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Consulting an Iranian immigration lawyer is your best option if you are from Iran and interested in migrating to the United States. Whether you are immigrating through a job, marriage, or an immediate family member, an Iranian immigration lawyer can best advise you on your immigration options and enable you to find the right immigration pathway.

Let’s explore how you can best migrate to Iran and how an immigration attorney can best assist you in the process. Especially given the complex challenges against Iranians intending to immigrate to the United States, it is beneficial to discuss your options with an Iranian immigration lawyer who is most familiar with issues related to Iranians.

Here at Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C., our Partner, Medya Aghaansari Nasrabadi, is an Iranian immigrant herself with years of experience in immigration cases that can take your worries away and fight for you through these complex processes.

Iranian immigration in the United States

iranian immigration lawyer san jose californiaThe history of Iranian immigration in the United States dates back to the early 1900s. People from Iran were present in the States in small numbers during the 1920s. Beginning in the late 1940s, more immigrants from Iran began arriving. These immigrants were mostly international students with some tourists and other professionals.

Later, the Iranian Revolution culminating in the fall of the Persian dynasty and the establishment of an Islamic republic in 1979 contributed to migration in larger numbers. During this time and the Iran-Iraq war which took place from 1980-1988, middle and upper class Iranians began to arrive with several minority groups like the Armenians. Iranian students who had migrated to the U.S. stayed in the country following graduation.

In a span of twenty years between 1980 and 2000, the Iranian population in the U.S. more than doubled. In 2019, there were a total of 385,000 immigrants from Iran living in the country. Over many years, the Iranian-American community has grown to occupy employment positions successfully in many sectors including health, education, government, and more.

Types of immigration options available to Iranians

There are several ways in which you can move to the U.S. from Iran. Here we shall explore five of those options. Since the procedure of applying for and securing immigration through either method is intricate and time-sensitive, working with an immigration attorney familiar with Iranian cases can help you manage the process better.

Family-based immigration

Many immigrants obtaining permanent residence in the U.S. achieve the same through family-based immigration methods. There are two categories of family-based visas including immediate relative and family preference.

The immediate relative category includes the:

  • Spouse of a US citizen
  • Parent of a US citizen
  • Child of the US citizen (unmarried person under 21 years of age)
  • Orphan adopted in Iran by the US citizen

If these categories do not apply to you, consider relationships that enable you to qualify under the family preference category :

  • Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents
  • Unmarried son and daughter of permanent residents
  • Married sons and daughters of US citizens
  • Siblings of adult US citizens.

Each of these categories provide for individual application processes, so it is vital to determine in advance which of them would best fit your case. If you need assistance with determining your eligibility, speak to an immigration attorney.

Iranian males can have a tougher time

Iranians, especially Iranian males, might face challenges when applying for an immigrant visa or Green Card, particularly when it comes to compulsory military services. If you or your family member served in the Revolutionary Guard, you or they will come into greater scrutiny.

Being realistic about your chances of getting a US visa will spare you regret and dejection later on. Our immigration lawyer will help you make an informed choice and champion your case to a successful outcome if you’re admissible despite your connection to the IRGC.

The other issue you may need to navigate relates to your marital situation. Iranian family law follows sharia closely. It has features that are very different to US family law, which can introduce complexity into the immigration visa process.

For example, US family law does not recognize revocable divorce. If you received a revocable divorce in Iran, you will need to satisfy certain conditions to be able to immigrate to the US. Or if the issue pertains to bigamy or polygamy, which is not legal or recognized in the US, then all marriages save for the current one must have been terminated.

Therefore, it is best to speak to someone familiar with Iranian culture and cases in particular. Senior Attorney Madia Aghaansari Nasrabadi at Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C.aaaaaa is familiar with the nuances of Iranian culture. She will help you understand the legal procedures that make obtaining an Iranian immigration visa less challenging.

Fiancé visa

K-1 visas are nonimmigrant visas available to foreign individuals who are fiancés of U.S. citizens. According to law, people having the K-1 visa have 90 days from the day of their entry to the U.S. to marry the U.S. citizen sponsor. Following marriage, the foreign national is required to apply for an Adjustment of Status petition to change status to that of a permanent resident.

You will be required to meet certain eligibility criteria for an immigrant visa. It includes proving that your partner and you are unmarried, that you have met in person at least once within two years of applying for the visa, and that your relationship is valid.

The processing time for a K-1 visa application is about six months. It may make more sense to get married and apply for a spousal visa. Our Iranian immigration lawyer will advise you on the better route after assessing your situation.

Diversity visa

The Diversity Visa program was established by the Immigration Act of 1990. Starting in 1995, about 55,000 immigrant visas are made available in a lottery held every year. The goal of the lottery is to diversify the immigrant population in the U.S. Applicants from nations having lowest rates of migration to the country in the last five years are typically selected in this process.

