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Marriage Visas

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Have you accidentally waived your homestead?


Have you accidentally waived your homestead? Check out this article: https://fraudlawyersflorida.com/2016/06/07/homestead-waiver-florida-homestead-can-be-waived-by-deed/

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Over 15,000 Readers Across 140 Countries – Miami Visa Help Blog Thanks You, Readers


Miami Visa Help by Miami International Attorneys has just reached over 15,000 views by readers in 140 countries. We thank our interested readership on this niche topic and are glad to continue providing free legal information to those who need it.

If you have any issues that you wish addressed, please contact Miami International Attorneys, P.L., at abernhard@miapl.com, 786-566-1969, www.miapl.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

DOMA and Gay Immigration


 

 

“A state may enforce and dissolve a couple’s marriage, but it cannot sanctify or bless it. For that, the pair must go next door.” – Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs, United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Windsor v. U.S.

 

Pro and anti-Proposition 8 protesters rally in...

Pro and anti-Proposition 8 protesters rally in front of the San Francisco City Hall as the California Supreme Court holds a session in the to determine the definition of marriage (Strauss v. Horton cases). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Many are heralding the Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA, Windsor v. U.S., as a watershed moment for same-sex couples seeking immigration benefits. Because the Windsor decision is so fresh, and because the decision may have striking implications for the gay immigrant community, MIA provides this tutorial of the Windsor decision to illuminate the background, meaning, and effect on same-sex immigration.

 

You may be asking the following questions:

 

What is DOMA?

 

What is same sex marriage law?

 

What is the law on gay marriage?

 

What are gay marriage rights?

 

What are arguments for gay marriage?

 

How does DOMA affect gay immigration?

 

This article is designed to provide a tutorial of the DOMA decision for same-sex couples hoping for federal immigration benefits.

 

 

 

 

 

What is DOMA?

 

In 1996, as some states began to consider same-sex marriage, Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”).

 

The entire DOMA is less than 350 words, and reads in pertinent part:

 

An Act to define and protect the institution of marriage.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

 

This Act may be cited as the “Defense of Marriage Act”.

 

SEC. 2. POWERS RESERVED TO THE STATES.

 

(a) In General. The United States Code is amended by adding the following:

 

No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such  relationship.”

 

SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE.

 

(a) In General. The United States Code is amended by adding at the following:  `

 

Definition of “marriage” and “spouse”: In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. Approved September 21, 1996.

 

 

 

As you can see, DOMA contains to operative sections. Section 2 allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages that occurred in other states. For example, where Canada, New York, Massachusetts, or Vermont may recognize same-sex marriage, North Dakota may not. If a same-sex couple gets married in Vermont, North Dakota does not have to recognize that marriage in North Dakota, under Section 2 of DOMA. Section 2 remains intact today.

 

Section 3 amends the Dictionary Act to provide a federal definition of “marriage” and “spouse.” This section 3 does not prohibit the states from making laws that recognize same-sex marriages or providing state benefits to same-sex couples. However, Section 3 does prohibit same-sex couples to collect federal benefits provided to couples. This is the part of DOMA that is no longer in effect.

 

 

 

Why does DOMA matter?

 

DOMA matters both in principle and in practicality. In principle, DOMA plays a role in the debate as to whether we, as a society, should recognize the legitimacy and propriety of homosexuality in general, and whether we, as a society, should treat gay individuals and couples as equals.

 

English: Another version of the same-sex marri...

English: Another version of the same-sex marriage map. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In practicality, DOMA either provides or removes federal government benefits to same-sex couples. Keep in mind the difference between state government benefits and federal government benefits.

 

For example, Florida provides these state benefits: Florida Food Assistance Program (food stamps), Florida KidCare (low-cost health insurance for kids), Florida Low-income Home Energy Assistance (home heating and cooling), Florida Medicaid, Florida unemployment pay, Florida home weatherization, etc. Florida, as a state, also provides a homestead protection to spouses, restraining a homeowner from selling or devising a house without the approval of his or her spouse, and providing property tax breaks. Under DOMA, Florida could make law to extend these benefits to spouses in same-sex couples, particularly the homestead exceptions.

 

Federal benefits are different, and include social security (surviving spouses receive federal social security and support), tax breaks (there are nearly 200 federal tax provisions that account for marital status, including for estate and retirement money), family and medical leave (guarantees leave from work to care for spouses), government employee benefits for spouses, COBRA health care coverage for former employees, and immigration (almost 75% of all green cards or immigrant visas issued are granted to family members of permanent residents). Under DOMA, the federal government could not extend any of these benefits to spouses in same-sex couples.

