Overview

You married or will be married to a non-U.S. citizen (in another country) and your foreign spouse requires a marriage (immigrant) visa to enter the United States.

How Does My Foreign Spouse Acquire a Marriage (Immigrant) Visa?

The Immigration and Nationality Act allows a U.S. citizen or permanent resident 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 come to the United States to live permanently. Once the petition is approved by the USCIS, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC requires that your foreign spouse (and any children) complete an online immigrant visa application and file an affidavit of support along with required documentation. The NVC performs a background check on your foreign spouse and children. Once the immigrant visa application, affidavit of support and documentation are received and the background check is complete and the results are satisfactory, the NVC forwards the petition and all other material to the United States consulate nearest your foreign spouse’s foreign residence.

The United States consulate conducts an interview and issues the marriage (immigrant) visa allowing your foreign spouse to legally enter the United States to live permanently. The United States consulate also issues an immigrant visa to any minor children (under 18 at the time you were married and under 21 at the time of the issuance of the visa) of your foreign spouse.

Upon issuance of the marriage (immigrant) visa, your foreign spouse and any children must enter the United States within 6 months. After entry, your foreign spouse and any children will be issued a permanent residence card allowing them to live permanently in the United States.

The marriage (immigrant) visa 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 the marriage (immigrant) visa 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 marriage (immigrant) visa process, to review requirements for a marriage (immigrant) visa, the associated visa fees and the timelines for the application process.