Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
Family-Based Immigration: Spouse of U.S. Citizen
If you are a U.S. citizen married to a non-U.S. citizen and want to sponsor him or her for a U.S. green card, you and your spouse will have to go through a lengthy application and interview process. One of the main factors in achieving a marriage-based visa is proving that the marriage is not simply a means for getting a green card. The process can be intimidating, but the New Jersey immigration attorneys at LS&P Lawyers can help you understand the options available to you and your spouse. Please do not hesitate to contact us online or by dialing (888) 847-2529 to learn more. Our legal team has helped numerous clients navigate the full spectrum of immigration application issues and we can help you overcome any challenges that threaten to keep you and your spouse apart.
What is the Immigration Procedure for non-U.S. citizen Spouses?
The application process will depend on whether your spouse is already in the U.S. or still residing abroad. If the spouse is already in the U.S., the U.S. citizen can file a petition on behalf of his or her spouse by filing an immigrant petition (Form I-130) and at the same time, the non-U.S. citizen spouse can file an adjustment of status application (Form I-485) to get his or her green card. However, if the foreign spouse entered the U.S. without inspection, he or she may have to file for a provisional waiver and get the immigrant visa abroad to complete the immigrant visa process.
If the spouse is outside the U.S., the foreign citizen spouse will wait for the Form I-130 to be approved and then attend an interview at the U.S. consulate in his or her country. It may be possible to apply for a K-3 visa for the foreign citizen spouse to allow him or her to enter the US while the Form I-130 is pending approval.
To learn more about which immigration procedure applies to your situation, please consult with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer at LS&P Lawyers before submitting any paperwork to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What is Conditional Permanent Residence?
If you and your spouse have been married for less than two years by the time your spouse receives permanent residency, this status will be granted on a conditional basis for two years. The couple must stay married for at least two years. The USCIS places this condition on newlyweds to safeguard against attempts to enter into marriages solely for the sake of seeking immigration benefits. If the marriage is dissolved through divorce or death of the U.S. citizen spouse, the conditional resident can file a waiver.
You will be able to apply for a removal of conditions within 90 days before your second anniversary as a conditional resident. This means that you and your spouse will have lived together as a married couple for at least two years.
If you and your spouse fail to apply for the removal of conditions or the application to remove the conditions on your spouse’s permanent residence is denied, the process of removal will begin. You will have a limited time in which to act and it is crucial to have a skilled immigration attorney defend your case.
How Can You Prove a Marriage is Legitimate?
In order to qualify for a marriage-based visa, the couple must be legally married and provide a copy of the marriage certificate. It does not matter whether the couple marries within the U.S. or abroad, as long as the marriage is legally recognized in the country where it took place. Proving that the relationship is legitimate, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. If the married couple is financially and emotionally invested in the relationship, there will be various types of evidence, such as joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, a co-signed lease agreement, children’s birth certificates, love letters, and photos of the wedding and other important events in their relationship.
The USCIS will interview the spouses, and sometimes family members and friends about the marriage, in order to determine whether it is a legitimate marriage. If the marriage appears to be fraudulent, the application will be denied and both the U.S. citizen and intending immigrant may face criminal punishment.
Successful Marriage-Based Immigration Attorneys
At LS&P Lawyers, our knowledgeable and understanding immigration lawyers have helped countless clients successfully obtain green cards for their foreign citizen spouses. We work closely with each and every client to determine how best to meet their legal needs. To learn more about marriage-based immigration and your options for bringing your spouse to live and work in the U.S. permanently, call us at (888) 847-2529 or submit a contact form online. We can help you begin the application process and work with you from start to finish.