 

 

 

Before DOMA: Baker v. Nelson

 

The major case to come before the Supreme Court on the issue of gay marriage was Baker v. Nelson, back in 1972. In Baker, somebody challenged the legality of a Minnesota state law that denied a marriage license to a same-sex couple. The denied couple brought a lawsuit (an action) against the state of Minnesota, arguing that “the right to marry without regard to the sex of the parties is a fundamental right,” and “restricting marriage to only couples of the opposite sex is irrational and invidiously discriminatory.” The Supreme Court ruled that the use of the traditional (man and woman) definition of marriage by a state, in a state law, for that state’s own regulation of marriage status did not violate the United States Constitution. The distinctions between the Minnesota law in Baker and the federal law in DOMA are that (1) the government making the law is different (Minnesota state congress vs. U.S. federal congress); (2) the law works in different ways (Minnesota law precluded Minnesota government from issuing a same-sex marriage license, DOMA redefines the meaning of “spouse” and “marriage” for over 1,000 different federal laws on various issues, including all federal benefits); (3) the law effects a different number of people (Minnesota law effected only people living in Minnesota vs. DOMA effected the entire country); and (4) the laws were enacted at different times (Minnesota enacted before 1970 vs. DOMA enacted in 1996).

 

 

 

Marriage Day

Marriage Day (Photo credit: Fikra)

 

Before DOMA: Baehr v. Lewin (Baehr v. Miike)

 

Baehr was a lawsuit filed in 1990 in which three same-sex couples argued that Hawaii’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage violated the Hawaii state constitution. The couples applying to Hawaii’s Department of Health for a marriage license met all of Hawaii’s requirements to marry except that they were same-sex couples. Hawaii’s Attorney General advised the Hawaii Department of Health that only different-sex couples had a fundamental right to marry, and so the Hawaii Department of Health denied a marriage license to these same-sex couples. When the same-sex couples’ lawsuit reached the Hawaii Supreme Court, that court decided that denying a marriage license to same-sex couples was discrimination that required a strictly-scrutinized justification, meaning the Hawaii government had to prove that the discrimination furthered “compelling state interests and was narrowly drawn to avoid unnecessary abridgements of constitutional rights.”

 

The Baehr case had an enormous impact. Primarily, it scared many in the U.S. federal congress. While drafting DOMA, the U.S. federal congress said that DOMA was “a response to a very particular development in the State of Hawaii. The state courts in Hawaii appear to be on the verge of requiring that State to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The prospect of permitting homosexual couples to ‘marry’ in Hawaii threatens to have very real consequences both on federal law and on the laws (especially the marriage laws) of the various States.”

 

 

 

Why did the U.S. Congress enact DOMA in 1996?

 

One obvious justification is fear, as can be seen in the U.S. federal congress comments on the Baehr case, above. The U.S. Congress also provided several justifications for enacting DOMA to permanently define “marriage” and “spouse” to exclude same-sex couples on a federal, countrywide level. Those justifications were: (1) defending and nurturing the traditional institution of marriage; (2) promoting heterosexuality; (3) encouraging responsible procreation and childrearing; (4) preserving scarce government resources; and (5) defending traditional notions of morality.

 

Doma

Doma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Keep in mind that a New York federal court fully analyzed “every conceivable basis which might support [DOMA],” and found that these justifications were absolutely irrational. See Windsor v. U.S., 833 F.Supp. 2d 394, 403–06 (S.D. N.Y., June 6, 2012).

 

 

 

Who challenged the legality and constitutionality of DOMA?

 

Edie Windsor, an 84-year-old woman residing in the state of New York, challenged the constitutionality of DOMA. Her personal conflict with the provisions of the DOMA law came out of her relationship with another woman, Thea Spyer, who she met in 1963 in New York City. Windsor and Spyer began a committed relationship. They registered as domestic partners in New York in 1993, and married in Canada in 2007. Because of DOMA’s definition of “marriage” and “spouse,” Windsor and Spyer were not eligible for recognition as a married couple under U.S. federal law.

 

 

 

Why did Edie Windsor challenge DOMA?

 

When Windsor’s partner, Thea Spyer, died in 2009, Spyer left all of her possessions and money (her estate) to Windsor.

 

Often, recipients of an estate must pay federal taxes on the money that they inherit. However, if a couple is married and one spouse dies, the surviving spouse doesn’t have to pay taxes on the estate until he or she also dies. This is called the marital tax deduction under federal law. Of course, because Windsor and Spyer were not eligible for recognition as a married couple under U.S. federal law, Windsor could not claim this marital deduction under federal law.

