Same-Sex Immigration Lawyer
The United States offers several options for U.S. citizens who want to bring their foreign spouse to the United States, but when same-sex marriages are involved, the situation can become more complicated. While the U.S. Supreme Court’s federal marriage equality decision in 2013 (United States v. Windsor) ruled that same-sex marriages must be treated the same as heterosexual marriages for immigration purposes, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) must treat applications from same-sex couples the same as others, problems often arise. Same-sex marriages may be scrutinized more carefully to ensure that they are legitimate, and there are more opportunities to make mistakes that can result in denial of a visa application.
If you are in a same-sex relationship, you do not have to fight for a visa for your loved one on your own. The experienced same-sex immigration lawyers at Carman Fullerton in Kentucky can guide you through all steps of the visa application process and make sure everything is done properly to help ensure that your application will be successful and your loved one will be able to live and work in the United States.
Why Choose Our Same-Sex Visa Attorney?
When dealing with same-sex visa applications, you should seek an attorney who has the skills needed to make sure you meet necessary qualifications, expedite the visa process, and deal with problems and delays that may arise. Here are some reasons why we think Carman Fullerton is your best choice:
- We are experienced and know the ins and outs of immigration law and the legal system. Attorney Kirby J. Fullerton and Attorney Dan Carman have many years of experience representing clients involved in immigration cases, including for LGBTQ+ couples, and have worked with clients who have entered the United States both legally and illegally.
- We are bilingual. Our staff and attorneys speak Spanish and accommodate speakers of other languages as well.
- We are compassionate and do everything possible to make you feel safe, listened to and understood, even in difficult situations. Attorney Kirby Fullerton’s practice is focused on immigration law; he represents clients in cases before the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals.
- We are recognized in our field. Dan Carman is a member of various local and national Bar Associations and has previously been named in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers.
- We are local. With an office in Lexington, KY, our attorneys are well-positioned to provide engaged, personalized legal service for our communities.
- We are available 24/7 for client emergencies.
When you have our same-sex visa lawyers on your side, you will benefit from our knowledge, fluency in English, and legal education. Let us take the burden off you by handling all legal hurdles involved with the naturalization process and getting the visa you need for your loved one.
WE ARE DEDICATED TO PROVIDING THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF SERVICE
How Our Same-Sex Visa Attorney Works for You
We know how important it is for you and your partner to receive your visa as quickly as possible, so every person who works at Carman Fullerton— lawyers and support staff — shares our commitment to help our clients. When you have our team on your side, we will:
- Meet with you to evaluate your individual situation to make sure you are aware of your rights and determine which visa to apply for based on the constantly changing immigration laws.
- Help you gather and prepare all necessary documents, including proof of the marriage’s legitimacy, financial support, and other supporting evidence required by the government.
- Deal with any challenges. If there are legal challenges to the marriage, such as issues related to divorce, previous visa violations, or criminal records, we provide guidance as to how to handle them.
- Handle all communications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). We can communicate with USCIS on your behalf, ensuring that all inquiries are handled promptly and professionally and help with the appeals process or assist in applying for waivers if your application is denied.
- Provide legal protection and prevent delays. We will make sure you are not discriminated against during the application process and help prevent delays by ensuring that all paperwork is accurate, complete, and done in a timely manner.
- Help with adjustment of status. If your same-sex spouse is already in the U.S., we can help with the process of adjusting their immigration status to that of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).
Same-Sex Immigration Attorney Explains Types of Visas
Same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), along with their minor children, are eligible for the same immigration benefits and can apply for the same visas for their partners as opposite-sex spouses. The most common types of available visas include:
- Marriage-Based Visas (CR-1 and IR-1 Visas): These are for U.S. citizens who are married to a foreign national. IR-1 (Immediate Relative) visas provide immediate permanent resident status for your same-sex spouse upon entry into the U.S. CR-1 (Conditional Resident) visas are temporary and conditional. They must be converted to a permanent or IR-1 visa after two years of marriage
- Nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) – This is a nonimmigrant visa for a spouse who married a U.S. citizen. The application for this visa must be filed and the visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place. After the visa is issued, the spouse can travel to the United States to wait for the processing of the immigrant visa case. Upon approval of the petition, K-3 visa recipients may then apply to adjust their status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This visa requires two petitions Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, and Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F. Learn more.
