If you want to bring your spouse to the U.S. and apply for a spouse visa, you need to be either a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident (green card holder). Bringing a spouse to the U.S. is a challenging process, which often includes several steps.
Due to the increased rate of marriage fraud in visa cases, USCIS takes special care in such visa cases. Find out how to apply for a spouse visa for the United States.
Different Application Processes
There are only a few ways through which you can bring your spouse to the U.S. by applying for a spouse visa. Let’s take a look at these processes in detail.
- If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and your spouse is inside the U.S., you can file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence) to Adjust Status. This method is called concurrent processing.
- If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and your spouse is outside the U.S., you can file Form I-130 and then file Form I-485 later. This method is called consular processing.
- If you are not yet married, you can apply for a K-1 visa, also known as the fiancé(e) visa. This visa allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States, get married, and then file Form I-485.
Necessary Documents to Complete the Application
The petitioner is required to submit complete documentation for the completion of the application. The following documents are required by the USCIS for a spouse visa petition:
- Separate passport size photos of you and your spouse
- Copy of your marriage certificate
- Proof of legal name changes after marriage
- Evidence that all the previous marriages of you and your spouse are terminated
- Two signed and completely filled G-325A forms by you and your spouse
- If you are a U.S. citizen: naturalization certificate, copy of your U.S. passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or birth certificate
- If you are a green card holder or permanent resident: copy of your green card, Form I-551, (front and back), and a copy of your passport with a stamp from when you were admitted as a permanent resident
Once you have petitioned for a spouse visa, you will need to wait until you get a notice from the consular office.
Steps of the Visa Process for Spouses
When applying for a U.S. spouse visa, there are several steps to take. The basic process is as follows:
- File form I-130 or an application for a K-1 visa
- Obtain approval from USCIS
- Apply for an immigrant visa using Form DS-260
- Complete medical exam
- Attend visa interview
- Receive immigrant visa
- Pay immigration fee
- Travel to the United States
- File form I-485 to adjust your status
- Receive your green card
The whole visa process can take as much as a year in some cases. The exact length of time it will take depends on many factors, including how well you prepare your paperwork and the caseload at the office where your visa application is processed.
Conditional Green Card
Immigrants who have been married for less than two years will receive a conditional green card (CR1 visa). This means that even after you have completed the initial visa process, you will have more work to do when the two-year mark approaches.
Within the 90 days before the two years end, you must submit more paperwork to remove the conditions.
FileRight Can Help
The services offered by FileRight can help guide you through the spouse visa application process from start to finish. We know the headaches that often accompany dealing with immigration issues. We can help streamline the process and ensure you have everything you need to get your application approved the first time.
Contact us today to get started with your U.S. spouse visa application. We’ll get you started on the right path.