 

Because Windsor was not eligible for a marital tax deduction under DOMA, she had to pay $363,053 in taxes to the U.S. government.

 

Marriage

Marriage (Photo credit: Lel4nd)

 

 

 

How did Edie Windsor challenge DOMA? – the 5th Amendment

 

Edie Windsor sued the United States of America for a refund of the taxes she paid. In order to get a refund, she argued that she was improperly denied recognition as “spouse” of Thea Spyer. In order to prove that she was improperly denied recognition, Windsor argued that DOMA was an invalid law. To prove that DOMA was invalid, Windsor said that it contradicted the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states:

 

English: United States Supreme Court building ...

English: United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., USA. Front facade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

 

U.S. Courts have interpreted the statement that “No person shall . . . be deprived of . . . property, without due process of law” to mean that all people should get equal protection under the laws. Thus, Windsor argued, the 5th Amendment requires that she and Spyer be given equal protection as all other married couples in the U.S. If DOMA did not recognize their marriage simply because they were both women, then DOMA did not give them the equal protection afforded to same-sex couples, as required by the 5th Amendment.

 

Said in the reverse order, Windsor argued:

 

Married couples normally get tax deductions > DOMA prohibits some married couples from getting tax deductions (i.e. discrimination) > prohibiting only some couples from tax deductions is unequal discrimination > the 5th Amendment requires equality > thus, DOMA is unenforceable under the 5th Amendment > DOMA cannot prohibit federal law from recognizing my marriage > I should have gotten a marital deduction > the U.S. government must pay back my $363,053 in taxes.

 

 

 

What did Windsor have to prove to win?

 

Windsor had to prove that the discrimination in DOMA was not substantially related to an important government objective. In other words, she had to show that the U.S. government did not have some important goal that it was trying to further that required discrimination against same-sex couples.

 

 

 

Why did the U.S. government say that discrimination of same-sex couples was necessary?

 

As discussed above, the U.S. governments argued that it was necessary to discriminate against same-sex couples for the following five reasons:

 

(1) to defend and nurture the traditional institution of marriage; (2) to promote heterosexuality; (3) to encourage responsible procreation and childrearing; (4) to preserve scarce government resources; and (5) to defend traditional notions of morality.

 

 

 

What did the U.S. Supreme Court say about Windsor’s arguments?

 

U.S. Supreme Court, 1998.

U.S. Supreme Court, 1998. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Court pointed out that:

 

(1) a government cannot punish the private, consensual sexual intimacy between two adult persons, as that is simply not the role of the U.S. government;

 

(2) the federal government rarely involved itself in legal issues regarding family, as family law is traditionally determined by the local governments;

 

(3) the discriminatory provisions of DOMA placed a stigma upon all people who had entered into same-sex marriages made lawful by the local governments;

 

(4) DOMA’s discrimination appeared to be a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group.

 

In conclusion, the U.S. Supreme Court stated: “DOMA seeks to injure the very class New York seeks to protect. By doing so it violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government.” Thus, DOMA is unconstitutional and unenforceable.

 

In essence, Windsor won, and the U.S. government had to repay Windsor the $363,053 in taxes.

 

"Lesbian" wedding mock-cake at the R...

“Lesbian” wedding mock-cake at the Roma Gay Pride in 2008. Picture by Stefano Bolognini, June 7 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

What does this mean for immigration?

 

Because DOMA is unenforceable, each state gets to determine whether it recognizes same-sex marriages. If a state recognizes the same-sex marriage, then the federal government must recognize that marriage as a valid marriage, and those spouses as entitled to federal benefits for married couples—including immigration benefits.

 

This means that if an American woman marries a woman from Mexico, the Mexican woman is eligible for a spouse’s derivative work visa or sponsorship for a marriage-based green card. A U.S. citizen can now marry his or her same-sex partner and apply for naturalization proceedings. A U.S. citizen may even marry his or her same-sex partner and petition for naturalization, even if they don’t live in a state that recognizes gay marriage.

 

The takeaway is that homosexuality as a particular social group providing for international and national protection is taking hold. The idea has taken root, and the seas are changing. It will now be more interesting to see how the Courts interpret asylum petitions based on sexual orientation as we move forward.

 

Until next time. Stay tuned.

 


Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

 

For more answers to your questions, contact abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

 

The RFE – Request for Evidence


What is the RFE and how should I react to the RFE?

