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Love Across the Pond
Anglophilia. And, um, Yankophilia.
immigration lawyer info 
22nd-Nov-2012 11:05 am
has anyone gone through an immigration lawyer? i have been together with my bf for ten yrs.he is in the uk and i am here in the US.We have talked a lot about the best route for us to take to get him here but he is having a very difficult time finding jobs here being in the UK he's applied for a lot but everyone seems to want a US citizen.We have discussed the marriage route and im all for it but he doesnt feel comfortable with me having to support him financially until he is able to work here and our families are very old school in that respect.I say to hell what our families say because its us making the decision but he doesnt want to go against their wishes as such.Can anyone help with getting an immigration lawyer and how do u know its legit? I think with someone to help who knows more and can put us in the right direction would help a ton.Im willing to spend the money to get him here because i dont want to lose my soulmate and its been ten yrs something has to happen! any info would help a ton i am desperate i just want us to be together already!
22nd-Nov-2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
Do you want to live in the UK or in the US?

22nd-Nov-2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
he is in the uk and i am here in the US.We have talked a lot about the best route for us to take to get him here

I took this to mean that they're hoping for him to move to the US.
22nd-Nov-2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
at the beginning it was him moving to the US,now we are looking into both options but since i have a better financial backing then he does it would make more sense to have him come here and he agrees but whatever would be easiest to do is the best option
22nd-Nov-2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
Waste of time and money. The paperwork is intimidating, but if you've got no huge problems to consider (police record, severe health issues etc) you can handle it all yourself. The lawyer will be paid to occasionally answer a simple question (and 9/10 the answer can be found for free on VisaJourney) and sit on their ass.

He doesn't need to be supported financially by you, or rather, no more than anyone would moving across country. You can purchase a work permit with a fiance visa (I don't think you need one with a marriage visa) and as soon as he finds a job, he's fine. You'll be financially responsible for him, as in if he skips town with a bunch of debts, you'll be required to honor them, but that's it.
22nd-Nov-2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
so once u apply for the fiance visa how long til u are able to purchase a work permit with it? he doesnt want to be out of a job for months at a time and not have income where id have to support him for a long period of time,which is a nice thought but id be willing to do all it takes to just get him here! lol.
22nd-Nov-2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
You can't come into the country until you have a visa and they don't grant a work permit without a visa. Typically a fiance visa takes between four and seven months (or at least it did in my case) and I believe the work permit takes effect as soon as he arrives in the US. He can then work while he waits for his Adjustment of Status, and when he's granted permanent residency he won't need a permit any longer.

I'd suggest you both read up on Visa Journey, there's a lot of really helpful advice on there and the people on the forums are really great.
22nd-Nov-2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
thank u.I will definately look into that site.we were under the impression that he wouldnt be able to apply for the work visa until he was in the us for a while waiting for that to go through.so if as soon as he's in the us it will take effect that helps even more and if he can work while the adjustment of status goes through that is also a good thing.as i say ive got a lot of research to go through on that site but knowing that helps a ton.
22nd-Nov-2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. Like I said, it's been seven years since I went through the journey myself and I didn't get a work permit, so I might be wrong! But Visa Journey will be able to confirm or deny. :)
22nd-Nov-2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
I think Visa Journey would be a good place for you to read around to get a more accurate representation of what is necessary for the visa process. It's an extremely helpful and informative forum that I found invaluable when doing the UK->US process. If it's a straightforward application, a lawyer isn't really necessary.

Edited at 2012-11-22 06:48 pm (UTC)
22nd-Nov-2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
thanks,i will definately look at that site and research.if people had success usuing it that rests my mind a lot.
23rd-Nov-2012 08:17 am (UTC)
back in 96 we opted for an immigration lawyer and it was the best thing we could have done. we filed as soon as i got back from getting married in the uk, had all of our paperwork in order, and when he got here and we filed all of the rest, we did it right before the laws changed in 97, and those laws were the ones that made immigration so much harder. the big thing was that our lawyer ran us through all of the interviews, told us exactly what to have, how many copies, what photos, letters, all of it. when we had our interview in chicago we were told by the immigration guy "i've already deported 3 people today, try not to make it 4." our lawyer advised us that if at any time we felt uncomfortable to call her, but since she prepared us so well(we had all the letters we had written each other in the year we were apart- we had a rather quick dating to marriage time- a year, all plane tickets, phone bills, photos at family holidays, wedding photos, the whole nine yards) our interview lasted all of 5 minutes and he was granted everything right then. green card, he already had a temporary work visa, but the green card made that permanent, and knowing that the lawyer prepped us so well really helped. the interviewer did ask us if we used a lawyer and if so, who, and when he heard who he said he was glad that he did not have to deal with her and that it was obvious she thought we were for real or she would have been with us.

so if you can find one that has a great reputation, go for it, otherwise try it on your own. things have changed, but i can say that we would use a lawyer again if we went back to england.
23rd-Nov-2012 10:20 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing
25th-Nov-2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
Wow 10 years of being apart, I thought I had the longest LDR at 9 years!
My husband is the yank and I'm the Brit, I moved here to the USA to be with him on a marriage visa. We got married in Nov 09 and filed soon after but it wasn't until the end of May 2011 that I got my visa to join him. Me joining him in the US really was the easiest way for us to go.

We went through an immigration lawyer and while it was helpful he did mess up once which delayed our process by about a month. So my advice is yes get a lawyer, it really will smooth the whole process, just make sure you get a decent one, ie one that has previous experience of handling UK to US immigration.

It's true that you can file yourself but it is a NIGHTMARE of paperwork and details that are easy to miss, without some expert guidance. It's worth noting that those advising you to do the DIY route appear to have made the move quite some time ago. Things have changed since then, most notably waiting times have gotten much longer.

We were initially advised that it would take us no longer than a couple of months to get my visa, when in fact it took well over a year. This discrepancy has left us in a hell of a debt hole as we had already bought our house in the US thinking I'd move and we'd sell our respective houses fairly quickly. Instead we ended up having to fund 2 mortgages and 3 homes, for over a year (my house in the UK has only just sold after being on the market for almost 2 years). Also I had a surprise pregnancy at 43, along the way!

The other benefit of going the spousal visa rather than the fiancé visa route is that you get your green card automatically, meaning your other half can work as soon as his tootsies hit US soil.

For what it's worth we plan to do the second part of the filing, to have my conditional resident status adjusted to permanent without the lawyer, but only because it's far simpler than all the filing that came before.

25th-Nov-2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
Forgot to add, to find out if the lawyer is legit go to someone in your local area and ask questions such as 'how many immigration cases have you handled?' 'How many UK to US immigration cases' etc.

Also get them to be upfront about their charges and retainer, so you know how much to set aside for that.
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