Diversity visa applicants must have completed a high school education or its equivalent, or have two years of work experience within the five-year period immediately prior to application in a job that requires at least two years of training.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of Iranians participate in the lottery. The number of Iranians registering for the lottery program has increased steadily from 2010. More information about the Diversity Visa process can be found here.

Returning resident

A returning resident visa is a special type of immigrant visa. It is available to a permanent resident or a conditional resident who has stayed outside the U.S. for more than a year and wishes to return to his or her relinquished residence in the U.S. Such individuals require a new type of visa to enter the U.S. and maintain permanent resident status which is available through the returning resident visa.

You will need to organize basic documents, including your permanent resident card, a completed Form DS-117, and your re-entry permit (if you had received one), and supporting documents, including proof of ties to the US.

Additionally, you must prove that your extended stay outside of the United States was beyond your control. Examples of such situations are severe illness that prevented you from traveling, pregnancy, the withholding of your passport and other documents due to a family dispute, or if the country you’re located in won’t permit you to leave. It’s a good idea to engage an immigration lawyer to help you prepare a successful application for obtaining the SB-1 Returning Resident Visa smooth and expeditious.


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Why should you consult an Iranian immigration lawyer?

Generally speaking, the common reasons for engaging an immigration lawyer include:

  • Understanding US immigration laws and immigration process as it relates to the applicant’s country and circumstances.
  • Saving time on learning the immigration path, including what needs to be done, and what to watch out for.
  • Becoming familiar with the complexity or lack thereof in obtaining an immigrant visa depending on the applicant’s country.
  • Assistance filling forms and preparing supporting documents for the purpose of immigration.

Entrusting your immigration case to an Iranian immigration lawyer can enable you to acquire knowledge about your case and file applications within fast-approaching deadlines. A good Iranian immigration lawyer provides guidance and comprehensive assistance – via telephone calls, email, video conferencing, and face-to-face meetings – from the time of filing the application to the interviews and beyond.

An Iranian immigration lawyer can help to file your petition with USCIS, respond to requests for more evidence, and participate in your immigration interview. They can prevent your application from getting rejected by applying due diligence and scrutiny while preparing your petition.

Although nothing beats professional skills and experience, working with a lawyer intimately familiar with Iranian society, laws and customs may help you ease into the immigration journey and be more forthcoming about your concerns and aspirations.

It’s possible that your Iranian immigration lawyer may offer advice on adapting to life in your new home and incorporating into the social structure of your city of residence. You will have an easier time becoming part of the community in America.

Types of services you can get from an Iranian immigration lawyer

The constantly-evolving nature of immigration laws in the United States can have a profound impact on your life and those of your loved ones. Consequently, getting a personalized legal perspective can help you to maximize the chances of securing immigration through the proper category. An immigration law office can provide many services that you can benefit from if you are considering immigrating from Iran.

Scope of services


At the initial meeting, your attorney will understand your case and determine if they can represent you based on the information you’ve provided. It is an opportunity to ask your attorney questions about their experience to determine if they’re a good fit for your case.

Identify issues in your case

Your immigration attorney will look for any obstacles that can cause a delay or denial in your case. For an informed assessment, the attorney will expect you to provide all relevant information, and use it to identify strategies to overcome the obstacles in the path to immigration.

Review your supporting documentation

Your immigration attorney will provide a list of documentation to organize. They or a paralegal at the law firm will review the documents before sending them out. This is a crucial service as it minimizes chances of delays in processing due to incomplete or insufficient documentation.

Complete immigration forms

By filling all applicable immigration forms with your attorney, you can ensure accuracy, completeness and adherence to stated instructions. Your attorney will review the application with you, further reducing chances of anything going amiss. In addition, they will send the completed package to the relevant government agency.

Prepare you for your interview 

You have a right to an attorney at your interview at the embassy. Having them participate in your interview is not viewed negatively. In any case, your attorney will explain what to expect and help you prepare for the interview.

Review decision from USCIS

After you receive a decision from the USCIS, your attorney will explain what it means for your case. Depending on the outcome, he/she will fill you in with the next steps or the appeal process.

Other services

You can get assistance with filing non-immigrant visas like student visa, exchange visitor visa, tourist visa, etc. You can also find assistance with immigrant visas explored above. In addition, you can apply for travel ban waivers, apply for naturalization and citizenship, and adjustment of status to permanent resident. Other services like renewing or acquiring a new Iranian passport and getting records like birth certificates and death certificates may also be obtained.

Iranian Immigration Services at Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C.

Many immigrants from Iran opt to settle in California which presently has the largest Iranian immigrant population in the U.S. If you are looking for an Iranian immigration attorney in the San Jose area, contact our Senior Attorney Medya Aghaansari Nasrabadi at Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C.. She speaks fluent Farsi and understands the culture and unique complications in Iranian cases.

For more than two decades, attorneys at Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C. have helped thousands of families and individuals with successfully settling their immigration cases. Their diverse team has many years of experience with handling complex immigration matters. For more information, you can directly reach out to them!

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