During you visa application, a USCIS adjudication officer will review or visa application. If the adjudication officer feels that something is insufficient in the visa application, the officer may issue an RFE letter. This usually spells delays, but such delays can be overcome.

Common circumstances for issuance of an RFE letter are: unclear descriptions in your application, missing documents in your application, and out-of-date documents or information in your application. The officer may also wish for you to provide an affidavit swearing to the bona fide nature of a relationship at the foundation of your application, or simply evidence of eligibility, vaccination, or birth country.

  1. As one can see, making a complete and correct first application is the key to avoiding the RFE letter. However, should you receive an RFE letter and feel that you application was correct, please be aware that some RFE letters are issued by mistake. Even if you think your RFE was issued in error, you should treat the requests seriously and respond in full.
  2. Do not panic. Please also keep in mind that an RFE is better than an NID (Notice of Intent to Deny). The RFE often times just means that an officer needs clarification, while the NID generally means that you must perfect your application or likely face denial.
  3. Should you receive an RFE letter, please ensure that you respond within the time-frame indicated in the request. If you ignore the time limits, you run a high risk of having your application denied. If you receive a denial, you may have to appeal or move to reopen your denied case. Appeals cost more time and money, and may have limited success.
  4. Moreover, pay close attention to the instructions and explanation in the RFE. The USCIS may give precise information regarding how to overcome the deficiencies in your application. Before answering, review the requirements of the particular visa, and be sure that you are not only meeting such requirements, but making apparent that you meet such requirements. You should try to organize your answer for the reader, and keep in mind that the reader’s mindset is to not let you in if you do not meet all of the requirements.
  5. Finally, patience is paramount. With patience comes politeness, and most immigration lawyers agree that a polite answer to an RFE is the safest route. Further, taking the time to make a full and complete response to the RFE, rather than sending your response in pieces, should be far more effective to achieve a positive result from your application.

Most immigration attorneys will provide a consultation free or for a limited fee to discuss your case in more detail.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

President Obama and Former Governor Romney Clash on Immigration Reform During Debate


During the presidential debate last night, former governor and Republican candidate Mitt Romney battled with President Barack Obama on Obama’s current immigration policy and any plans Mr. Romney may have for the future.

Immigration

Immigration (Photo credit: lcars)

President Obama was particularly harsh on Romney regarding Romney’s professed position on

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the V...

Mitt Romney in 2007 in Washington, DC at the Values Voters conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

immigration. Romney had originally taken a very hardline against immigration, criticizing President Obama’s reprieves for immigrant families. During the debate last night, Romney attempted to soften his line. Yet, Romney still promised reform of current immigration laws, if Romney is elected. In fact, Romney promised swift action against immigration: “I’ll get it done. First year,” Romney said.

Romney also supported a theory of self-deportation, which involves immigration laws so harsh that aliens will voluntarily leave rather than face the punishment. Romney stated that “self-deportation says let people make their own choice. What I was saying is, we’re not going to round up 12 million people, undocumented illegals, and take them out of the nation. Instead, let people make their own choice.” Perhaps it was an unfortunate use of the word “round up,” but Romney stood his ground.

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Obama, taking the opposite side of immigration reform, stated that he supports citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Romney admitted that he does not support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

President Obama, a supporter of the DREAM Act, which promotes a pathway to citizenship for children brought into the U.S. at a young age, pointed out that Romney would veto the DREAM Act.

Romney also supported an Arizona law that required employers to use electronic federal verification to verify all of their workers. Kris Kobach, Romney’s key immigration adviser, is actually one of the authors of Arizona’s recent tough immigration laws.

How each candidate will pan out with immigrant and former alien voters will be seen soon enough.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

MIA

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Where do nonimmigrant visas get their names?


Have you wondered where the visas get their names?

It’s a rather trifling matter, but the alphabetization of the nonimmigrant visa classes can create anonymity and an impersonal tone to the entire visa application process right from the beginning. Knowing where the visa names come from, and the foundation of their meaning, can make them seem less unfamiliar and less intimidating. Less intimidation means more comfort and confidence, which in turns makes your immigration experience more enjoyable and successful (we hope).

US Immigration and Customs at Shannon Airport,...

US Immigration and Customs at Shannon Airport, Ireland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The root of the visa names is based on their placement in the INA Code (that’s INA for Immigration and Nationality Act, the major piece of U.S. law governing immigration in the U.S. – for more on the INA, see this article).

