Immigration Attorney: Serving Gig Harbor, Washington
At Morton McGoldrick, our Gig Harbor immigration attorneys are compassionate to the complex needs of clients looking for help in the unique world of immigration and naturalization. These needs are unique and challenging. The area of immigration law presents hurdles and obstacles that can be difficult to navigate and overcome.
There is always much at stake. Family structures and lifestyles are often at risk. Morton McGoldrick’s Gig Harbor immigration attorneys treat these special cases with the care and individual attention which is appreciated by our clients.
Morton McGoldrick clients work directly with an immigration attorney, rather than through a paralegal or legal assistant. Each case receives individual analysis and direction that garners outstanding results.
Below are some examples of the services Morton McGoldrick provides to our Gig Harbor immigration clients:
Marrying a foreign citizen brings unique challenges that include issues of legal status. American citizens anticipating a marriage with a foreign citizen may be eligible to petition for a fiancé visa, often referred to as a K-1 visa, on behalf of the fiancé.
Morton McGoldrick attorneys offer services to their Gig Harbor clients helping to clarify the confusing process and offering guidance and support. Morton McGoldrick attorneys assist clients in obtaining fiancé visas for loved ones located around the world.
There are certain conditions of eligibility with regard to applying for a fiancé visa:
- The individual petitioning for his or her fiancé must be a U.S. citizen;
- Both the petitioner and their fiancé must be eligible to marry. This means that they must be single, divorced or widowed.
- Both the petitioner and their fiancé must have met in person within the two years immediately before the date that the petition is filed with immigration;
- Both the petitioner and their fiancé must show that they have a genuine relationship and that they plan to marry within 90 days of the foreign citizen arriving into the United States.
Even if a person meets the eligibility conditions, there remain many stumbling blocks that can impact fiancé visas. However, Morton McGoldrick’s experienced immigration attorneys will anticipate and prepare for those challenges, avoiding lengthy delays and denials.
Marriage-based Permanent Resident Cards
Another common immigration involves obtaining permanent resident cards. Morton McGoldrick’s Gig Harbor attorneys are experienced in applying for permanent resident cards for their clients. If you are a United States citizen or a permanent resident holder and are already married to a foreign citizen, you may be eligible to petition for permanent resident status for your spouse.
In fact, marriage to a United States citizen is one of the easiest ways to obtain a permanent resident card. Unlike many other types of visas, there is no limit to the number of visas allocated to spouses of United States citizens. As such, there is no long wait before your spouse can obtain a permanent resident card.
Even though a permanent resident card may be more readily accessible to those eligible, the immigration department highly scrutinizes this process. Morton McGoldrick’s Gig Harbor attorneys are prepared to assist their immigration clients by formulating applications that anticipate issues and address them upfront and in detail.
The process of obtaining a permanent resident card for your spouse differs depending upon whether the sponsor is a United States citizen or a person with permanent resident status, whether the foreign citizen is situated inside or outside the United States, and whether the foreign spouse is in lawful or unlawful immigration status in the United States.
Morton McGoldrick attorneys work closely with their clients to address any potential obstacles and navigate through the complex procedures successfully.
Family Permanent Resident Cards
Often, our clients need assistance in completing family permanent resident applications. Morton McGoldrick Gig Harbor immigration attorneys are qualified to assist in preparing these applications for their clients. Many different family members may be eligible for permanent residency. United States citizens may be eligible to petition for a permanent resident card for parents, children, and brothers and sisters.
Additionally, those currently holding permanent resident status may be able to petition for their spouse and children. Sponsoring family members will require patience and persistence as there are limits to the numbers of visas that may be available at any given time. For parents of United States citizens, there are an unlimited number of visas available. Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys can assist with the applications to bring your parents to the United States, which can be accomplished fairly quickly.
Morton McGoldrick attorneys also handle applications to bring other family members to the United States; however, the process will involve waiting for their visa priority date to become available.
The waiting period depends upon the type of relative for whom the applicant is applying and where the family member lives. For example, if the applicant is a United States citizen who wishes to sponsor a brother or sister, the wait for a visa to become available can be anywhere from 12 years (for most countries) to 18 years (for Mexico) to 23 years (for the Philippines).
Although the wait times can be long, the earlier an applicant completes and files a petition for family members, the sooner those family members will be eligible to obtain permanent resident status. Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys provide complementary consultations to determine whether or not you can sponsor your family member and how long it is likely to take to obtain their permanent resident status.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Obtaining citizenship in the United States is a monumental achievement for many. Morton McGoldrick’s immigration attorneys understand that. They understand that the path to citizenship is often complex, and requires experienced guidance and advice. Morton McGoldrick attorneys assist their Gig Harbor immigration clients in many ways, providing the necessary experience to guide their clients through the process to citizenship.
Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys assist Gig Harbor clients with permanent residence status who wish to explore the possibility of becoming a legal United States citizen.
Those eligible to become a United States citizen typically meet the following conditions:
- You have had the status of a legal permanent resident for five years or more and meet all eligibility requirements;
- You have been a legal permanent resident for at least three years and you have obtained your permanent resident status by marriage to a United States citizen;
- Your child may qualify if you are a United States citizen under certain circumstances.
Citizenship also provides benefits and privileges. Morton McGoldrick attorneys can help their clients understand the benefits, including the following:
- You will have the right to vote in United States elections, both national and state elections;/
- You will no longer need to renew your permanent resident status;
- There is no danger of being deported from the United States, unless your citizenship or permanent resident status was obtained fraudulently;
- It will be easier for you to travel outside of the country and re-enter the United States. In many cases, you can travel to foreign countries without needing to obtain a visa.
Same Sex Couples and Immigration
On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, thereby removing the main obstacle to marriage for same sex couples. This ruling impacted immigration, allowing otherwise barred couples to seek legal status.
A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident can file an I-130 petition to sponsor his or her alien spouse. To obtain a permanent resident card based on a same-sex marriage, you must be legally married to your spouse.
The marriage may take place in the U.S. or in a foreign country; however, that foreign country must recognize same-sex marriages. If you can demonstrate that the legal marriage is based on a genuine, bona fide relationship, your alien spouse is eligible to obtain a permanent resident card.
Even if a same sex couple is not yet married, they may also be eligible to apply for a fiancé visas. The U.S. citizen member of the couple can file an I-129F for the alien fiancé which will permit the fiancé to enter the United States for the purposes of marrying the U.S. citizen.
As long as a marriage occurs within 90 days of entering the United States, the alien is then permitted to apply for a permanent resident card.
Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys offer complementary consultations to discuss your case and your options. For assistance in Gig Harbor call us at (253) 627-8131 and talk to an experienced immigration attorney today.