Bringing Your Foreign Spouse to Live in the U.S.

  • Jun 26 2017

How can I obtain a visa for my spouse to immigrate to the United States?

If you are married to someone that lives abroad or intend to marry an individual who resides in a foreign country, you may be able to seek a green card through marriage to bring your spouse to the United States.  Seeking a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen can present a quick way for your spouse to become a permanent resident in America.  Green card applicants may face some challenges in applying for and receiving a green card.  Our Chula Vista immigration lawyers at Talamantes Immigration Law Firm, APC, offer an overview of family based immigration and the requirements you will need to meet to obtain a green card through marriage.  

What is a “Spouse” for Immigration Purposes?

A spouse, according to the U.S. government, is a legally wedded husband or wife.  Individuals that are merely cohabitating will not qualify as married for immigration purposes, but common-law spouses could qualify depending on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurred.  Same-sex couples are now eligible for the same benefits as opposite-sex spouses.  

Filing a Petition for Alien Relative

Your first step towards obtaining a green card for your spouse is to file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.  To file for a petition for immigration as a U.S. sponsor, you must be at least 18 years old and have a permanent residence in the U.S.  In some cases, a U.S. citizen living abroad can file the visa petition while outside of the U.S.  You must, however, maintain your principal residence within the U.S.

You will need to attach several forms to the petition for your alien relative, including an Affidavit of Support, passport, a Form DS-260, civil documents, like a marriage certificate, and completed medical examination forms.  Your immigration lawyer will assist you in gathering and filing all necessary documents.

With all documents submitted, you will be scheduled for an interview appointment.  Your marriage may be scrutinized due to the high number of fraudulent cases seeking green cards.  You may be asked to prove that a valid marriage exists through evidence of cohabitation, the intent to remain together in the United States, and the like.

Posted in: Immigration Law