- Fiancé(e) Visa (K-1 Visa): These visas allow foreign nationals who are engaged to a U.S. citizen to enter the U.S. for the purpose of getting married. To be eligible for a K-1 visa, you must be engaged to a U.S. citizen and plan to marry within 90 days of arriving in the U.S. and prove that you have met in person at least once within the two years prior to applying for the visa. After marriage, the foreign national can apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident.
- Spousal Visas for Non-Immigrant Workers: This is for foreign nationals who are in the U.S. on a non-immigrant work visa (such as H-1B, L-1, or O-1) and married to a U.S. citizen of the same sex. The spousal visa allows them to accompany their partner.
- Asylum or Refugee Status: Same-sex couples facing persecution in their home countries due to their sexual orientation can apply for asylum or refugee status in the U.S. They must go through a complicated process to prove persecution.
- Green Card through Employment: If one partner in a same-sex couple holds an employment-based immigrant visa or a green card, they may be able to sponsor their spouse for a dependent visa.
Your immigration attorney can help you decide which type of visa is right for you, based on your individual circumstances.
Lawyer for Same-Sex Visa Answers FAQS
Attempting to get a same-sex visa can be frustrating, and you are bound to have questions and concerns. Here are some answers to question our attorneys are often asked:
Can I get a visa for a same-sex partner if we are living together and not legally married?
No. In order to apply for a CR1 or IR1 visa, a foreign citizen must be legally married to a U.S. citizen, and not just be living together. Common-law marriages may be recognized on occasion, depending on the laws regarding common-law marriages in the country where the marriage took place
How do I prove my marriage was legitimate?
When filing form I-130, you will have to produce proof that your marriage is legitimate and there is an “ongoing” relationship. Some methods of proof are joint bank accounts, joint ownership of property, phone records showing ongoing communication, travel documents showing visits between spouses, receipts for money transfers to your spouse, and copies of wedding photos.
How long does it take to receive my same-sex CR1/IR1 Visa?
The time to receive your visa usually takes 8-10 months, depending on the details of the case and the country in which the foreign national spouse resides. Making mistakes such as returning incomplete forms, and inadequate or inaccurate information can make the process take much longer.
Are same-sex marriages recognized from every country and state?
Yes, USCIS recognizes same-sex marriages for immigration purposes from every country and state – as long as the marriage was legally valid there. This is the case even if you do not currently live in that country or state. However, since laws change constantly in the U.S. and throughout the world, have your immigration lawyer check for updates.
What if one of us was in a heterosexual marriage in the past?
If one or both of the partners has had a heterosexual marriage in the past, the USCIS will know about it, as you are required to list any and all previous marriages on your green card forms. While having a previous heterosexual marriage will not automatically raise red flags, expect questions about your opposite-sex marriage, prepare ahead of time, and answer honestly.
When you retain Carman Fullerton, we will always be there for you to answer your questions and address your concerns throughout the entire legal process.
Get Help from Our Same-Sex Visa Lawyers in Kentucky
Same-sex couples can face additional challenges when applying for a same-sex marriage visa or green card, so get help from an experienced Kentucky immigration lawyer who can gather necessary information, handle legal hurdles that arise, and make sure all forms are filed correctly and submitted with proper documentation.
The same-sex marriage attorneys at Carman Fullerton in Lexington, KY, provide skilled legal representation to deal with all issues that can come up during the visa application process. Your life, relationship, and your future are too important to risk. Call us today for an initial consultation to see how we can help.
Get Started Now Call 859-971-0060