Immigration News Update
© 2001-2013 Law Office of Bobby C. Chung, P.C. All rights reserved.
GREEN CARD THROUGH MARRIAGE
To consult a Marriage Green Card attorney, please call
us at (626) 642-8066 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An attorney in our office would be happy to assist you.
How Does My Spouse (Husband or Wife) Get an Immigrant Visa?
The first step is to file an immigrant petition for the foreign citizen
spouse to immigrate to the United States. The petition is filed with the
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly INS) Service
Center in the United States that serves the area where the US citizen
petitioner lives. To find out which Service Center has jurisdiction over
the US citizen spouse's place of residence click
here. Sometimes a US citizen living abroad can file an immigrant petition
at a US embassy or consulate.
What is a “Spouse”?
A spouse is a legally wedded husband or wife. Merely living together does
not qualify a marriage for immigration. Common law spouses may qualify
as spouses for immigration, but only if the laws of the country where
the common law marriage occurs recognizes common law marriages and grants
them all the same rights and obligations as a traditional marriage. In
cases of polygamy, only the first spouse may qualify as a spouse for immigration.
Minimum Age Requirement for the US Citizen Petitioner
There is no minimum age to file an immigrant petition for a spouse for
immigration. However, the US citizen petitioner must be at least 18 years
old and reside in the US before he or she can sign the Affidavit of Support
and this form is required for an immigrant visa for spouses and other
relatives of US sponsors.
US Domicile Is Required
The US citizen petitioner must have a domicile (residence) in the United
States before an immigrant visa can be issued to his or her spouse. This
is because a US domicile is required to file an Affidavit of Support and
this form is required for all Spouse of a US Citizen immigration cases.
Applying for an Immigrant Visa
After the USCIS Service Center approves the immigrant petition, it sends
the petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) of the US Department of
State. The NVC conducts preliminary case processing and then forwards
the approved petition to the US embassy or consulate in the country where
the foreign citizen spouse resides. An appointment package is sent to
the visa applicant. The appointment package gives the applicant an interview
date and includes instructions on where to go to have the required medical
In general, applicants for immigrant visas are required to have all of the following vaccinations:
-Tetanus and diptheria toxoids
-Influenza type B
Does a Child Have Derivative Status?
No. A child does not have derivative status in an immediate relative (IR)
petition. This is different from the family second preference (F2) petition.
A child is included in his or her parent’s F2 petition. A child is not
included in his or her parent's IR petition. A US citizen must file separate
immigrant petitions for each of his or her children. If you upgrade a
family second preference (F2) petition for your spouse to an IR petition because you became a naturalized US citizen and you did not
file separate petitions for your children when you were a lawful permanent
resident (LPR), you must do so. Remember that children born abroad after
a person became a US citizen may qualify for derivative US citizenship.
Termination of All Previous Marriages
US law does not allow polygamy. If either spouse was married before, he
or she must show that all previous marriages were terminated before the
current marriage. The death and divorce certificates that show termination
of marriages must be legal and verifiable in the country that issued them.
Divorces must be final.
What Is Conditional Residence?
If the couple has been married for less than 2 years when the foreign
citizen spouse enters the US on an immigrant visa, the permanent resident
status is considered “conditional.” The immigrant visa is a CR (conditional
resident) visa, not an IR (immediate relative) visa. The couple must apply
together to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to remove
the “condition” within the 90 days before the second year anniversary
of the foreign citizen spouse’s entry into the US on an immigrant visa.
The 2-year anniversary date of entry is the date of expiration on the
permanent resident card (green card).
What If the Applicant Is Ineligible for a Visa?
Certain conditions and activities may disqualify the applicant for a visa.
Examples of these ineligibilities are:
-Overstaying a previous visa
-Advocating the overthrow of the government
-Submitting fraudulent documents
If a person is ineligible for an immigrant visa due to one of the above
grounds of inadmissibility, a waiver may be available. He or she should
seek the advice of an immigration attorney to determine if he or she qualifies
for a waiver of inadmissibility.
MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES
Marriage in China
Marriage in France
Marriage in Hong Kong
Marriage in Indonesia
Marriage in Italy
Marriage in Japan
Marriage in Malaysia
Marriage in Philippines
Marriage in Poland
Marriage in Russia
Marriage in Singapore
Marriage in Spain
Marriage in South Korea
Marriage in Taiwan
Marriage in Thailand
Marriage in Vietnam
IMMIGRATION AND MARRIAGE USA
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