Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
Legal & Mediation Services
“Calming the Chaos, Creating Solutions”
Call for a Confidential Consultation
866-567-9029 or 215-752-6200
Practice Areas
Watch our Video

Immigration Considerations

Family-based immigration is one of the more common pathways to legal residence in the United States. It is important to understand how family law actions may affect immigration status. Marriage to a US citizen potentially creates an opportunity for a noncitizen to achieve residence. The marriage must first be valid under state law as with any other marriage, but also must pass the criteria of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Marriage fraud, marriage for the sole purpose of obtaining residence, is a serious concern. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) will make inquiries into whether there is a bona fide marriage. Additionally, permanent residence is not an option unless the parties have been married for at least two years.

Click below to read more.

Just as marriage creates an opportunity for residence, divorce can end eligibility for immigration benefits. This is particularly true if the divorce or legal separation occurs prior to the spousal visa being finalized. Divorce may also draw the attention of the CIS to ensure the marriage was bona fide in the first place. If there were children born of the relationship, look into whether the foreign country would recognize a U.S. custody order if one of the parties will be returning to their native county. Federal law governs how the immigration process works whereas family law is governed by state law. Additionally, family law actions do not require any type of legal US citizenship by the parties. Instead, sufficient residency within the jurisdiction of the local court is generally all that is required for anyone to bring a family law action. It is important to consult with an immigration attorney regarding how family law issues may impact your immigration status.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Avvo Rating
  • 10.0 Superb
  • 2014 top 100 lawyers ASLA
  • Overall Client Rating in Family Law - 4.8 out of 5.0

Office Locations

Langhorne Office
174 Middletown Boulevard
Suite 300
Langhorne, PA 19047

Phone: 215-752-6200
Fax: 215-752-6202
Langhorne Law Office Map

Doylestown Office
44 East Court Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

Phone: 215-348-3800
Fax: 215-752-6202
Doylestown Law Office Map

Norristown Office
516 DeKalb Street
2nd Floor
Norristown, PA 19401

Phone: 215-752-6200
Fax: 215-752-6202
Map & Directions