When Immigration Matters

US Immigration & Family Podcast

Posted by Michael Pollak on Mon, Sep 13, 2010 @ 1:10 PM
Attorney Karen-Lee Pollak answers the following questions about immigration:
  • What is the difference between a US Citizen and a legal permanent resident when it comes to immigration law?
  • If you are a US citizen, and have relatives in other countries that would like to come to the US, what is the process to make this happen?
  • What about if you are a legal permanent resident?
  • What is a K1 visa, K3 visa or B2 visa?
  • If a US citizen and a non-US citizen want to get married in the US, do they have to go through a marriage interview process? What can they expect?
ImmigrationPodcast KarenPollak sound bite

K-1 Fiancé Visa | Immigration | Don't Try to Scam the System

Posted by Karen Pollak on Tue, Aug 03, 2010 @ 5:51 PM

As immigration lawyers, we get a lot of questions about the requirements for a K-1 fiance visa.  Last year 227,000 foreign nationals obtained green cards through marriage -- more than any other category of applicant, according to the USCIS. 

K-1 fiance visaBecause the K-1 visa leads to immediate immigration, and eligibility for employment, in the United States, it is considered to be a high fraud visa category.  For these reasons, many couples with a foreign spouse say marriage is not the easy or automatic path to legal U.S. residency.  And, efforts are intensifying from the USCIS to uncover sham marriages through more thorough interviews and investigations.

A bona fide relationship is key in these investigations.  Once your visa petiton has been filed and your interview has been scheduled, a Consular officer reviews the documents that both the American petitioner and the foreign fiancĂ©(e) have submitted. The Consular officer looks for evidence to determine that a bona fide relationship exists. "We might ask about the number of bedrooms in their house, their dog's name or whether they even have a dog, what color toothbrush their spouse uses," said USCIS spokeswoman Chris Rhatigan of the agency's effort to uncover scams. "We'll also go to the address they give us to see that they actually live there."

Once the interview is finished the Consular officer can issue the visa, if he is convinced of a bona fide relationship that meets all legal requirements. The officer may also request that further evidence be submitted before making a decision. If the Consular officer does not think the relationship is bona fide or finds some legal impediment to issuing the visa, the petition will be returned to USCIS and recommended for revocation and no visa will be issued.

While the number of sham marriages is relatively small in comparison to the residency petitions filed by foreign spouses with the USCIS, the mere existence of fraud has adversely impacted the process for legitimate couples.  Interviews are under more scrutiny and wait times have increased.

US Citizen | How Do I Bring My Fiance to the United States?

Posted by Michael Pollak on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 @ 7:00 PM

This is the first video in a series created to answer frequently asked immigration questions. Thanks for your comments, questions, and suggestions regarding immigration topics.

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