Q: What is the procedure to bring my fiancée here from the Dominican Republic? I am a naturalized U.S. citizen. I was previously married, but I am now divorced.
Eurides Osorio, the Bronx
A: I’m a big fan of fiancé(e) visas. It will allow you to spend time with your fiancée in the United States before you marry her, giving her the chance to be with you as you go through your day-to-day life here in the United States.
To bring your fiancée here, you file U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). With the petition, you must submit proof that you have had a face-to-face meeting in the past two years. USCIS can waive the meeting requirement if you can prove that you can’t travel for health reasons or meeting before the wedding would violate your custom, religion or culture. Since you were married before, you must also submit proof that your prior marriage was terminated. If USCIS approves the petition, your fiancée can come to the United States for 90 days. If you marry her, she can then apply immediately for a green card.
Q: My parents are permanent residents and I’m here studying on an F-1 international student visa. Can my parents petition for a green card for me? If so, can I adjust status, that is, interview for permanent residence here in the United States? I am a 29-year-old woman, single, staying with my parents and studying.
Somol Sunny, Houston, Texas
A: Your parents can petition for you now for a green card. However, to adjust status you’ll need to get to the front of the line under the visa quota system and stay here without violating your status. That means maintaining your student status (or changing to another legal status) without working without permission. Presently the wait in your visa category (for the unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents) is about six years.
Allan Wernick is an attorney and director of the City University of New York’s Citizenship Now! project.