Welcome to Immigration 101

As with many pieces of legal code, the INA begins with a section 101, where all the major words used in the code are defined. Not surprisingly, this section is called “Definitions“.  Going from A to Z, Section 101(1) starts with “administrator”, and by 101(38), you’re at “United States”. Unfortunately, thereafter the alphabet is lost to later add-ons, such as the ever-extensive “aggravated felony” and the ironically forgotten “stowaway”.

Actuating Anonymity by Alliteration and Alphabetization of Areas

Logo of ICE

Logo of ICE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At Section 101(15), one comes to the meaning of “immigrant”, which is defined by what it is not, rather than that which it is. Pursuant to Section 101(15), the term “immigrant” means every alien except an alien who is within one of the following classes of nonimmigrant aliens: Ambassador, temporary Business or pleasure, Continuous transit, Deckhands and crewman, trEaty traders and investors, Foreign students, Government diplomat, Highly skilled workers, International exchange program people, Karat-laden fiancées, Long-term employees of foreign companies, Mixed studies vocational and nonacademic students, Non-separated families, extraOrdinarily able people, Photogs and athletes, Qultural exchange visitors, Religious visitors, Snitches, Trafficking victims, abUse victims, and permanent Visa families. Now obviously, some of the above alphabetization requires a stretch of the imagination. But the notion is there. A through V is the list of different ways you can be a temporary visitor of the U.S. under Section 101(15)’s definition of (non)immigration.

Ambassador,

Business or pleasure,

Continuous transit,

Deckhands and crewman,

trEaty traders and investors,

Foreign students,

Government diplomat,

Highly skilled workers,

International exchange program people,

Karat-laden fiancées,

Long-term employees of foreign companies,

Mixed studies vocational and nonacademic students,

Non-separated families,

extraOrdinarily able people,

Photogs and athletes,

Qultural exchange visitors,

Religious visitors,

Snitches,

Trafficking victims,

abUse victims, and

permanent Visa families.

Most of these apply to few people, and a few of these apply to almost everybody. We hope that our breakdown helps break down the wall of anonymity behind the nonimmigrant visa titles. Considering the alliteration employed, we have to imagine that even the drafters of the legislation hoped to bring a bit of personality to the code.

Best of luck.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Immigration Lawyer Miami

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

The Dreaded RFE; immigration shorthand for “Request for Evidence”


What is the RFE and how should I react to the RFE?

During you visa application, a USCIS adjudication officer will review or visa application. If the adjudication officer feels that something is insufficient in the visa application, the officer may issue an RFE letter. This usually spells delays, but such delays can be overcome.

Common circumstances for issuance of an RFE letter are: unclear descriptions in your application, missing documents in your application, and out-of-date documents or information in your application. The officer may also wish for you to provide an affidavit swearing to the bona fide nature of a relationship at the foundation of your application, or simply evidence of eligibility, vaccination, or birth country.

  1. As one can see, making a complete and correct first application is the key to avoiding the RFE letter. However, should you receive an RFE letter and feel that you application was correct, please be aware that some RFE letters are issued by mistake. Even if you think your RFE was issued in error, you should treat the requests seriously and respond in full.
  2. Do not panic. Please also keep in mind that an RFE is better than an NID (Notice of Intent to Deny). The RFE often times just means that an officer needs clarification, while the NID generally means that you must perfect your application or likely face denial.
  3. Should you receive an RFE letter, please ensure that you respond within the time-frame indicated in the request. If you ignore the time limits, you run a high risk of having your application denied. If you receive a denial, you may have to appeal or move to reopen your denied case. Appeals cost more time and money, and may have limited success.
  4. Moreover, pay close attention to the instructions and explanation in the RFE. The USCIS may give precise information regarding how to overcome the deficiencies in your application. Before answering, review the requirements of the particular visa, and be sure that you are not only meeting such requirements, but making apparent that you meet such requirements. You should try to organize your answer for the reader, and keep in mind that the reader’s mindset is to not let you in if you do not meet all of the requirements.
  5. Finally, patience is paramount. With patience comes politeness, and most immigration lawyers agree that a polite answer to an RFE is the safest route. Further, taking the time to make a full and complete response to the RFE, rather than sending your response in pieces, should be far more effective to achieve a positive result from your application.

Most immigration attorneys will provide a consultation free or for a limited fee to discuss your case in more detail.

