At Morton McGoldrick, we are compassionate to the unique needs of clients looking for help in the complex world of immigration and naturalization. More than ever, the area of immigration law presents challenges and obstacles that can be difficult to navigate. Family structures and lifestyles are often at risk through immigration law.
Morton McGoldrick’s team of immigration attorneys treats these special cases with the extra care and individual attention that our clients truly appreciate. Morton McGoldrick clients work directly with an immigration attorney, rather than through a paralegal or legal assistant. Each case receives specialized analysis and direction that garners results.
- Fiancé Visas
- Marriage-based Permanent Resident Cards
- Family Permanent Resident Cards
- Naturalization and Citizenship
- Same Sex Couples and Immigration
American citizens anticipating a marriage with a foreign citizen may be eligible to petition for a fiancé visa, also referred to as a K-1 visa, on behalf of the fiancé. Morton McGoldrick attorneys offer services to their Tacoma and Pierce County clients that clarify the confusing process and offer guidance and support.
Morton McGoldrick attorneys assist clients in obtaining fiancé visas for loved ones located around the world. To be eligible to apply for a fiancé visa, you must meet the following conditions:
- The person petitioning for their fiancé must be a U.S. citizen;
- Both the petitioner and their fiancé must be eligible to marry. This means that they must be single, divorced or widowed.
- Both the petitioner and their fiancé must have met in person within the two years immediately before the date that the petition is filed with immigration;
- Both the petitioner and their fiancé must show that they have a genuine relationship and that they plan to marry within 90 days of the foreign citizen arriving into the United States.
There are numerous stumbling blocks that can adversely impact fiancé visas; however, Morton McGoldrick’s experienced immigration attorneys can anticipate and prepare for those challenges, avoiding lengthy delays and denials.
Marriage-based Permanent Resident Cards
Morton McGoldrick attorneys are experienced in applying for permanent resident cards for their Tacoma and Pierce County clients. If you are a United States citizen or a permanent resident holder and are already married to a foreign citizen, you may be eligible to petition for permanent resident status for your spouse. In fact, marriage to a United States citizen is one of the easiest ways to obtain a permanent resident card.
Unlike many other visas, there is no limitation to the number of visas allocated to spouses of United States citizens, which means that no long wait is required before your spouse can obtain a permanent resident card. Although a permanent resident card may be more readily accessible to those eligible, the process is highly scrutinized by the immigration department.
Morton McGoldrick’s attorneys are prepared to assist their Tacoma and Pierce County immigration clients by formulating applications that anticipate issues and address them upfront and in detail. The process of obtaining a permanent resident card for your spouse differs depending upon whether the sponsor is a United States citizen or a person with permanent resident status, whether the foreign citizen is situated inside or outside the United States, and whether the foreign spouse is in lawful or unlawful immigration status in the United States.
Morton McGoldrick attorneys work closely with their clients to address any potential obstacles and navigate through the complex procedures successfully.
Family Permanent Resident Cards
Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys also handle family permanent resident applications. United States citizens may be eligible to petition for a permanent resident card for parents, children, and brothers and sisters. If you have permanent resident status you may be able to petition for your spouse and children.
Unfortunately, sponsoring your family members may require patience and persistence as there are limits to the number of visas that may be available. There is an unlimited number of visas available to parents of United States citizens. Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys can assist with the applications to bring your parents to the United States, which can be accomplished fairly quickly.
Morton McGoldrick attorneys also handle applications to bring other family members to the United States; however, the process will involve waiting for their visa priority date to become available. The waiting period depends upon the type of relative for whom the applicant is applying and where the family member lives. For example, if the applicant is a United States citizen who wishes to sponsor a brother or sister, the wait for a visa to become available can be anywhere from 12 years (for most countries) to 18 years (for Mexico) to 23 years (for the Philippines).
Although the wait times can be long, the earlier an applicant completes and files a petition for family members, the sooner those family members will be eligible to obtain permanent resident status. Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys provide complimentary consultations to determine whether or not you can sponsor your family member and how long it is likely to take to obtain their permanent resident status.
Naturalization and Citizenship
Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys understand that, for many clients, gaining their United States citizenship brings a sense of pride and purpose and is an important life milestone. The path to citizenship can be complex and requires experienced guidance and advice.
Morton McGoldrick attorneys have the necessary experience to guide their clients through the process to citizenship. Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys assist Tacoma and Pierce County clients with permanent residence status who wish to explore the possibility of becoming a legal United States citizen. Those eligible to become a United States citizen typically meet the following conditions:
- You have been a legal permanent resident for five years or more and meet all eligibility requirements;
- You have been a legal permanent resident for at least three years and obtained your permanent resident status by marriage to a United States citizen;
- Your child may qualify if you are a United States citizen under certain circumstances.
Morton McGoldrick attorneys can help clients understand the benefits to obtaining United States citizenship, including the following:
- You will have the right to vote in United States elections, both national and state elections;
- You will no longer need to renew your permanent resident status;
- There is no danger of being deported from the United States, unless your citizenship or permanent resident status was obtained fraudulently;
- It will be easier for you to travel outside of the country and re-enter the United States. In many cases, you can travel to foreign countries without needing to obtain a visa.
Same-Sex Couples and Immigration
The United States Supreme Court ruled on June 26, 2013 that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. As a result, immigration benefits in the United States are available for the first time for same-sex couples.
A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident can file an I-130 petition to sponsor his or her alien spouse. To obtain a permanent resident card based on a same-sex marriage, you must be legally married to your spouse. The marriage may take place in the U.S. or in a foreign country, provided that the foreign country recognizes same-sex marriages. If you can demonstrate that the legal marriage is based on a genuine, bona fide relationship, your alien spouse is eligible to obtain a permanent resident card.
Same-sex couples who are not yet married are also eligible to apply for a fiancé visa. The U.S. citizen can file an I-129F for the alien fiancé which will permit the fiancé to enter the country for the purposes of marrying the U.S. citizen. As long as a marriage occurs within 90 days of entering the U.S., the alien is then permitted to apply for a permanent resident card.
Morton McGoldrick immigration attorneys offer complimentary consultations to discuss your case and your options. For assistance in Tacoma and throughout Pierce County call us at (253) 627-8131 and talk to an experienced immigration attorney today.
OUR LAWYER SPECIALIZING IN IMMIGRATION LAW IS HERE TO GUIDE YOU