Florida residents may be interested in immigration visa requirements for family members. Family-based visas depend on the relationship the petitioner has with the individual, and whether the petitioner is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Immigration law differentiates between immediate family and remote family in terms of limitations on the visas allowed each year. Priority status is different based on whether the sponsor is an LPR or a U.S citizen.
When a U.S. citizen who lives in Florida wishes to marry a non-citizen foreign national, he or she is able to bring their fiance to Florida in order to get married. One way, other than a tourist visa, in which a foreign fiance can legally enter the country in order to marry is a K-1 visa, which is a type of non-immigrant visa specifically geared towards foreign fiances.
The United States has developed a series of family immigration laws and processes that allow permanent residents to help an overseas relative become permanent U.S. residents. One can petition on behalf of a spouse or unmarried children, regardless of the children's age. If the resident is a U.S. citizen, married children can be sponsored as well.
Going all the way back to the European discovery of the North American continent, a popular immigration pattern has been for one member of a family to set out for America, seek his or her fortune, and lay down some permanent roots. Then, once the time is right, the rest the family then joins him or her in their new homeland. Such a pattern continues in Miami and other areas across the U.S. Yet once the issue of immigration reform is resolved in Washington, this method of family immigration could be altered forever.
One in Miami may wonder in what circumstances the issues of same-sex marriage and immigration would combine, but that's been one of the surprising consequences of the Supreme's Court's decision to rule against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) earlier this year. Prior to the ruling, the DOMA didn't allow the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in determining the immigration status for a foreign-born spouse. Yet since the Supreme Court's decision, the trend amongst federal agencies has been to now extend benefits to same sex-couples.
Countless couples living in Miami, Florida, and beyond are together today because they were able to petition for one partner to come to America legally. Family based petitions allow individuals to apply for fiancé or marriage visas, with the expectation that the sponsoring partner complies with specific guidelines. And while these types of immigration policies are known for bringing families together, they can also complicate matters in instances where couples divorce.
As the dream of legalizing same-sex marriage on the state and federal level becomes a reality for countless couples across the country, so does the opportunity to obtain citizenship. That’s because family immigration policies now recognize the thousands of committed and legally married couples in the LGBT community divided by their citizenship status.