Archive for the ‘Green Card’ Category

Bringing a Fiance or Spouse to the USA [Infographic]

Posted on: November 19th, 2015 by RapidVisa Staff No Comments

We’ve designed this helpful infographic which is a flow chart depicting the path to citizenship available to fiances and spouses of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. We hope it’s helpful in simplifying the overall big picture of what you can expect.

Bringing a Fiance or Spouse to the USA

Green Card vs. Citizenship

Posted on: October 29th, 2015 by RapidVisa Staff 1 Comment

There are over 13 million immigrants in the U.S. who are lawful permanent residents, otherwise known as green card holders. According to DHS, approximately 8.7 million of those permanent residents are eligible to naturalize, or become a U.S. citizen. Of those eligible, only about 680,000 naturalize each year.

Many permanent residents are content with the benefits of simply remaining a green card holder. This post will go into some of the differences of being a green card holder vs. being a citizen. Perhaps it’s time to take the oath and take the plunge into U.S. citizenship.

Naturalization Ceremony Grand Canyon 20100923mq_0555

Let’s Compare the Green Card to Citizenship

Green Card

Citizenship

Leaving & Re-entering the United States

Can exit and re-enter without need for visa.Green card “abandoned” if out of the country for 180 days. Eligible for U.S. passport.Can leave the U.S. for long periods of time.

Legally Working in the United States

Eligible to work legally without need for sponsor.Not eligible to work in federal positions. Eligible to work legally without need for sponsor.Eligible to work in federal positions.

Running for Office

Not eligible to run for any office. Eligible to run for office (except for U.S. president).

Voting

Cannot vote. Can vote.

Deportation

Eligible for deportation if certain crimes are committed. Cannot be deported and has more plea bargain options.

Bring Foreign Loved Ones to the United States

Can petition for spouse or child for a visa.Cannot petition for other family members.Cannot petition for fiance.Petitioning for spouse or child takes 4 or 5 times longer than citizen. Can petition for spouse for a visa.Can petition for siblings and parents for a visa.Can petition for fiance visa.Children under 18 are automatically naturalized as citizens.Petitioning for relatives is much quicker.

Are you ready to take the plunge and naturalize?

Apart from the above benefits of citizenship, you will also enjoy a sense of patriotism and peace of mind that you’re finally home. No need to renew your green card, no need to bother with the immigration process. As a citizen, you’ve achieved the pinnacle of the U.S. immigration process. You can even retain your previous citizenship, as the U.S. allows dual citizenship.

If you’re ready to take the next step, you can begin your naturalization petition today for free.

What if We Don’t Marry Within 90 Days on a Fiancé Visa?

Posted on: July 13th, 2015 by RapidVisa Staff 12 Comments

The K1 visa is valid for 90 days from the time the alien enters the U.S. That means, you’re expected to fulfill the visa’s purpose of getting married within this time frame. But, what if you don’t?

This is a common question we get that can add a lot of stress to anyone’s situation. There are a few different circumstances you might find yourself in this situation. You could have gotten married later than the 90 day fiance visa period, or you may have changed your mind about marriage altogether, and you’re now months past the visa expiration date.

So… What happens?

Man sitting on a bench contemplating

1. We got married, but it was more than 90 days after entering the US.

The good news is that you are most likely able to still adjust your status in this scenario, if it’s within a reasonable amount of time, because you did enter the U.S. legally.

The bad news is that if you go over 90 days without marrying (ie. 90 days and 1 hour), you’ll have to submit form I-130 along with your adjustment of status. This will cost you an extra $420 in the form of the USCIS filing fee.

In addition to these, you may also need a new medical exam, and will be scrutinized by a consular officer about why you didn’t marry in time.

Try to avoid these “procrastination fees” and get married within your visa period.

Tip: If the date of the ceremony is an issue, consider getting married in court and having a nice reception at a later date. There is no reason to miss the 90 day deadline.

2. We decided not to get married because we simply had a change of heart.

Fair enough. This is not as uncommon as you might think. Hopefully, you will know this before the expiration, and can depart before the visa expires. Unfortunately, the alien will need to return to their country. If you go more than six months beyond the visa expiration, you may be banned from re-entering the U.S. for three to ten years. So it’s best to leave as soon as you know you’re not getting married. Unlawful presence in the U.S. can have life-changing ramifications.

Flow chart:

What if We Don’t Marry Within 90 Days on a K1 Visa?

What if We Don’t Marry Within 90 Days on a K1 Visa?

Should I Marry my British Fiance in the UK or the US?

