E&M has extensive experience in helping U.S. citizens bring their foreign spouses to the U.S. as well as helping fiance(e)s attain the K-1 visa that allows them entry to the U.S. in order to get married.
Adjustment of Status for Immediate Relatives (Foreign spouses of US citizens)
If you are a U.S. Citizen and your foreign spouse is already in the U.S., he or she may be eligible to file for a green card without leaving the U.S. This process is known as “Adjustment of Status.”
There are several requirements that must be met to be eligible to file for Adjustment of Status. Contact E&M Mayock for an analysis of your individual situation.
Text for “Immigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen”
If your foreign spouse if outside of the U.S., you will need to file an application for an immigrant visa or a K-3 nonimmigrant visa
Bringing a Spouse to the U.S.
If you are an American citizen you have two ways to bring your foreign spouse (husband or wife) to the United States to live:
Immigrant Visa Application
Filing an application for an immigrant visa can be a very long and frustrating process. Ordinarily, a foreign spouse will be required to remain outside the U.S. until the immigrant visa is issued. This can take a year or more.
The first step is to file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, with the USCIS for your spouse.
After USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will begin pre-processing the applicant’s case by providing the spouse and U.S. Citizen with instructions to submit the appropriate fees. After the appropriate fees are paid, the NVC will request that the spouse submit the necessary immigrant visa documents, including the Affidavit of Support, application forms, civil documents, and more. Learn more about National Visa Center visa case processing.
Once the NVC determines the documentation of the file is complete, they schedule the spouse’s interview appointment with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the spouse will be interviewed for a visa. NVC will send emails containing the date and time of the visa interview along with instructions, including guidance for obtaining a medical examination.
Before an immigrant visa can be issued, every foreign spouse, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination which must be performed by an authorized panel physician. Applicants are provided instructions by NVC regarding medical examinations, including information on authorized panel physicians. See Medical Examination for more information, including a list of panel physicians by country, and frequently asked questions.
Once the immigrant visa is issued, the consular officer will give the foreign spouse the immigrant visa and a sealed packet containing the documents provided in the application process. The spouse must enter the United States before the expiration date printed on the visa.
Nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3)
The K-3 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen spouse of a United States (U.S.) citizen.
It is important to note that application for the nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) who married a U.S. citizen must be filed and the visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place.
This visa category is intended to shorten the physical separation between the foreign-citizen and U.S. citizen spouses by having the option to obtain a nonimmigrant K-3 visa overseas and enter the United States to await approval of the immigrant visa petition.
Eligibility for a Fiancé(e) Visa (K-1 nonimmigrant visa)
If you are an American citizen, you may bring your fiancé(e) to the United States to marry; and live here.
The K-1 visa allows the fiancé to enter the U.S. Upon entry, the fiancé is given 90 days to marry. There are multiple qualifications to be met before a K-1 visa is approved. Additionally, you must have physically met the person you are marrying within the past two years. Sufficient evidence of the physical meeting is required.
Only close family relationships serve as a basis for immigration: spouses, children, parents, and siblings are the only possible beneficiaries of relative visa petitions. Grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews can acquire permanent residence only after their more direct relative [if any] first achieves permanent residence or US citizenship.
Permanent residents can petition only for their spouses and single children. US citizens, however, can additionally confer immigration benefits on parents, married children, or siblings.
Married children of US citizens are subject to annual quotas which are now backlogged over one year or more, depending upon the country of origin. Brothers and sisters of US citizens are subject to annual quotas which are already heavily backlogged – – at least 10 years. Skilled Workers, Professionals, other Workers in Short Supply [showing of shortage required]
Spouses and single minor children of permanent residents are subject to annual quotas, with backlogs which now stand at two years or more, but which are being systematically reduced.
Adult single children of permanent residents are subject to annual quotas, now backlogged at almost 3 years and soon expected to suffer more than 5 years of delay.
For more information on how to apply for permanent residence (a “green card”), or for assistance with other immigration or employment-based immigration visas, please complete our Client Questionnaire.