Since the first comment to our blog came from a client who obtained her immigration status through marriage, it seems a fitting category to discuss. Generally, when a foreign national marries a United States citizen, that person can obtain permanent residence (otherwise known as green card) status through this process. If the foreign national is in the United States, the process is known as adjustment of status and if they are outside of the United States, they go through a process known as Consular Processing at the United States Consulate in their home country.
Since there is a great deal of fraud in these types of cases, we carefully screen potential clients to make as certain as possible that they are in a legitimate relationship for love as opposed to marrying a "friend" who is "helping them out". Since we have handled these cases for many years, we are able to advise our clients about the process with a great deal of experience and insight into what the United States Immigration Service is looking for. We first gather documentation and information from our clients and prepare all of the various applications and forms. We then assemble these completed forms and evidence into a package that is filed with the United States Immigration Service.
Once the case is filed, we provide our clients with the original receipts as well as information and suggestions on how to prepare for their upcoming interview. This is done so that proof of the validity of their marriage can be gathered over time rather than scrambling at the last minute. Before the interview, we meet to review the evidence and go through a dry run of the interview process. In most cases, we attend the interview with our clients to make certain that the process is smooth and that our clients obtain the benefits for which they’ve applied. The process can seem deceptively simple. It does not have to be complicated if one prepares properly. However, there are pitfalls along the way that an attorney looks out for from the beginning by knowing what questions to ask and how to best proceed. For each interview, the government allots a half hour time frame. Most of our cases are accomplished within 15 to 20 minutes because of the level of preparation that goes into each case prior to the day of the interview. We will post further discussion about this process in the future. In the meantime, those with questions may feel free to comment and we will elaborate on the process.