California IR-1 Visa Lawyer
Working to receive U.S. citizenship takes time and the right opportunity. However, once that is done, there is no reason why someone should remain here alone. Like many immigrants who become citizens of the U.S., it becomes a question of whether their family, specifically a spouse, can immigrate to the U.S. too.
For those who are now U.S. citizens, their spouses can apply for an IR-1 visa to come to the states after receiving approval. It is similar and yet different from a CR-1 visa, where the IR-1 visa program is for married couples who have been legally married for more than two years.
Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law have helped many couples reunite when they attain an IR-1 visa. Couples should not have to remain separated when there is a chance that they can live together, even if that is in the United States. Our California I-R1 visa lawyers have years of combined experience assisting couples and navigating through the immigration process.
We will provide a confidential and no-obligation case review to discuss whether your case makes you and your spouse a good candidate for this immigration program. Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to schedule your appointment today.
How Can a California IR1 Visa Attorney Help Us?
Working with a legal team knowledgeable and experienced in the IR-1 visa program can guarantee instruction and guidance throughout the application process. You can expect that your legal team will:
- Provide guidance and legal advice
- Assist with the petition process (required of U.S. citizens claiming their spouses)
- Review documents to ensure accuracy
- Assist in the preparation of the interviewing process
- Be your front line when an issue or complication presents itself
Filing to Become a Petitioner
The U.S. citizen must be the one to petition for their spouse to come to the United States. Petitioners must start by filing Form I-130 online with the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. The petitioner must make sure that all fees are paid.
Unlike other spousal visa programs, applicants for an IR1 visa must have been married for at least two years. There are other visa programs available that couples can apply for if they have not been together for the time required. Speaking with an IR1 lawyer can help identify whether this program meets your criteria.
Declaring a Permanent Residence
Petitioners must show that they live and reside in the United States with a permanent address at which the petitioner plans to reside for the foreseeable future.
Understanding Requirements for an IR-1 Visa
Couples considered domestic partners are not considered legal spouses and, therefore, would not qualify for this visa program. Additionally, for cases of polygamy, only the first wife would qualify as a legal spouse.
The United States Government defines a spouse as a legally wedded husband or wife. However, some nuances come with this kind of visa, as the U.S. has imposed age restrictions on those who can sign specific documents. While generally, there is no age limit for a petitioner (U.S. citizen), there are restrictions on those eligible to sign an Affidavit of Support, which confirms the petitioner’s ability to support their spouse financially.
Same-Sex Marriages Are Acknowledged
Same-sex marriages are acknowledged in the United States, and spouses of the same sex will find they qualify for the same visa benefits as heterosexual couples. In addition, if they have children, they will qualify under the same program as children of opposite-sex couples.
Speaking with an IR-1 visa lawyer can help understand how to submit these applications and whether any additional documents or information is needed by immigration to complete an application.
When filing to become a petitioner for an immigrant to come to the U.S. with an IR-1 visa, it is essential to provide all required documents.
The United States Customs and Immigration Service requests the following:
- A valid passport — Passports must be valid for at least six months after the intended arrival date in the U.S.
- Complete and submit an Affidavit of Support.
- Complete and submit a Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application.
- Provide two 2×2 photographs that meet all photograph requirements
- Complete and submit any civil documents — Applicants can find the list of needed documents on the U.S. Department of State Website. Immigrants are expected to bring their original civil documents or certified copies. These documents include birth certificates and marriage licenses.
- Contact the local U.S. Embassy or consulate to confirm that they will not require translated copies of any needed documents.
- Completed Medical Examination Forms — A medical exam and required vaccinations are required before being approved for an IR-1 visa. An authorized panel physician will provide a completed form to submit as part of an application.
- Proof of vaccination — Department of State currently requires applicants to receive and provide proof of these vaccines
- Proof of payment of all relevant and applicable fees after submitting an online application
All applicants are advised that their local consular officer may ask for more information during a visa interview. Working through this process can become overwhelming when one needs help understanding all the needed documents. Connecting with the local embassy, consulate, and legal team can prevent miscommunications.
Attending a Visa Interview
As part of the application process for an IR-1 visa, all applicants must attend an in-person interview at their local U.S. embassy or consulate. Scheduled interviews are only granted to those that complete and submit all required documents. Applicants must have a valid email address to receive correspondence regarding their interview date. An applicant’s legal representative will be copied on all correspondence regarding their interview, documents, and more.
What About Bringing Children Over to Live With Me?
The process for children to come to the United States after being petitioned by their parents differs from bringing a spouse. California IR-1 visa lawyers understand that this is a different and separate process that applicants must handle with the same amount of attention to detail.
A child is defined as a person who meets one or more of the following criteria:
- Born in wedlock
- Born out of wedlock but recognized by a U.S. citizen
- A step-child, with the parents’ marriage occurring before their eighteenth birthday
- A child adopted before 16 years old under the custody of the petitioning family for at least two years
- A child conceived through Assisted Reproductive Technology (surrogate)
Children of U.S. citizens do not qualify for an IR-1 visa. Instead, children will enter the United States as U.S. citizens or as permanent residents depending on the status they are petitioned to receive. The U.S. citizen must submit a completed Form I-130 to petition for their relative, submit needed documentation, and pay any required fees. Petitioners must prove their relationship to their child and present valid documentation showing their legal status in the U.S.
Children can accompany their parents to the U.S. once Form I-130 is submitted for review and approval. Children will be granted a K-4 visa, giving them rights to enter and stay while their application is processed for their citizenship or permanent resident status.
Time to Reunite—Call Your California IR1 Visa Attorney Today
Immigrants who have worked to qualify for U.S. citizenship do not need to remain here without their spouses. The IR-1 visa can help bring one’s spouse to the States. Our California IR-1 visa attorneys have years of combined experience to help couples reunite when one becomes a U.S. Citizen. Don’t wait, and call us today.