Posted on: January 30th, 2015 by RapidVisa Staff No Comments

If you are reading this, chances are you are an American who fell in love with a Brit, or a Brit who fell in love with an American. This post will focus on couples who plan to get married and settle in the United States, and wish for the British citizen to obtain permanent residency in the US with a green card. If you are looking to settle in the UK, go here.

We will go over the pros and cons of each option, and try to give some insight to what to expect for each that will help you make the right decisions.

Option: Getting married in the UK, then immigrating to the US.

married couple in UKIf you want to get married in the UK, then return back to the US to settle, the US citizen will first need to obtain a Marriage Visitor Visa. It’s different than a UK Fiance Visa, which is intended for those settling in the UK. This visa is required to enter the UK with the intent to marry but not settle. You will need to make sure your marriage is legally recognized in order to make the second half of this process possible – The CR-1 Spousal Visa required for the British citizen to come to the US and settle.

Once the US citizen gets this visa, which usually takes around 2 to 4 weeks to obtain, he or she can travel to the UK, then get married. This visa allows the US citizen to spend no more than 6 months in the United Kingdom.

After marriage, you can immediately begin the UK citizen’s CR-1 Spousal Visa application. This generally takes between 6 and 7 months. During this time, the US citizen could stay in the UK for the duration of their visa, but there likely will be some time that the couple is apart. This is one of the hardest parts of this process, for family, emotional and financial reasons.

Big BenOnce the CR-1 is granted, the UK citizen can enter the Unite States, and receive the green card in two to three weeks. Once received, they can legally work in the US, and exit the US for trips. Generally, the next steps are removal of conditions and then naturalization.

What kinda costs are we looking at?

For this option, you can expect the following costs:

  • Marriage Visitor Visa application: (£83/≈$125)
  • Trip cost for US citizen to travel to the UK (cost varies)
  • Wedding in UK: (≈£18,244/≈$27,500 – based on UK average wedding)
  • CR-1 Spousal Visa process: ($1,680/≈£1,120 – includes government fees – based on RapidVisa’s low costs)
  • Trip cost for UK citizen to travel to the US (cost varies)

How long should we expect this to take?

  • Marriage Visitor Visa: 2 to 4 weeks
  • Wedding Period: (varies)
  • CR-1 Spousal Visa Process: 6-7 months

Things to consider:

  • Make sure everyone meets all the requirements for their respective visas.
  • Consider how much time apart you are willing to bear.
  • Make sure both citizens have their respective passports.
  • Plan ahead, because the process is already long, and lack of planning can prolong it.

Option: Getting married in the USA and settling there after marriage.

If you intend to marry before traveling to the States together…

Statue of LibertyOne option that many of our customers choose is to get a K-1 Fiance Visa, which allows the UK citizen to enter the US with the intent to marry, get married, then adjust status to a permanent resident. While this is usually the quickest option, it is by no means a breeze.

What kinda costs are we looking at?

For this option, you can expect the following costs:

How long should we expect this to take?

  • K-1 Fiance Visa: 5-6 month wait until able to enter US and marry.
  • Adjustment of Status: 5-6 month wait for green card (to be able to work and re-exit the US)

Things to consider:

  • The US sponsor must be able to support the UK citizen via income, assets, or joint sponsor.
  • Consider how much time apart you are willing to bear.
  • Keep in mind the UK citizen will be in the US for up to 6 months without the ability to work, until the green card is granted.
  • Plan ahead, because the process is already long, and lack of planning can prolong it.

If the UK citizen was present in the US without the intent to marry then decided to get married…

uscisIf a UK citizen were visiting the US, without the intent to marry, for example, on the visa waiver program, and decided to get married during their stay, they could simply adjust status and stay in the US as a permanent resident. If you attempt to adjust status like this even though you had the intention to marry, you may be in violation of law, and could face criminal action, including but not limited to deportation and permanent ban from the US. We highly urge you to avoid hardship and possible life-changing consequences by only choosing this method if you truly qualify.

What kinda costs are we looking at?

For this option, you can expect the following costs:

How long should we expect this to take?

  • Adjustment of Status: 5-6 month wait for green card (to be able to work and re-exit the US)

Things to consider:

  • If you try adjusting status on a tourist visa or visa waiver when you actually knew you were going to get married before you came, you will be in violation of US law and could be deported.

Click here to read testimonials of our UK customers

3 Lawyer’s Concerns About RapidVisa Debunked

Posted on: December 2nd, 2014 by RapidVisa Staff No Comments
3 Lawyer's Concerns About RapidVisa Debunked

Some attorneys are skeptical about our services.

