Immigration lawyers may be able to assist you in bringing your family to the United States. Do you and your spouse wish to adopt a child from outside of the US? Are you a legal resident of the US and wish for your family to join you? Are you engaged to marry a non-citizen and wish to secure his or her place in America alongside you? Whatever your family immigration needs, experienced family immigration lawyers may be able to help you and the ones you love to reunite or to unite for the first time.
There are many laws and regulations regarding family immigration, and every case is different. The paperwork and bureaucracy can be overwhelming for those not well versed in this area of law. For this reason it is often recommend to enlist the assistance of a trustworthy immigration lawyer.
Residency/Citizenship Through Adoption:
For your child to have been properly adopted, you are expected to assure that each of these requirements has been fulfilled:
- The child was under sixteen years of age at the start of the adoption proceedings.
- The adoptive parents have had custody — both legal and physical — of the child for at least 2 years.
Once the adoption requirements have been fulfilled, typically, the child will automatically become an American citizen. However, each of these must be true for the child to be a citizen:
- The child is under 18
- At least one adoptive parent is an American citizen, whether through birth or naturalization.
- The child is a legal permanent resident of The United States.
If you or your spouse is an American citizen and wish for your adopted child to have American citizenship even though you live together outside of the United States, your child may still be eligible. This will require a trip to the United States. Adoption immigration lawyers may be able to assist you through this process.
Residency/Citizenship Through Marriage:
If you are a non-citizen and intend to marry an American citizen, or vise versa, you or your spouse will not be eligible for citizenship immediately. The non-citizen spouse will, however, be eligible for a green card which is the first step on the path towards becoming a United States citizen. Experienced citizenship lawyers can assist you through this process.
Without marriage to a citizen, naturalization (the process of becoming a citizen) can begin after having a green card for five years. When married to a citizen, however, the non-citizen spouse may begin naturalization after only three years. However, foreign nationals with certain past behaviors (including certain criminal charges) may not be eligible. If the non-citizen resides outside of the US, the process begins once the citizen spouse submits a visa petition to The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form requires evidence of the marriage, and must contain proof that the marriage is legitimate, and not just done for the acquirement of a green card.
Residency/Citizenship Through Family:
This is arguably the most complicated way to acquire citizenship. It can be hard to determine which of your family members are eligible for a green card and eventually citizenship, and your status (as either a permanent legal resident or a citizen) is also relevant. Eligibility may also be dependent on the age and marital status of the green card seeker. For more information on citizenship through family, call a reputable immigration lawyer for a case evaluation.
Immigration lawyers may be able to help your adopted child, your soon-to-be spouse, or other family members, acquire green cards and if qualified, start their paths to becoming American citizens. If you have family that you want to bring to the United States, immigration lawyers may be able to help you.