the United States in a short amount of time.  If it does not go well you may have to refile the whole case and start over.  This could take an additional 8 months or longer.

The key thing is that she know about you and your life.  She should know you very well in order to have a successful interview.  She should know about your life in the United States.  She should know where you live, what kind of work you do, and all about your family .  If you have a criminal past she should know about this and not find out about it at the interview.  In addition, she should know about any past marriages.  You may wish to read our article about the fiance visa interview process.  This includes the fiance visa interview questions.

Assuming all goes well at the consulate the fiance visa will be granted.  Congratulations! Approval generally happens in about a week to 10 days.  You are then eligible to enter the United States with your k-1 fiance visa.

You will receive a sealed packet that must not be opened until you come to your port of entry.  You can read about the sealed packet and other information about what you should do after your interview on the U.S. State Department’s website.

The fiance visa is valid for 6 months and is a one time entry.  I have had potential clients ask if they can get married in the United States and then  immediately go to Mexico or another country for their honeymoon.  As the fiance visa is a one time entry visa I have had to tell them that unfortunately they will not be able to honeymoon in Mexico right after their wedding.  Instead they will need to get married within 90 days and then file for their fiance’s green card via adjustment of status.  Once they file for adjustment of status there will be a 3-6 month wait to receive a work/ travel card.  (Btw: there is no rhyme or reason as to why some clients receive this card in 3 months and some receive it closer to 6 months.  The results really seem to be random.  This is a lot different than even a couple of years ago when everyone seemed to receive this card about 3 months after their adjustment of status case was filed with USCIS.) They can use this travel card (advance parole) in order to travel outside of the United States for their honeymoon.  Thankfully, many of our clients are in California and there are plenty of places to go for their honeymoon in California.  Once the travel card is issued, assuming that they entered on a K-1 fiance visa, they can then go out of the country for a trip.

If you are considering doing a fiance visa case please obtain our free fiance visa e-book or read our very  popular blog post: Ten Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process.

I hope you enjoyed this blog article about the fiance visa timeline.  Just a reminder that this timeline is just an estimate and can, and probably will, change over time.  You can make sure the case moves as quickly as possible by filing a quality petition with USCIS and timely responding and turning in requested evidence when requested.

Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Lawyer with almost 25 years of experience handling immigration cases.  His office handles cases in California, the United States and the World.  You can email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com or call him at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558.  He would be very happy to talk to you about your potential fiance visa case.

This article is general in nature and is for informational purposes only.  It is not meant to take the place of legal advice with an immigration attorney.  Every immigration case is different and, as such, should be reviewed , by an experienced immigration attorney, (not a notario, paralegal or immigration consultant) prior to moving forward. Please always consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing any documents with USCIS.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

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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

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Fiance Visa From Philippines to USA

Fiance Visa From Philippines to USA

This article will break down what you will need to do in order to obtain a fiance visa from the Philippines to USA.

We have handled many cases from the Philippines over the past 25 years. The process for obtaining a fiance visa from the Philippines to the USA is basically the same as how you would get a fiance visa from anywhere else in the World.    However, there are a few notable differences.  These differences will be illustrated through a real life example of an American Citizen who did a petition for his Filipina Fiance.

Frank is a U.S. Citizen.  He had been single for most of his life.  He was now 40 and wished to settle down with a nice woman and start a family.  He was also a nice person but he could not find the right person in the United States to share his life with.

His best friend Danilo was from the Philippines and had become a U.S. Citizen.  Frank loved spending time with him.  He went to many family gatherings and parties with Danilo. Through Danilo Frank fell in love with the culture of the Philippines.  Frank decided to try to find a wife from the Philippines.

Frank met Corazon on a dating website. He did not pay a fee and the website was IMBRA compliant. Frank and Corazon were just friends at first but after a while Frank realized that he wanted to get to know Corazon more.  He thought (hoped) that they could end up as more than friends.

Danilo (a U.S. Citizen) had brought his fiance (now wife) over from the Philippines several years before using a fiance visa.    He knew all about the process of doing a fiance visa from the Philippines to USA.  He told Frank that the fiance visa process could be the fastest way to bring Corazon to the United States if things worked out romantically between them.  He also told him to think about possibly getting married in the Philippines and filing an I-130 case for Corazon.  The I-130 case would take several months longer but Corazon would enter the United States with a green card and would not have to go through the adjustment of status process in the United States.  And unlike someone who enters with a fiance visa she would not have to wait 3-5 months in order to be able to work.  Danilo also told Frank, that whatever route he took,  to be sure to use the services of an experienced Immigration Attorney.

