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Uniting families in the United States is one of the most important things that we do through immigration. The Law Office of Katia Teirstein is experienced in all aspects of family immigration and will assist you in determining the best option available for your unique situation.

As the regulations and procedures of family immigration are complex, the assistance of an experienced attorney is critical to your success. We can help you navigate citizenship and naturalization, green card applications, K-1 fiancé visas, removal of conditions on permanent residency, Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA), international adoption, and more.



We zealously advocate for every client of the firm, regardless of gender identification or sexual orientation. For years, we have assisted binational LGBTQ couples in their struggle to live together in the United States. We filed our first Green Card application for a same sex couple immediately upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) in June 2013. Despite the Supreme Court’s historical decision, there are still unique hurdles LGBTQ couples face during immigration processes. The Law Office of Katia Teirstein will provide thoughtful guidance to help you anticipate these challenges and how to resolve them.



While living in Madrid teaching English, Laurel, an American citizen, met a tattoo-covered musician, Ruben, a Spanish citizen. After falling in love and dating for a few years, Laurel & Ruben entered into a civil union in Spain. They had a lavish ceremony with friends and family, including both Laurel’s family from the United States and Ruben’s family in Spain. They built their lives together in Madrid, including finding a new apartment and adopting two dogs, “Yoko” and “Dora.”


A couple of years later, Laurel and Ruben wanted to explore the idea of moving to Laurel’s home in the Pacific Northwest and they came to our firm seeking advice on where to start.


Since Laurel & Ruben were in a civil union, without a formal marriage license, we could not immediately pursue a Green Card for an immediate relative through the U.S. consulate in Spain. They were willing to get married, and in many ways they already considered themselves married. However, at this time it was unclear whether pursuing the Green Card through the consulate would be faster, as this process also includes a sometimes lengthy wait with the National Visa Center first. Anxious to get to the United States as soon as possible and, more importantly, together, we opted for a K-1 fiancé visa. This visa allows a foreign national to enter the U.S. with immigrant intent (the intention to remain permanently) provided that the marriage takes place within 90 days of entry. After the marriage, he or she can then apply for the Green Card.


Laurel and Ruben’s K-1 application was filed in December and approved by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) less than one month later. At the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Ruben’s interview, held the following May, went smoothly and he received the K-1 visa within a few days of his interview.


Upon arrival in the United States, Laurel and Ruben promptly married in Washington State, and our office immediately filed Ruben’s Green Card application. Ruben received a work permit while his Green Card was pending, and even landed his dream job -- a position making hand-crafted artisan guitars, one of his life-long hobbies. The couple is now enjoying life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, along with Yoko and Dora.

Laurel and Ruben, thank you so much for entrusting the Law Office of Katia Teirstein PLLC with such an important life transition. Here’s to many more years of happiness together!

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