Best of luck!
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.
abernhard@miapl.com
P.O. Box 191057
Miami Beach, FL 33119
Tel: 786-566-1969.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Nonimmigrant Visas, from A to Z


Superman likely first visited the U.S. with an O Visa… aliens with extraordinary abilities

The U.S. Nonimmigrant Visa, with 23 main categories (only 4 of which are limited in number), there’s something for everyone. The ticker at the gate shows the same. Some 40,000,000 (40 million!) nonimmigrants come to the U.S. each year.

The letter appellation of each visa reflects the code section of federal legislation providing for the same. Google CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 214 or INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) 101 to check it out.

Below is an alphabetical listing of the major visa categories:

A: career diplomats

B: temporary visitors for business and plaure

C: aliens in transit

D: crew members

E: treaty traders, investors, and temporary Australian workers

F: students

G: international organization representatives

H: temporary workers

I: foreign media representatives

J: exchange program visitors

K: fiancé(e)s or spouses (and their children) of U.S. citizens

L: intracompany transferees

M: students in non-academic institutions

N: parents and children of special immigrants

O: aliens with extraordinary abilities

P: entertainers and athletes

Q: cultural exchange program participants

R: religious workers

S: aliens coming to the U.S. to provide information for a criminal investigation

T: victims of human trafficking

TN: for NAFTA professionals

U: victims of domestic abuse or crime

V: spouses and children of permanent residents who filed an immigration petition more than 3 years ago.

IF you want more information, please contact your local Florida immigration lawyer at Miami International Attorneys, P.L. via email. Andrew John Bernhard, immigration lawyer Miami, is available at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com. Or go to the website at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Photo courtesy of http://www.watchingamerica.com/thenationpk000025.shtml.

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Coming to the U.S. for your Wedding – the K1 Wedding Visa


What wedding cannot be done in 90 days?…

I have been to several weddings, none which lasted longer than the weekend. Of course, my sister’s June wedding was booked in January. So, the 90 day time frame of the Wedding Visa – the K-1 – should be plenty to have all of the festivities, but may not be enough to do a round of site inspections and book your favorite locale. Such is the insensitive nature of the USCIS. But don’t worry, the K-1 is no K2, and once you get married, you can apply for a green card, after which you may have all the time in the world to tour the U.S.’s greatest spots (including Miami, of course).

There are no annual limits on K-1 Visas, and so it has been said that there are no long waiting periods. However, as the K-1 Visa petition approval takes up to seven months, the trusty USCIS has made sure that your romance is no weekend in Vegas fling. Maybe that’s not the worst thing…

Moreover, after the petition has been approved, it may take up to another 5 months! for the consulate to issue your K-1 Visa. In LA, that would be plenty of time to annul and sell the rights for a book deal.

There are a few other things to think of before going all in on the K-1 Visa Wedding.  If you’re not yet married and might prefer to have the wedding back in your home country, you should check out the K-3 Visa. If you do go with the K-1, make sure that you get your green card paperwork done on the honeymoon, as the Wedding visa cannot be renewed (same thing usually goes for the Wedding itself, so plan accordingly). The U.S. Citizen petitioners must also disclose their criminal records, which eliminates the couple pictured above as K-1 candidates.

On the good side, any unmarried kids under age 21 that the lucky couple have can come with for the ceremony (on the K-2 Visa), and the traveling future-spouse may either stay in the U.S. and apply for the green card or return home. That’s why the K-1 cannot help but reinvent the destination wedding.

If it still sounds like it might be for your wedding, start with the petition form, I-129F, available on the USCIS website, then take a peek at your nonimmigrant visa application forms DS-156, DS-156K, the DS-230 Registration Form, and the I-134 financial wherewithal form. Don’t forget to set up a medical exam and get your vaccinations updated.

Good luck!

-MIA

For more answers to your questions, contact MIA at abernhard@miamivisahelp.com or Miami International Attorneys at www.miamivisahelp.com.

Miami International Attorneys, P.L.

Visas – Info on Each Visa Available

Andrew John Bernhard, Esq.

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Welcome to MiamiVisaHelp.com’s law blog … discussing everything visa from the perspective of those that have a need, desire, or tendency to move from country to country for the purpose of work, survival, education, living, play, and everything in between. Please feel free to send Andrew John Bernhard, Esq. a message! We are always trying to enhance your experience, and help all of us movers, migrators, immigrants, ex-pats and travelers have an easier, happier, and more satisfying experience in the often confusing world of U.S. Immigration. Please feel free to visit our friends at USImmigrationMiami.wordpress.com and TheMitochondrialMigrator.wordpress.com to see more from similar minded people like yourself! Most of all…ENJOY! - Andrew John Bernhard, Esq.

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