Tag: marriage

Visas for Spouses

On August 23, 2011, in Immigration, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Visas for Spouses

American citizens have two means of bringing their foreign husbands or wives to the United States to live.  You may “sponsor” your spouse’s immigrant visa for entry to the United States. If you follow this process, your foreign spouse will complete the visa process completely outside the U.S., and then arrive in the United States and obtain permanent residency status immediately. You will need to submit an immigrant Petition for Alien Relative.  After the USCIS, the National Visa Center and the U.S. Embassy complete all the necessary administrative processing your spouse will be granted an immigrant visa. Your spouse will receive an IR1 or a CR1 visa.  An IR-1 (IR stands for “Immediate Relative”) visa allows your spouse to immigrate to the U.S. A CR1 Visa (CR stands for “Conditional Residency”) will be given to you if your marriage is less than 2 years old. It is conditional for two years.

You can also obtain a non-immigrant K-3 visa.  K3 visas are granted normally within a few months. You should use the K3 visa to start the process outside of the U.S. and then travel to the U.S. to complete the immigration process. Please note that in this case, the application must be made in the country where the marriage took place. If your marriage took place in the U.S., your spouse must apply for a K3 visa through the U.S. Embassy in the country of his/her residence. In addition, the applicant needs to have also filed a Petition for alien fiancé on his/her behalf.  Usually the USCIS requests a Petition for alien fiancé rather than a Petition for alien spouse. After the visa has been issued, the spouse can travel to the US.

To obtain either visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be legally married. Merely living together does not qualify a marriage for immigration.  Unmarried partners are ineligible to sponsor visas to the United States.
  • In most cases you must have a residence in the U.S. to apply.
  • You must be 18 years old before you can sign the Affidavit of Support, which is a form that will be required later in the process.

If you live outside the U.S.:

If you want to bring your foreign spouse to the U.S., but you are currently living outside the U.S., you must submit a visa petition to either your local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office or directly to the U.S. Embassy where your foreign spouse resides.  Once the visa petition is approved, the foreign-born spouse will receive a packet from the National Visa Center (NVC).  The packet informs your foreign spouse of the various documents which must be presented at the immigrant visa interview abroad (e.g., passport, police clearances, results of medical examinations, etc.). The packet includes certain documents requesting biographic data that must be completed, signed and forwarded to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Usually, the foreign-born spouse is interviewed and granted an immigrant visa within three to six months.  If you and your spouse are planning to remain outside the U.S. indefinitely, it is not recommended that you apply for a Green Card. The Green Card could be cancelled at the Port of Entry to the U.S. if you have spent more than six months outside of the US. The Immigration Officer at the Port of Entry will have to determine if the U.S. is your main home, so be prepared for a myriad of questions.

If you both already live in the US:

The U.S. citizen must submit a Petition for Alien Relative to the appropriate U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office to prove that the marriage is genuine.  The petitioner must also include in his package a plethora of biographical information which will determine his or her eligibility.   At the same time, the foreign-born spouse, assuming he or she entered the U.S. lawfully, should submit an application for adjustment of status.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (516) 858-2620 to speak to an Immigration attorney! The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC will be glad to be of assistance in any Immigration matters you may have.

Same Sex Marriage in New York

On June 29, 2011, in Family Law, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

Same Sex Marriage in New York

As I am sure you have all heard that New York has become the most recent state to allow same sex marriage (which was long overdue).  There may be some “old” concerns for “new” couples hoping to take advantage of the new law.  Issues of pre nuptial and post nuptial agreements need to be considered.  There will also be issues involving divorces and estate planning which need to be considered.  With all of the excitement that is surrounding the passing of this new same sex marriage bill, it may benefit those effected to take a step back and plan accordingly.  Pre nuptial agreements are an excellent way to protect assets and clarify the intentions of both spouses ahead of time (before the marriage) so that there are no surprises later.  Post nuptial agreements are a way for couples to draw a line and add stabilization to a wavering marriage.  Either way, with all of the excitement over the new same sex marriage bill, there are sure to be some questions on the horizon.  As always, if you have any questions about how to design a pre or post nuptial agreement to meet your specific needs, feel free to call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620!

News: New Temporary Maintenance Guidelines

On August 17, 2010, in Family Law, Message/News Board, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

New Temporary Maintenance Guidelines

Along with the no-fault divorce bill, Governor Paterson also signed bill A.10984/S.8390, which revises the process for setting awards of temporary maintenance while a divorce is pending. The following is excerpt from the bill:

“The duration of the temporary award under this measure would be determined by considering the length of the marriage.

The temporary maintenance guidelines would only result in an award when there is an income gap between the two parties such that the less-monied spouse’s income is less than two thirds of the more monied spouse’s income. For instance, if the payor’s annual income is $90,000 a year, the guidelines will only result in an award if the payee’s annual income is less than $60,000. The numerical guideline is only applied to the payor’s income up to $500,000 of
her/his income, with a set of factors to be applied by the court to determine any additional amount of temporary maintenance on the payor’s income above this $500,000 cap. The guidelines also include protections for individuals whose annual income is less than the self-support reserve (135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines –
currently $14,620/year).

GUIDELINE AMOUNT:
To determine the guideline amount, the court must
compare two calculations of the spouses’ annual incomes. For both of
these calculations, any income of the payor’s that exceeds $500,000
is not included.
* 30% of the payor’s income minus 20% of the payee’s income, OR
* 40% of the combined income of the two spouses. The payee’s income is
then subtracted from this figure.

The court must select the lesser of these two figures as the guideline amount. If the payor has an annual income exceeding $500,000, the judge may adjust the amount.

This proposal would provide consistency and predictability for temporary maintenance awards similar to the child support guidelines in the Child Support Standards Act. It would also help bring parties to the table and facilitate settlement of cases.

This measure does hot make any statutory change to the current law on determining final or post divorce maintenance awards; except for revising the statutory factors to better reflect divorcing couple’s life circumstances. The amount and duration of the final or post-divorce maintenance awards would still be determined based on a
list of statutory factors.”

Click here to read the maintenance bill

If you have any further questions about this new development in New York Law, please feel free to contact us today at (516) 858-2620.

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