A marriage visa is a form of immigration permission granted to a non-U.S. Citizens who are legally married to an U.S. citizen. A marriage visa lawyer can help you navigate the application process, including documentation and eligibility criteria. Candidates must provide proof of valid marriage, meet specific qualifications and have a clear criminal history.
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Are you planning to marry an U.S. citizen and are looking to request a marriage visa? Or you are already legally married to a US citizen and need help with the green card process? A spouse visa attorney can help you navigate the complex immigration process and ensure a smooth and successful application.
This article will cover everything you need to know about marriage visas, including eligibility, types of marriage visas available, marriage green card schedules, and the civil documents required for a marriage green card. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about the process.
What Is a Marriage Visa?
A green card through marriage, also known as a spousal visa, is a type of visa granted to individuals who are married to a U.S. citizen and are seeking to immigrate to the United States based on their marriage. A marriage visa attorney can assist individuals with the application process and orient them to the necessary documents and eligibility requirements.
For an individual to obtain a marriage visa, he must be able to provide proof of his marriage to an U.S. citizen. This may include a certificate of marriage, photographs of the marriage and other documents that demonstrate validation of the marriage. In addition, these individuals must meet specific eligibility requirements, such as being in good health and not having a criminal background.
There are two types of marriage visas: the CR-1 visa and the IR-1 visa. The CR-1 visa is for couples that have been married for less than two years, while the IR-1 is for couples that have been married for more than two years.
Both types of visas allow the spouse of a U.S. citizen to live and work in the United States, but the CR-1 visa is a temporary visa that the beneficiary must convert into a permanent green card after two years. The IR-1 visa, on the other hand, is a permanent visa that allows an individual to indefinitely become a permanent legal resident.
Obtaining a marriage visa can be a complex process, and it is important to work with experienced immigration attorneys to ensure that the application is complete and accurate.
A marriage visa attorney can also assist with the green card process, which involves submitting an I-130 petition and going through a visa interview with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The lawyer can offer legal services and assist in collecting documents, such as proof of marriage and citizenship status. See our guide on green card marriage interview questions.
In addition to a marriage visa, an individual may likewise be qualified for a green card through marriage, which allows them to become a legal permanent resident. A green card through marriage can also lead to citizenship through marriage, allowing individuals to become naturalized U.S. citizens. A marriage visa lawyer can help with the green card process and advise on the best course to obtain citizenship and obtain the same rights as permanent residents.
It is important to note that obtaining a marriage visa or green card through marriage may vary depending on the individual’s specific circumstances. For instance, people as of now in the country lawfully on a work visa, for example, a H1B visa, might have the option to apply for a green card through marriage without without leaving the country. Immigration lawyers can help you understand your options and complete any necessary documentation. The cost of a marriage visa or green card through marriage can vary based on each individual’s specific circumstances, and it is vital to work with an experienced attorney who understands these complexities.
How a Marriage Visa Lawyer Can Help You
Hiring a spouse visa lawyer can really increase your chances of success. A Spousal Visa Lawyer is a expert immigration lawyer with experience in helping people through the Marriage Visa and Green Card process. They can handle the necessary paperwork, represent you during your green card interview, and advise you on the best course of action for your specific situation.
A lawyer can help you understand the complex immigration process, guide you through the steps and provide clear guidance on the documents required. They can also assist with the I-130 petition and green card interview process, ensuring that your application is complete and accurate.
A spouse visa lawyer can also help you prepare for your green card interview. This is a nerve-wracking experience for many people. So having someone in your corner, who knows the ropes can be very helpful!
They will likewise direct you on other movement matters, for example, getting citizenship through marriage or applying for a work visa.
The cost of hiring a spouse visa lawyer may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Research and compare lawyers to find those who fit your budget and whose approach will suit your needs.
Eligibility: Who Qualifies for a Marriage Visa?
To be qualified for a marriage visa, individuals must meet certain criteria set out by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The main necessity is that the person must be married to a U.S. citizen and be able to provide proof of marriage. This may include a marriage certificate or other evidence of marriage.
Individuals must also meet certain eligibility requirements to be eligible for a marriage visa. These requirements may includethe following:
- Being in Good Health
Individuals must undergo medical examinations to ensure they do not have any transmissible diseases or conditions that could pose a threat to public health.
- Having a Clean Criminal Record
Individuals must not have any convictions or remarkable warrants that would prevent them from applying for a visa.
- Meeting Financial Requirements
Individuals should demonstrate that they have enough financial resources to support themselves and any dependents in the United States.
- Having a Valid Passport
Individuals must have a legal passport from their home country to be qualified for a marriage visa.
- Meeting Other Requirements
There might be extra requirements that individuals must meet based on their specific circumstances, such as having a valid work visa or meeting age requirements.
It is essential to take note that the eligibility requirements for a marriage visa may vary depending on an individual’s specific situation. A spousal visa lawyer or immigration lawyer can direct you in what is required and help you with the application process.