There are a few different paths to get your family based immigration needs met. In fact, we made an infographic about just this comparison decision. One choice that people often unnecessarily opt for is hiring an ‘immigration attorney’. Attorneys are great, and have a very important role in society. In fact, we have our own. But, unless you have legal issues, such as convictions or need a waiver, they statistically are not likely to help your chances and highly likely to cost 5 to 10 times more than RapidVisa, and take significantly longer to process and review your petition.

We understand you have to do your homework. This is important. But don’t be taken advantage of. Do your research. Many of our customers first went to an attorney but after thousands of dollars and no results, contact us in the middle of the process and kick themselves for not using us sooner.

There are a few websites out there that are lead generators for lawyers, so of course, if you ask a question like “Should I use RapidVisa or should I use a lawyer?”, they’ll be biased. Often times they try to lump us in with scammy sites that illegally sell forms or don’t know what they’re doing.

We’ve gathered some comments from some of these lawyers, and paraphrased them to keep the commenters anonymous out of respect. 

Let’s debunk some of these concerns.

1. Is it really a legal matter? Usually not.

"You should never trust someone who is not an attorney to manage your legal matters. That's like trusting somebody who's not a doctor for medical issues."

Debunked:

Filing a visa petition is as much of a legal matter as getting your driver’s license. Do you hire a $3,000 attorney to apply for your driver’s license? The premise is pretentious and misleading. Petitioning for a family visa is not a legal matter, it’s a benefit request from your government. They don’t teach how to apply for visas or green cards in law school. Every lawyer who helps in these matters learned it on their own just like anyone else. That said, if you have legal issues that could complicate your situation, you definitely should get legal counsel.

RapidVisa does not offer legal advice or representation. Here’s what we do offer. Some lawyers have even accused us of unauthorized practice of law, or “UPL”. RapidVisa and its software has been investigated and cleared by both the Department of Homeland Security and the Colorado Supreme Court. We offer a service similar to TurboTax for visa applications. Here’s news coverage of our company being investigated and cleared by the Colorado Supreme Court.

2. Avoid super high denial rates?

"An attorney can significantly improve your chances for approval. Every year, approximately 40 to 60% of all fiancee visa petitions filed are not approved."

Debunked:

This is false. The overall K-1 visa approval rate is around 95% according to the actual NVC’s statistics. This is scare tactics. Of course everyone wants the best chance for approval but do you really want to hire someone who makes such a false statement? RapidVisa has an over 99% approval rate, which is a bit higher than the overall average. There is less than a 1% chance of a lawyer helping your odds better than RapidVisa.

3. Experience matters.

"As an attorney, we do dozens of cases a year and therefore are the most experienced option you can go with."

Debunked:

If your value proposition is that you are the most experienced because you have handled the most cases, then RapidVisa wins. We have over 15,000 approvals at over 99.7% approval rating. There probably isn’t an immigration attorney on Earth who will see that many cases in their lifetime. We have dozens of experienced representatives in 3 countries who help with these petitions every day.

Some attorneys take on all kinds of cases, immigration or not, and don’t get near the amount of experience on such a that we have. The typical local law firm might take on a few cases a year for a certain visa type. We help thousands of families, not dozens.

5 Reasons You Need Your Green Card

Posted on: October 16th, 2014 by RapidVisa Staff 4 Comments
Green Card

Permanent Resident Card (Specimen) 
Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve entered the country on a visa, or on visa waiver, and plan on spending building a life here with your family, you will need to adjust your status from a non-immigrant to an immigrant. When you adjust your status, you’ll receive your permanent residence card, otherwise known as the “green card“. Why is it even important to get your green card, you ask? Many reasons.

Here are the 5 that we think you’ll care most about:

  1. You can leave and enter the US at will without risk of being denied entry. Just imagine getting a call for a family emergency that requires you to fly home. You exit the US and upon your return, you’re denied entry and find out you have to apply for a spousal visa and wait outside the US 6 to 7 months. With your green card, you can come and go as you please.
  2. Permission to work in any company located in US territory regardless of job function, hours/week, etc. except for some companies that only hire US citizens. No need for employer sponsorship.
  3. Permission to start your own business. Is owning a business your American dream? With your green card, you can legally own an American business.
  4. Own property, cars, firearms and other items Americans can own.
  5. Social Security benefits are available to green card holders when they retire, if they worked for 10 years before retiring.

Don’t put off your AOS application until it’s too late. Login today and start the ball rolling. We’re here to help you along the way.

Get My Green Card Started!

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