Mrs. Westerman-Keuning has worked with hundreds of couples in applying for permanent residency ("green card" status) for the foreign national based on his or her marriage to a U.S. citizen or resident.  She works with individuals in the United States to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident before USCIS.   She also assists married couples with obtaining residency, called an immigrant visa, through the various U.S. Consulates abroad.   She prepares each couple for their marriage interview before USCIS and attends all marriage interviews with her clients in the United States.   


When an American citizen marries a foreign national that person can obtain permanent residence in the United States (otherwise known as a "green card") unless grounds of inadmissibility apply.   This is why it is very important for individuals to meet with a qualified immigration attorney. 

An individual who is married for less than two years to the U.S. citizen when he/she is approved for permanent resident status are granted conditional permanent residency.  Conditional resident status requires that between 21 and 24 months from the date of approval of the residency, the couple apply together to remove the conditions on from the residency so that the foreign national may obtain a 10-year green card.  Evidence submitted in that process is similar to what is gathered for the initial interview, but will show an additional two years of history together.   Once the foreign national has been a resident for three years, he or she may apply for U.S. citizenship if he or she remains married to the U.S. citizen spouse.

A permanent resident may also petition for his or her spouse, but unlike a spouse of a United States citizen this petition is filed in a preference category and subject to many restrictions.  There is an annual quota on these petitions which can create a long line. In these cases, it may not be possible to wait those years in the United States, unless the non-resident spouse has some 
other visa status that would allow them to remain here or is protected under a special law called 245(i).   The one exception to this rule for permanent residents are those foreign nationals who are married to permanent residents who are natives and citizens of Cuba.   These foreign nationals may apply for residency under the Cuban Adjustment Act even if he or she is out of status as long as the initial entry was legal.  


Mrs. Westerman-Keuning has experienced the marriage process first hand as the U.S. citizen petitioner for her husband, a native and citizen of South Africa.   Mrs. Westerman-Keuning understands how stressful the immigration process can be for a couple and strives to make the process as smooth and easy as possible for all of her clients.   She specializes in marriage petitions for same-sex couples.  




A United States citizen may apply for a fiance(e) visa on behalf of his or her partner abroad. Lawful permanent residents cannot file fiance visas on behalf of their partners outside the U.S.

The fiance visa process requires that you have met or visited your future spouse in person within the past two years and that you demonstrate proof of a good faith relationship, such as photographs, wire transfers, phone/Skype records, e-mails, joint travel itineraries etc.  The United States citizen files a petition (known as Form I-129F) in the United States with USCIS which is normally adjudicated within 5-7 months.  The approved I-129F petition is then sent to the local consulate with jurisdiction over the fiance for an interview and issuance of the K-1 fiance visa.  The couple must then marry within 90 days of the entry on the fiance visa.  

Mrs. Westerman-Keuning has helped countless couples obtain fiance(e) visas through their home consulates.  

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