As well as meeting the eligibility requirements, individuals must also go through the necessary steps to apply for a spousal visa. This might include filing an I-130 request, undergoing a medical examination, and attending a green card interview.
Working with an experienced immigration lawyer can significantly increase your chances of successfully applying for a spousal visa. With their understanding of immigration law, they can assist you with exploring the complicated migration process and achieve your goals of living and working in the United States with your spouse.
Types of Marriage Visa: CR-1 vs IR-1
CR-1 Visa: Married for Less Than Two Years
The CR-1 visa, also generally known as a conditional resident visa, is for people married to a U.S. citizen for a period of under less than two years. This temporary visa allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to live and work in the United States for quite a while following two years. After two years, the person must apply to have the visa conditions eliminated and converted to a permanent green card.
For the eligible for a CR-1 visa, people should meet the specific qualification necessities for a regular marriage visa. Individuals must provide proof of marriage, such as a marriage certificate and photographs of the couple.
- The process for obtaining a CR-1 visa involves the following:
- Filing an I-130 petition
- Attending a green card interview
- Going through a medical examination
- A spouse visa lawyer or immigration lawyer can assist with these steps and guide the required documents.
IR-1 Visa: Married for More Than Two Years
The IR-1 visa, also known as an immediate relative visa, is for people who have been married to a U.S. citizen for more than two years.
This permanent visa provides the spouse of a U.S. citizen with permanent residence and the ability to work in the United States for ten years before renewing the green card.
Unlike the CR-1 visa, the IR-1 visa does not have a two-year expiration date and does not require an individual to file a request to remove the conditions.
Eligibility for an IR-1 visa, individuals must meet the exact CR-1 visa eligibility requirements. Individuals must also provide proof of marriage, such as a marriage certificate and photos of the couple.
The IR-1 visa process is similar to the CR-1 visa process, including filing an I-130 petition, a medical examination, and a green card interview.
Working with a certified spouse visa lawyer or immigration lawyer can greatly increase your chances of success.
Marriage Visa Timelines
The deadline for obtaining a spousal visa may vary depending on several factors, including the type of visa you are applying for, the applicant’s location, and the U.S. workload. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- The processing time for an I-130 petition can take time from six months to a year.
- Waiting time to schedule a green card interview near is six months or less, depending on where you live and your current USCIS workload.
- The interview itself lasts from 15 to 20 minutes for the green card. After your interview, it will take another 120 days for USCIS to make a decision in your case. If you are applying for adjustment of status based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen, the timeline varies depending on where you live.
After the green card interview, the last step is for the applicant to obtain visa approval. If the applicant is approved, he or she will receive a visa stamp in his or her passport and will be allowed to travel to the United States to live and work with his or her spouse. If their application is not accepted, they can appeal the decision or reapply for the visa later.
A marriage immigration lawyer can manage your expected timeline and assist you with the application process. Working with an experienced advocate confirms a smooth process and helps you achieve your goals of settle down in the United States with your spouse.
Marriage Green Card Process
The process of outcome a marriage green card, also known as a spousal visa, it involves several steps and can be complex. Working with a qualified immigration marriage advocate can help you understand the steps and ensure the success of your application.
Step 1 – File an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
The first step to obtaining a marriage green card is to file an I-130 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition must filed by the U.S. citizen’s spouse and used to establish the relationship between the couple.
There are two types of options for filing an I-130 petition, and this depending on the location of the beneficiary (the spouse applying for a green card):
The Beneficiary Is in the United States
If the beneficiary is in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, he or she may be eligible to apply for a green card through “adjustment of status.” This process allows the recipient to apply for a green card in United States without leaving.
The Beneficiary Is Outside the United States
If the non-citizen spouse is outside the United States, he or she must complete the consular process to obtain a green card. This involves obtaining an immigrant visa through the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
Step 2 – Medical Examination
Once your I-130 petition is approved, we have to go for medical examination for the next step. This examination is required to ensure that the beneficiary is in good health and does not suffer from communicable diseases or conditions that could threaten public health. The doctor assigned by the U.S. embassy or consulate where the beneficiary will be interviewed is the one who completes the medical examination.
Step 3 – Marriage-Based Green Card Interview
Once the I-130 petition approved and the medical examination is completed, the non-citizen spouse must schedule a green card interview at the local USCIS office. During the interview, the immigration officer will ask the couple about their relationship. He will need to provide proof of marriage, such as a marriage certificate and photos of the couple. The beneficiary will also need to provide proof of identity and immigration status.
Some common questions an officer may ask during a green card interview include:
- How did you meet your spouse?
- How long are you married?
- Do you have any children together?
- Where do you live?
- Do you have joint financial accounts?
- What are your spouse’s hobbies and interests?
Step 4 – Spouse Visa Approval
After completing the green card interview, the couple will be notified of the USCIS decision. If the application is approved, conditional green card for two years will be provided to the foreign spouse.
