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What to Know About Immigration by Marriage

Anybody with any loved ones abroad this past year knows how stressful trying to stay together can be in today’s modern world.

One of your best bets to ensure you can continue to stay together with your significant other is by getting a Spousal Visa. US immigration law has specific processes for immigration by marriage.

If your relationship with your significant other qualifies, and you are willing to deal with the challenges of immigration laws you may be able to overcome the hurdles of international borders together.

Immigration by Marriage Visa Laws

You have multiple options when it comes to bringing a loved one to the United States to live with you. Some visa options require you to get married or promise to get married in a certain amount of time.

Let’s read on to learn a bit more about the different kinds of visa options at your disposal to get your significant other into the country.

Spousal Visa IR1 or CR1

This is the Spousal Visa and comes under the visa designation IR1 or CR1. Your first step to obtaining the Spousal Visa is to fill out the immigration Petition for an Alien Relative Form I-130.

In most cases, you need to be within the United States to file on behalf of your spouse. In rare circumstances, there are exemptions. Keep in mind that marriage laws in other countries may be different than in the United States.

To be a “spouse” you need to have an official marriage certificate, be eligible for common law designation, or be the first spouse in a polyamorous relationship.

There is no minimum age to file for this form, but to move onto the next step of filing an Affidavit of Support form I-864 or I864 EZ you must be at least 18 years old and have a residence in the United States.

The Second Phase of the Spousal Visa

After filling out both of these forms you will receive more forms (get used to this trend you are dealing with a massive bureaucracy here) to send to the National Visa Center. They will first designate a case number for you.

These are Form DS-260 the Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application Form and DS-261 the Online Choice of Address and Agent form. For each form you send in, you will need to pay a fee.

Also expect to pay for a medical examination, all necessary vaccinations, travel to and from the U.S. Embassy from your spouse’s home country, and all necessary documents such as a passport and birth certificate.

The Interview and Other Formalities

You must gather and provide all necessary documents found in this link. At this point, if everything has gone through, you will be scheduled for a Visa Interview at an embassy or consulate.

You and your spouse’s fingerprints will be taken. You need to have been married for at least two years to be eligible for an immediate relative visa.

If not, your visa will be conditional release meaning that you must apply for a full visa before 90 days of the conditional release card’s, or “Green Card’s” two-year expiration date. If you fail to do this you must restart the entire process.

Some people are ineligible for any of these sorts of visas. Examples include drug offenders, people who have overstayed prior visas, or someone who submitted fraudulent documents.

Getting Your Green Card

Once you have completed this process, crossed the border, and entered the states as a lawful permanent resident you will be mailed a card. This is your Lawful Permanent Residence Card or Green Card.

You can use this card to pursue a Social Security Number, or apply to be a United States Citizen.

Other Visa Options

As stated before there are other visa options for getting your spouse or loved one into the country.

The K3 visa is a non-immigrant visa option for your spouse. The process of obtaining a K3 is similar to applying for the IR1 or CR1 Visas.

Notable differences include that this visa does not always allow you to work in the United States, and applications must be completed in the country where your wedding took place.

You must also provide supporting documents that your alien spouse will not be a financial burden while in the United States. You can check out the whole process of applying for a K3 Visa on the State Department website

If you are not married yet but are planning on getting engaged your best option is the K1 or Fiancé Visa.

Getting a K1 visa is very similar to getting the two Spousal Visas. It is a long-drawn-out process described in full on the State Department Website.

You are probably better off getting married and applying directly for the Spousal Visas, but if you are not at that phase of your relationship yet the K1 will make it possible for you and your significant other to live together for a bit.

The K1 Visa is valid for 6 months and you must get married within 90 days of your entry into the United States or it will expire.

The K1 is an option to get you both in the country together before your wedding, not as a loophole to gain permanent residency without marriage.

Your Best Bet for Any Visa

No matter which kind of visa you pursue, you will be dealing with a labyrinth of bureaucracy and miles of red tape. Something as simple as filling out a form the wrong way can delay your visa process by years.

For this reason, you should call immigration attorneys at Ybarra Maldonado Law Group to help walk you through the process.

Without an immigration attorney, you will have to fend for yourself against a confusing system.

Bring Your Significant Other to the US

Having a relationship beyond borders can be challenging. You and your significant other deserve to be together. Don’t let bureaucracy and international law stand in the way of love.

Call a reputable immigration attorney today and move forward with the immigration by marriage process. If you enjoyed reading this check out other great similar content on our webpage.