Danilo  wasn’t sure if he had used an immigration consultant, paralegal, notario or immigration advisor but things had not worked out well during his first fiance visa process.  He had gone through most of the process when things fell apart.  The fiance visa had not been granted and he had wasted 8 months of his life without his fiance (now wife).  Danilo then hired an American Fiance Visa Attorney who was able to handle everything correctly.  The attorney told him that some people, in an effort to save some money, hired non-attorneys to handle their fiance visa cases.  Unfortunately, many times these cases did not go well.  He also mentioned that if the case did not work out there was little that could be done.

Fortunately, unlike what the attorney had seen in some other cases, no long-term damage had been done by the immigration consultant.  The attorney then filed a well prepared fiance visa case for Danilo.  As a result Danilo’s fiance was able to promptly come to the United States.  Once in the United States Danilo married her and was able to obtain a green card for her via the adjustment of status process.  They had lived (were living) happily ever after.

Frank was grateful for the advice as he had never even had heard of a fiance visa.  He went to visit Corazon.  She was attractive, very nice, smart and devoted to her family.  She was everything he wanted.  Frank met her family and went to many family functions with Corazon.  He was in love.  He decided that he did not want to live without her.  He proposed to her.  Corazon loved Frank.  She said yes.  Frank did not know a lot about fiance visas but he knew once he got back to the United States he would hire an American Immigration Attorney and file for a fiance visa.  He wanted to do a fiance visa case instead of an I-130 case as he knew the fiance visa process was faster.  He wanted Corazon in the United States as soon as possible.  The thought of living in the United States without her made him sad.

Once back in the United States, Frank hired a very experienced Immigration Attorney to help him with the fiance visa process.  The attorney confirmed that Frank was a U.S. Citizen; that Frank and Corazon were both free to marry (as they both had never been married before); that they had met face-to-face in the past 2 years; that Frank was making over $16,400 a year (as there were no other dependents for either him or Corazon); and that there was nothing in Corazon’s past (criminal matters, past immigration violations etc.) that would make her inadmissible.

The attorney knew that the embassy in the Philippines in Metro Manilla could be a difficult embassy to obtain a fiance visa from as there was a fair amount of fraudulent cases filed there.  However, he had successfully obtained fiance visas there for almost 25 years.  He felt confident that he would be able to reunite Frank and Corazon in the United States via a fiance visa.

The attorney gave them each a free fiance visa e-book (so they knew what to expect during the fiance visa process) suggested that they read the popular blog post:  Top 10 Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process and sent each of them their own questionnaire and a list of documents to obtain.  With this information the attorney prepared an excellent case for Frank and Corazon.  7 months later Corazon arrived in the United States, married Frank went through the green card process and lived happily ever after with Frank.

Frank was very happy.  He was glad he listened to Danilo’s advice and hired an experienced immigration attorney and as a result was able to bring Corazon to the United States as quickly as possible.

Filing for a fiance visa in the Philippines is similar to filing a fiance visa case anywhere else in the World.  However, there are some differences.

Here are the things that are the same: The petitioner must be a U.S. Citizen (not a green card holder);  you both must be free to marry (neither one of you is married to anyone else currently); you must have met each other face-to-face sometime in the last 2 years; you must not have any past immigration or criminal issues which would bar the issuance of the fiance visa; your
U.S. Citizen spouse must prove that he will be able to support you in the United States and that you will not be obtaining government benefits.  To do this he must prove that he makes at least 100 percent of the poverty level required by the I-134.

When you file for a fiance visa from the Philippines to the USA you must realize a few things: if you have been married before, and you did not get an annulment or your spouse did not die, you should speak to an immigration attorney as the Philippines does not allow divorce.  (It is apparently the only country in the World, besides the Vatican, that does not allow divorce.) This law may change in the future.  However, currently the Philippines does not allow divorce.

Also the embassy in the Philippines does not allow your U.S. Citizen spouse to have a financial co-sponsor in order to meet the I-134 requirements (most of the rest of the world does allow a financial co-sponsor to be involved). This is probably because the I-134’s responsibilities are much more Tax return 2012temporary and it is not nearly as enforceable as the I-864.  The I-134 is what is used in fiance visa cases.  If this is your situation please talk to an immigration attorney about potential options.

Finally, the medical examination fee in the Philippines is more expensive than many if not most places. Currently the medical examination fee is $335.00.  Prices for the medical examination generally vary in the rest of the world from $65 to $335.00.  As a side note, please make sure you do not open the sealed envelope you receive from your medical examination.  You are likely going to be required to bring it, sealed, to your fiance visa interview at the end of the case.

According to the U.S. Department of State’s website bring the following to your medical examination:

  • Your visa interview letter,
  • Your passport,
  • Three (3) recently taken passport-sized color photographs, and
  • A copy of your immunization records.

