Immigration Help For Same-Sex Couples

Same-sex couples have been fighting for equal immigration treatment for many years. Despite being married in a state which legally recognizes same-sex couples, bi-national individuals have still been threatened with deportation in the past. If you are hoping to bring your partner to live with you in the U.S. but you are worried the immigration process might be too challenging for same-sex couples, relying on the help of a knowledgeable attorney could be beneficial. 

Here are three types of immigration help available for same-sex couples.

1. K-1 Fiancé Visa

With the repeal of DOMA in 2013, same-sex couples are now eligible to file for a K-1 fiancé visa if one partner is a legal resident of the United States. The fiancé visa is designed to allow partners who intend to marry to reside in the United States prior to the marriage taking place in order to finalize plans and prepare for their union. 

In order to qualify for the K-1 fiancé visa, you must intend to legally marry your partner within 90 days of their entry into the United States. Be sure to ask your immigration attorney about any special challenges you might face as a same-sex couple in getting your fiancé visa request approved.

2. K-3 Nonimmigrant Spouse Visa

If you are legally married to an individual who is a permanent resident of a country outside the U.S., you might want to consider filing a K-3 nonimmigrant spouse visa application. An immigration attorney can help you determine if filing a K-3 application for your same-sex partner will reduce the amount of time you must be physically separated while your spouse awaits authorization of his or her immigrant visa granting the right to live in the United States.

A K-3 visa makes it possible for you to bring your loved one into the United States legally so you can live together until the permanent resident visa you filed on their behalf is approved.

3. Provisional Waivers

If your same-sex partner is living in the United States illegally, you may be able to file for a waiver that will prevent deportation while you complete the paperwork necessary to establish permanent immigrant status. An attorney specializing in same-sex immigration law can help you file an I-601A form. 

This form allows your partner to remain inside the United States while seeking immigrant status, rather than having to leave the country to re-enter from their home country (a process that could require you to be separated from your partner for 10 months or more).

Having the help of an attorney with experience representing same-sex couples in immigration matters will help ensure that your foreign partner is able to reside with you in the United States legally. Contact a lawyer from a company like Carmen DiAmore-Siah Attorney At Law for immigration help for your partner.

Faqs About Voluntary Deportation

When it is determined that you do not have a legal right to remain in the United States, you must be deported. Contrary to popular belief, not all non-citizens are involuntarily deported. You can opt to leave the country voluntarily, which could prove beneficial to you in the long run. If you have been notified you must leave the country, here is what you need to know. 

What Is Voluntary Deportation?

A voluntary deportation is essentially you leaving the country on your own at your own expense. As a result of voluntarily leaving, you avoid many of the consequences that come with being involuntarily removed from the country. 

Voluntary deportation is a process and there are steps you must follow before you leave. If you fail to take the right steps, you could have trouble regaining entry into the country at a later time. 

What Steps Must You Follow?

In order to qualify for voluntary deportation, you must formally request it. You have three chances to request it before the government takes the step of removing you. Your first opportunity is when you receive notice that a removal hearing has been scheduled for you. 

If you choose to go at that point, you need to contact the Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, and complete the proper documentation. Once the documentation is approved, you will receive a date by which you must leave. You need to provide the DHS with a copy of your traveling plans before that date. 

Your second and third opportunity to leave come at the removal hearing. You can opt to request voluntary deportation at the beginning and conclusion of the hearing. Your request can be made to the judge presiding over the hearing. 

It is important to note that if you wait until the conclusion of the hearing and the judge ruled that you were to be deported, your request for voluntary deportation might not be approved. At that point, the court has already ruled that you must leave. However, it is possible the judge will allow you to leave on your own. 

Why Is Voluntary Deportation Beneficial?

Voluntarily leaving the country helps you to avoid a ban. Some non-citizens who are found to be in the country illegally are banned from re-entering the country for periods of time. If you voluntarily leave, there is a good chance you can start the process to re-enter the country legally as soon as you get home. 

It also looks better on your application that you chose to leave rather than being forced to leave. 

If you are unsure whether or not voluntary deportation is right for you, consult with an immigration attorney like those at the David Borts Law Office. He or she can help you decide and start the process. 

Obtaining An ITIN For A Nonresident Alien Spouse

The income tax filing requirements for immigrants are dependent on individual residency status. The requirements for a permanent resident are different from those for a nonresident alien. To file a joint income tax return, a nonresident alien married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident must have an individual taxpayer identification number.

Permanent resident aliens already have a Social Security number. A nonresident alien is an alien whose residency status in the U.S. is not permanent. Nonresident aliens are not eligible to receive Social Security numbers, so you must obtain an ITIN to file an income tax return.

A U.S. citizen or permanent resident married to a nonresident alien may file a joint return if they are married as of the last day of the tax year. The first year of filing jointly becomes more complex if the nonresident alien doesn’t already have an ITIN.

An application for an ITIN is made on IRS Form W-7, and it must be filed with your first income tax return that needs the number. Supporting documentation is also required to authenticate the information on the ITIN application. There are three methods available to submit the ITIN application and your tax return, along with the supporting documents.

U.S. Mail

Form W-7 can be mailed with your joint tax return to a specially designated IRS address. To receive approval of the ITIN application, original copies of specified supporting documents must be submitted with the application. The original copies will be mailed back to you. There are alternate methods that don’t entail the mailing of original copies of important documents.

IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers

Instead of mailing the items, you can take your tax return and the ITIN application to an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center, along with the necessary supporting documents. After the supporting documents are authenticated, they are returned to you immediately. Your tax return and the ITIN application are then forwarded to the IRS location that processes ITIN applications.

Acceptance agents

The IRS authorizes certain individuals and firms to act as agents for the purpose of authenticating supporting documents for ITIN applications. Some attorneys and accountants are acceptance agents. After authentication, the agent returns your supporting documents to you. The agent then forwards your income tax return and ITIN application to the IRS.

After approval, the IRS sends you a notification letter containing the newly issued ITIN. An ITIN is for tax reporting purposes and has no legal effect on your immigration status. Contact an immigration attorney from a firm like Tesoroni & Leroy for more information about obtaining an ITIN for your income tax return.