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Louisville Immigration Law Blog

Immigration Services

Can my fiancé come live with me in the United States?

According to some in Kentucky, love knows no geographic bounds. It is not unusual for a U.S. citizen to fall in love with someone from another country and wish to marry them. Sometimes, though, the couple wants to get married in the United States. To do so, the fiancé of the U.S. citizen must have the proper visa to live in the United States before he or she can ultimately become a U.S. citizen.

The first step in bringing your foreign fiancé into the United States is to apply for and obtain a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. To do so, you and your fiancé must have plans to get married within 90 days of the fiancé arriving in the country. You and your fiancé must have a valid, bona fide intent to live together as a married couple. "Green Card marriages," in which a couple marries only so that the foreign spouse can obtain immigration benefits are not allowed.

U.S. Supreme Court issues ruling affecting deportation process

Is it lawful for the government to detain immigrants who have committed a crime without a bond hearing, even if the immigrant is in the country lawfully? And if so, when should the government be able to detain these individuals? These issues went before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Court's ruling could have a significant effect on some immigrants who are facing deportation and removal after having committed a crime.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling earlier in March that could affect immigrants in Kentucky and across the U.S. -- even those who arrived in the country legally. Under the ruling, if an immigrant has been convicted of a crime, the government is permitted to detain the immigrant at any point and without a bond hearing, even years after the immigrant has served his or her sentence.

U.S. Supreme Court issues ruling on deportation and removal

Should an immigrant who has been convicted of a crime and served their sentence be forced to face the possibility of deportation at any point following his or her release from incarceration? This question on deportation and removal was recently argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court issued a ruling recently permitting the U.S. government to detain immigrants who are to be deported at any time without bail, even if years have passed since they have completed their stay in prison after having been convicted of a crime, rather than just immediately once their prison sentence is concluded. This ruling is seen as a victory for the Trump administration.

Navigating complex family-based immigration law concerns

For Kentucky families who currently have some family members living in another country, reunification may be a very important goal. If you hope to bring some of your relatives to the safety and security of the United States or you hope to get your loved ones permission to enter or stay in the United States, it is helpful to understand the basics of family-based immigration visas. This can be a practical first step in helping you accomplish your goals.

There are two distinct types of family-based visas. The right one for your unique situation mostly depends on what family member hopes to reside in the country. The idea of walking through the visa application process may seem daunting to you, but you do not have to walk through it alone. Many people find it helpful to have legal guidance as they traverse the complexities of immigration law concerns and deal with potential setbacks.

Closure of USCIS field offices could affect family immigration

It is already known that there is a serious backlog in processing applications of those wishing to obtain visas that would allow them to reside in the U.S. and those seeking U.S. citizenship. Family immigration is important to many in Kentucky who have loved ones living abroad, as is permitting individuals to reside in the U.S. as refugees or as U.S. citizens. However, recently proposed changes by the federal government could further exasperate the current backlog of such cases.

The federal government is in preliminary discussions to close 23 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field offices in 20 countries. The services these offices offered would be delegated to the State Department and some cases will be delegated to U.S. embassies and consulates in other countries.

Court rules in favor of asylum seekers facing expedited removal

A federal appeals court issued a ruling recently that is good news for migrants residing in Kentucky and elsewhere in the United States who are seeking asylum. In the ruling, the court determined that asylum seekers who are facing "expedited removal" have the right to pursue a judicial review of this ruling, per the U.S. Constitution.

The expedited removal system was established in 1996 and is generally applicable to migrants who enter the U.S. without a visa or the necessary immigration documents. Under the expedited removal process, those seeking asylum have a brief interview with an asylum officer, who decides whether the migrant's fear of returning to his or her country of origin is "credible." If the officer believes the migrant's fear is not credible, there will be a perfunctory review before an officer of the Department of Justice. If the DOJ officer agrees that the migrant's fear is not credible, the migrant will face deportation and removal from the U.S. with no further legal hearings or other opportunities for appeal.

What happens if a person faces deportation and removal?

Sometimes an immigrant enters the United States unlawfully, violates their visa or commits a crime. When this happens, immigrants in Kentucky and elsewhere in the nation may face deportation and removal. It is important for our readers to have a basic overview of the deportation and removal processes in the U.S.

Individuals who enter the U.S. without valid travel documents may face deportation and expedited removal, meaning they won't have a hearing before an immigration court. If foreign nationals break the law, present a public safety threat or overstay their visa, they may also face deportation. However, they may be granted a hearing before an immigration judge.

Does the US government think your marriage is a fraud?

When you married a U.S. citizen, you likely had hopes for your future in Kentucky, perhaps including raising a family or maybe starting a business of your own after you and your spouse settle into your new lifestyle. Many immigrants say that although they're happy to have met the love of their life, they often live in fear, worried that a legal status problem is going to arise when they least expect it.

If your paperwork is in good order and you followed all required steps for entering the United States, chances are that things will be fine. However, if government officials suspect that you married your spouse simply as a means to try to beat the system and gain entry to the U.S., your future might include a Stokes interview, which can be a highly stressful experience. Understanding your rights and knowing where to seek support is key to obtaining a successful outcome.

Child born to same-sex couple has U.S. citizenship, judge rules

When a same-sex couple in Kentucky or elsewhere in the United States has children, it is not unusual for them to do so through surrogacy, in which one partner's biological material will be used to fertilize an egg that will be implanted in a surrogate who would become pregnant and ultimately give birth to the child. However, surrogacy becomes complicated when one partner is a U.S. citizen, while the other is not.

Take a recent case involving twins, in which the government argued that one twin born to a same-sex couple was a U.S. citizen, while the other twin was not. In this case, one father's genetic material was used to fertilize an egg, resulting in the birth of one of the twins, while the other father's genetic material was used to fertilize a second egg, resulting in the birth of the other twin. The fathers had married in Canada prior to the birth of the twins, and then moved to California. One father was a U.S. citizen, while the other was not.

Bill addresses limits on green cards for highly-skilled workers

Employers in Kentucky and across the United States often need highly-skilled workers to fulfill various roles within their organizations. These employers may want to expand their pool of applicants to include those who live abroad. However, migrants seeking U.S. permanent residency based on an employment-based visas face challenges in doing so.

Under current U.S. law, the amount of time a migrant must wait to obtain an employment-based visa is based on the migrant's country of birth. This is because there are per-country limits on how many employment-based visas will be issued each year. The Immigration and Nationality Act states that these per-country limits must amount to 7 percent of all visas based on family and employment-based preferences.

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