Winning Your Family Immigration Petition

The U.S. Immigration system was initially founded on the principles of family unity. Early immigrants came to America because they were related to someone in the U.S. Hence, the American immigration system values family relationships and it is constructed on the premise that family members should be united together as soon as possible. For that reason, Congress fashioned an immigration classification structure which gives higher preference and, therefore, faster ability to obtain permanent residence for certain relatives.

Filing a family petition on behalf of a loved one is a special time for the petitioning citizen or permanent resident as well as for the family member beneficiary. Often times it is an opportunity for the beneficiary to realize her American dream. However, the immigration process requires the foreign national and the U.S. Citizen or permanent resident relatives to petition the U.S. government--a process which could cause a certain amount of apprehension. Winning your family petition requires that the petitioner and beneficiary anticipate the issues and complexities that could arise in the case. What seemingly may appear as an irrelevant matter could bear greatly on the conclusion of the case.

The attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates are experienced in all matters pertaining to U.S. family immigration. Whatever your case may be, our attorneys are always prepared to take the time to listen to your concerns and suggest effective strategies to overcome any issues your case might have. Only candid discussions with your attorneys regarding the concerns at hand will lead to early planning for solutions. Therefore, we encourage you to be detailed and organized about the concerns so that our experienced attorneys can immediately discuss successful countermeasures.

Documenting True Intentions & Facts

Since the family immigration preference system is of great importance, the U.S. government places closer scrutiny on petitions filed on the basis of family relationships. It is, therefore, extremely important to exercise caution in presenting facts and supporting documentation bearing on the outcome of your case. Any misrepresentation, though unintentional, could lead to serious complications. For instance, a visitor who marries a U.S. Citizen within 30 days of his most recent admission could be presumed to have procured a fraudulent entry into the U.S. by misrepresenting his true intentions to U.S. officials. Unless the foreign national can provide clear evidence of changed circumstances after entry, the law presumes that such marriage is indicative of the visitor's false pretenses at the time of entry, thereby hiding his true immigrant intent while presenting himself to U.S. officials as a temporary visitor for business or pleasure. Such accusation could cause denial of the application for permanent residence. The competent attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates have successfully represented numerous clients in these situations. If you have entered the U.S. as a visitor and wish to apply for permanent residence by virtue of your relationship to a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident, contact us to discuss whether your situation warrants the showing of "changed circumstances." Our attorneys represent clients nationwide and can represent you before the USCIS no matter where you reside.

Proving Legality of the Family Relationship

Winning your family petition requires an understanding of the potential pitfalls that might be discovered in the process. For instance, the USCIS might request proof that proper family relationship, in fact, legally exists. In the case of spouses, for instance, a question may become as to whether any prior marriage had legally existed and whether they were properly terminated. If either one of the spouses had cohabited with another person in a jurisdiction that recognizes common law or tribal marriages, the law may be as such that the prior relationship was a true "marriage" which had not been terminated. As a result, the current marriage may not be recognized in the jurisdiction where it was solemnized, thus leading to immigration complications. Furthermore, some cultures and foreign countries accept and allow proxy marriages and/or proxy divorces which, depending on the particular situation, may not be recognized in the U.S. Hence, if you have a situation involving a proxy marriage or divorce or if you have been a party to a previous marriage (or a relationship which could rise to the status of a marriage in that jurisdiction) which was not properly terminated, it is crucial to discuss those matters with your attorney at the outset. The timing of filing the petition depends on whether or not your case is approvable at the time of submission. Hence, your attorneys may discuss delaying the filing of your petition slightly to accommodate for legally terminating any previous marriage and correcting any such prior situations so that your immigration experience becomes a success story.

In other cases, the USCIS may request the petitioner to prove parentage to certain claimed children due to family history complications. Parentage can now be established with a high degree of medical certain through DNA laboratory testing. If you believe doubt exists relative to your parentage to any children that you wish to sponsor in family immigration, contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. We have experience dealing with complex family immigration law issues and have successfully solved similar problems.

Certain cultures have different rules regarding adoptions. In order for a family petition based on adoption to be successful, certain rigorous rules apply about establishing the existence of a valid adoption. Our firm has represented clients in adoption matters and will be happy to discuss your adoption case.

Your preference category depends on whether you can be classified as an "unmarried son or daughter." If you had previously been married and now divorced and seek to be qualified as an "unmarried son or daughter," there are rules that could protect you. Such rules may not be readily understood by the USCIS officers and could require the assistance of a competent immigration lawyer to clearly explain to the government how they should interpret the law and regulations. Our experienced lawyers are innovative and have often spent the additional time and effort not only to carefully research the law to find the most favorable argument on our clients' behalf but also take the extra time to explain to the government how the law should be applied. We represent clients from coast to coast and can represent you wherever you are located.

Proving the Good Faith Worthiness of a Marriage

If your petition is based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, the law requires you to establish that your marriage was entered into in good faith and not solely to gain immigration benefits. In other words, you must show that this marriage was entered into in good faith. However, newlyweds have a hard time establishing that their relationship is in fact genuine due to a young relationship and marriage. Our experienced lawyers clearly understand this dilemma. We therefore meet early in the process and create a plan to make certain that the couple compile as much evidence proving that their relationship is in good faith. Such plan would include documentary proof divided into four tiers, from most important to least important. This early process assures that the couple knows ahead of time what to expect at the time of the interview.

How to Contact US:

If you have a question regarding your family case, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. Our experienced immigration lawyers are versed in many areas of family immigrations and have handled thousands of cases involving immigration and visa matters. Contact us for a consultation. We represent clients nationwide and have offices in Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio, Southfield, Michigan, and Washington, D.C.

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