All medical examination fees, including x-ray and blood test fees, must be paid directly to SLMCEC in Philippine pesos at the prevailing exchange rate. Refer to the SLMCEC website for information regarding the medical examination fees.

Requirements for the medical examination can change so make sure you visit their site prior to your interview to make sure you are in compliance.

As with fiance visas filed in the rest of the world, if you are missing evidence or have other mistakes in your case it is likely that your case will take longer than average.  This is why it makes sense to at least consult with an experienced immigration attorney about your situation.  The attorney will review you case and point out weak areas or areas which may cause your case to be delayed or denied.  You can then take the steps to fix those areas prior to filing your case.

If you do everything right, just like Frank and Corazon, you can have the fiance visa granted, live together in the United States and  live happily ever after.

 

This blog post is titled: Fiance Visa from Philippines to USA. If you are considering doing a fiance visa case please obtain our free fiance visa e-book or read our very  popular blog post: Ten Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process.

 

Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Lawyer with almost 25 years of experience handling immigration cases.  His office handles cases in California, the United States, the Philippines, and the world.  You can email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com or call him at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558.  He would be very happy to talk to you about your fiance visa case.

 

This blog article is intended to be for general informational purposes only. Do not rely on it for legal advice as every case is different.  Immigration laws can and do change regularly.  You are strongly advised to always speak to an immigration attorney prior to filing any documents with USCIS as there can be serious consequences if your case is not filed or handled correctly.

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
IMPORTANT US

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How Long to Get Green Card After Marriage

 

How Long to Get Green Card After Marriage

I am often asked how long will it take to get a green card for my spouse after marriage.

If  your spouse is living in another country and you, as a U.S Citizen, are planning to file an I-130 case for her the process should take about 12-14 months in total.  If your spouse is in the United States and you are filing for a green card for your spouse based on marriage the time is varying. 

For over a decade in Northern California the cases were taking about 4 months from start to finish.

Cases would be filed and would follow a predictable pattern.  The case would be filed.  A work card/ travel card would be issued to the immigrant about 3 months later and then one month later the interview would be held.  This held true until about a year or so ago.  These case have been given more scrutiny and have taken  longer to process.

Cases filed in 2017 were/have been taking a year or a bit longer to process.  The cases filed in 2018 have been processing in 6-8 months. Moving forward it is hard to say how long this type of case will be taking to complete.  Although 6 to 8 months would be my best guess.

If you are considering doing a marriage green card case you should be aware that there are many ways to make mistakes and cause problems in your case.  You should seriously consider at least consulting with an Immigration Attorney prior to filing anything with USCIS.

Please visit the marriage green card page on our website.  If you are considering filing a fiance visa then you should read our popular blog post: 10 things you should know about the fiance visa process.

Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Lawyer with almost 25 years of experience handling immigration cases.  His office handles cases in California, the United States and the World.  You can email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com or call him at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558.  He would be very happy to talk to you about your fiance visa case.

This blog post is for informational purposes only.  Laws can and do change.  Please do not rely on this blog post in lieu of a consultation with an immigration attorney.

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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!

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Fiance Visa Processing Time

Fiance Visa Processing Time

If you do everything correctly in your case and are not from a country which USCIS considers to be a high fraud area then the current wait time should be between 7 and 9 months.  Currently, most of our fiance visa cases are finishing in about 8 months. This article will break down the fiance visa processing time.

The above timeline assumes that you are filing a quality petition.  If you have mistakes, are missing evidence or have other problems  in your case then the case will take longer.

Here is a rough timeline:

The case is filed with USCIS.

You should receive the first Notice of Action within 30 days.  This lets you know that USCIS has received your packet and that they are working on the case.

You should receive your USCIS approval sometime in the next 5-7 months.  The case will then be sent to the National Visa Center.  The National Visa Center will assign your case a new Department of State case number and then forward your case to the American consulate which will be processing your case.

Your case will be at the consulate for the next 1-2 months until the interview.  The consulate will contact your Fiance and let her know what will need to be done.  This will include scheduling the interview, having her medical examination done, and obtaining other documents.

If the fiance visa is granted then approval will come within a week.

If you would like more information about the fiance visa process make sure to read our most popular blog post: Ten Things You Should Know About the Fiance Visa Process.

Lawrence Gruner is a Sacramento Immigration Lawyer with over 20 years of experience handling immigration cases.  His office handles cases in California, the United States and the World.  He would be happy to talk to you about your immigration case.  You can email him at attorneygruner@gmail.com or call him at 916-760-7270 or 888-801-6558.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

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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

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