Conditional Green Card & Petition to Remove Conditions (I-751)
The couple will have to file a petition to remove the conditions on the green card after two years, known as I-751. The conditional green card must be filed by the petition within 90 days of the expiration.
You should provide evidence that the marriage is genuine and ongoing will be required by the beneficiary, and may be required to attend a second green card interview to review this evidence. If the petition to remove the conditions is approved, then the beneficiary will provided for ten years valid permanent green card.
If the beneficiary receives an IR-1 visa (for people who have been married to a U.S. citizen for more than two years), they will receive a permanent green card valid for ten years.
CR-1/IR-1 Visa Approval Wait Times
The waiting time for CR-1/IR-1 visa approval may vary depending on the applicant’s location and USCIS workload. It is essential to check the current processing times with the National Visa Center and work with a spousal visa lawyer to understand the estimated wait time for your situation.
CR-1/IR-1 Visa Cost
The cost of obtaining a CR-1 or IR-1 visa may vary depending on several factors, including the beneficiary’s location and fees charged by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Below is a breakdown of the various fees a beneficiary may pay in the process of obtaining a marriage green card:
- I-130 petition filing fee: $535
- USCIS Immigrant Fee: $220
- Medical examination fee: costs vary based on location but may range from $100 to $225
- Visa application processing fee (DS-260): $325
- Affidavit of Support fee (if applicable): $120
- Biometric services fee: $85
- I-751 petition to remove conditions on residence fee: $595
The cost of a CR-1/IR-1 visa may vary depending on the applicant’s specific situation. Some of the fees associated with the process includeing the I-130 filing fee, medical examination fee, and green card application fee. It is important to work with marriage visa lawyers to understand the specific costs associated with your situation.
In some cases, a spouse of a U.S. citizen may be required to file an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate that he or she has the financial resources to support the beneficiary. This may involve providing documentation of your spouse’s income and assets and may require the payment of a fee.
A Spouse Visa Lawyer can manage your Affidavit of Support requirements and help you complete and complete the form. Be sure to factor in the cost of hiring an immigration lawyer. Legal fees may vary depending on the complexity of the case and the specific services of the lawyer. Research and compare different lawyers fees and ask about the specific services they may provide as part of the fee. The attorney-client relationship begins when you meet with the attorney who agrees to represent you.
Required Documents for a Marriage Green Card
To apply for a spousal green card, you must provide certain documents to USCIS. These documents may include:
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
This form establishes the relationship between the U.S. citizen’s spouse and the beneficiary. It must be filed by the U.S. citizen’s spouse and be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee.
- Marriage Certificate
This document must be an original or a certified copy of the marriage certificate issued by the government agency that performed the marriage. If the marriage certificate is not in English, translate it with the help of a certified translator.
- Birth Certificate
This document must be the original or a certified copy of the beneficiary’s birth certificate. If your birth certificate is not in English, ask a certified translator to translate it.
The beneficiary must provide a copy of the current and all previous passports and any expired passports.
- Police Clearance Certificate
The beneficiary may be asked to provide police clearance certificates from all countries in which they have lived for at least six months since they were turning 16 years old.
- Military Records (if applicable)
If the beneficiary served in the military, you may need to provide a copy of your military records.
- Evidence of Relationship
The beneficiary must prove that he or she is married in good faith. This may include photos of the couple, statements from a joint bank account and other documents demonstrating the nature of the relationship.
- Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application
The beneficiary must complete this form online and attach the appropriate fee.
- Affidavit of Support (if applicable)
The spouse of a U.S. citizen may need to file an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate that he or she can financially support the beneficiary. The form must be accompanied by proof of income, such as tax returns and pay stubs.
- Medical Examination Results
The beneficiary must complete a medical examination as part of the green card process and provide the results of that examination to USCIS.
The beneficiary will need to provide two passport-sized photos.
Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and additional documents may be required depending on the specific circumstances of the case’s.
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Marriage Visa FAQ’s:
Marriage-Based Green Card Denial
If your marriage green card application is denied, you can appeal the decision or file for reconsideration. Working with a law firm is essential to understand your options and the best course of action.
Can Same-Sex Couples Apply for a Marriage Visa?
Yes, same-sex couples can now apply for a marriage visa in the United States. The process is the same as for opposite-sex couples, and a spouse visa lawyer can help with the application process and any other immigration issues.
Find an Experienced Immigration Attorney.
Obtaining a marriage green card can be a complex and time-consuming process. It is important to be prepared and follow the instructions provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to increase your chances of success. Working with a qualified spousal visa lawyer or immigration lawyer can greatly increase your chances of success and help you navigate the complex process. However, all associated costs should be taken into account, including legal fees and obtaining the required documents and translations. By understanding the process and preparing, you can get your spousal green card and take the first steps toward building a life in the United States with your spouse.