Each year, thousands of people emigrate to the United States and leave behind loved ones with the hope of being able to meet some day. Fortunately, according to us immigration laws, spouses and other direct family members of residents, legitimate receive a high enough priority in relation to the issuance of immigrant visas. According to the immigration laws of the United States, the term “spouse” means a husband or a wife who is in a marital relationship legally recognized.
You may file an immigrant visa petition (Spouse Immigration) to bring your spouse to the United States only if you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent legitimate resident (which means that you have your green card).
General description of Spouse Immigration process
There is a process that consists of three steps for your spouse to become a legal immigrant:
- You must file an immigrant visa petition (form I-130) and pay the filing fee of $420 for your spouse.
- If you are a U.S. citizen who presents a petition for your spouse, this will not be placed on a waiting list. The law gives special consideration to immediate relatives of US citizens. The United States Department of State will ask your spouse to apply for a immigrant visa as soon as the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves the petition using form I-130.
- If you are a permanent resident, your spouse will be placed on a waiting list to receive an immigrant visa number. Due to the large number of applicants and immigration restrictions, wait times are often two years or more. If your spouse is not legally in the country, you may need to leave the United States for not to accumulate evidence of the presence of one illegitimate, as this could affect your eligibility to receive an immigrant visa number. Please refer to the visa bulletin of the Department of State to find out what are the times of current waiting for your spouse to receive a visa number.
- If your spouse is outside the United States when your visa petition is approved and when an immigrant visa number (if required) becomes available, your spouse will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa. If your spouse is legally in the united States when your visa petition approved and when an immigrant visa number (if necessary) is available, you can use the form I-485 to adjust his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident. Spouses of US citizens who are legally in the United States may submit your request using the form I-130 And form I-485 to adjust your status at the same time.
Important considerations for spouses with conditional residence
If you have been married for less than two years when your spouse is granted permanent resident status to be legitimate, the spouse will receive permanent resident status of “conditional” or temporary. Both you and your spouse must apply through the form I-751 to remove the condition of probation.
[alert-note]Important: To remove the state of a conditional, the request must be filed within 90 days before the expiry date shown on the conditional permanent resident card of your spouse. If you do not file the request within this period, the legal resident status of your spouse ends, and may face deportation.[/alert-note]
Can my spouse come to live in the United States while their visa petition is pending?
If you are a US citizen, once you file form I-130, your spouse is eligible to apply for a nonimmigrant visa K-3. This allows you to come to the United States to live and work while the visa petition is pending. If you are a legal permanent resident, your spouse may not come to the United States to live or to work while their visa petition is pending.
Legal assistance with the Immigration Process
You need to know the steps that involves meticulous preparation for each stage of the immigration process. If you or a loved one are considering live in the United States or become a citizen should contact an experienced immigration lawyer who can guide you at every stage of the process and protect your rights.
How Do I Bring My Spouse to the US?
Immigration attorney Karen-Lee Pollak explains how to bring a spouse to the United States.
The Family Based Immigration process is governed by a system of immigrant visas, each of which establishes specific terms and conditions for entering and remaining in the United States. An Immigrant visa granting Legal Permanent Residency is also commonly referred to as a “Green Card.”