Overview

You married or will be married to a non-U.S. citizen in the United States (or married outside the United States) and your foreign spouse requires permanent residence. Your foreign spouse entered the United States on a non-immigrant visa (i.e. fiancé(e) visa, visitor visa, student visa, work visa etc.) or visa waiver and is currently in the United States legally or overstayed the visa.

How Does My Foreign Spouse Acquire Permanent Residence?

The Immigration and Nationality Act allows a U.S. citizen to petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for their foreign spouse and any minor children (under 18 at the time you were married) to live permanently in the United States. First, you file a separate marriage petition, application for permanent residence, travel document and work permit and an affidavit of support for the foreign spouse and each child along with required documentation with the USCIS Service Center. The USCIS will issue receipts for each application then schedule your foreign spouse and minor child(ren) to be fingerprinted at the closest USCIS District Office. The USCIS performs a background check on your foreign spouse and minor child(ren). Once the background check is complete and the results are satisfactory, the USCIS schedules you, foreign spouse and minor child(ren) for an interview at the USCIS District Office.

The USCIS approves the application for permanent residence allowing your foreign spouse to live permanently in the United States. The USCIS also approves the application for permanent residence for any minor children (under 18 at the time you were married and under 21 at the time of the issuance of permanent residence). After approval of the application for permanent residence, your foreign spouse and any children will be issued a permanent residence card allowing them to live permanently in the United States.

A review of the facts of the foreign spouse’s specific situation is required to determine whether s/he can file an application for permanent residence in the United States. The permanent residence (based on marriage) process is complicated and time-consuming. We suggest the retention of an experienced immigration attorney well versed in the complexities of the process. The attorneys at CLG can efficiently guide you through each step of the process with the end goal of obtaining permanent residence as quickly as possible.

Additional Questions?

If you are unfamiliar with what is required, you may wish to take a moment to learn more about the permanent residence (based on marriage) process, to review the requirements for permanent residence (based on marriage), the associated visa fees and the timelines for the application process.

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