Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by Visa Journal
There are several ways of bringing spouse to USA so that you can be together, but it is only a US citizen or a lawful permanent US resident who can obtain a green card for their spouse.
Types of USA Spouse Visa
The two spousal visa USA types are:
- Immigrant visa for a Spouse of a US Citizen (IR1 or CR1) – For this visa, an immigrant petition for Alien Relative, Form 1-130 is necessary. After USCIS, the National Visa Center, and the US Embassy complete all the required administrative processing, your spouse will be granted an IR1 or a CR1 immigrant visa.
- Nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) – This visa is for a spouse who married a U.S. citizen. It is filed and issued in the country where the marriage took place. After visa issuance, the spouse can go to the US to await the processing of the immigrant visa case. This visa requires two petitions: The Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, and the Form I-129F, which is the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
Requirements to sponsor spouse visa USA
If you desire to bring your spouse to emigrate and live in the United States as a Green holder (permanent resident), there are certain requirements. For US dependent visa, you have either to be a US citizen or be a legal green-card holder.
Furthermore, you should possess and maintain a residence (domicile) within the USA before you can be allowed to sign the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864 or I-864EZ). You have to be living within the United States for you to be allowed to file the Affidavit of Support.
The spouse visa USA requirements are that you should:
- Show that you and your spouse have a legally valid marriage having a marriage certificate detailing the place of marriage, your two names, and the date of marriage
- Prove that you do not have previous marriage or that previous marriages were terminated with a death or divorce certificate
- Prove that you and your spouse do not have a fraudulent marriage using evidence like pictures together, joint leases, and joint bank account statements
- The US citizen must achieve the income requirement by earning at least 125% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Steps towards spouse sponsorship USA framework
File a petition for Alien Relative
You should first fill out the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. This petition is filed through the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to enable your spouse to emigrate to the US.
Complete Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and Form I-130A (Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary) and send this form with its supporting documents to the USCIS.
Settling of fees
Once the USCIS approves the petition, the spouse is entered on a waiting list for an immigrant visa. The petition is sent to the National Visa Centre (NVC) that assigns a case number and instructs the applicant to complete Form DS-261. The NVC instructs you where and when to submit the appropriate fees. The fees cater for:
- Filling the Form, I-130 immigrant Petition for Alien Relative charged by the USCIS fees, It is $535 for Form I-130
- Fees for the processing of the immigrant visa application, Form DS-260
- Fees for required vaccinations and all medical assessment
- Fees for obtaining documents and expenses for travel to a US consulate embassy for the visa interview
The government filing fees for getting a family-based green card are $1,760 plus $200 medical exam fees for an applicant living in the United States or $1,200 for an applicant living outside the United States.
Submitting of documents
After you do due diligence and pay the fees, the NVC will request you to submit the necessary immigrant visa documents. The complete spousal visa USA application documents include:
- The passport has to be valid for six months beyond the date you intend to enter the united states.
- Affidavit of Support (I-864, I-864A, I-864 EZ, or I-864W, as appropriate) from the petitioner/U.S. sponsor. This is a financial support form.
- Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa, and Alien Registration Application documents
- Two standard 2*2 digital size photographs]
- Civil documents or certified copies of civil documents like copies of birth and marriage certificates.
- Fully completed medical examination forms
After the NVC determines that you have fully completed all the required documents, they will schedule you an interview for spouse visa USA appointment. The NVC sends the documents and the file petition to the U.S Consulate or Embassy, where you will be interviewed for a spouse visa.
The date and time of the applicant’s visa interview along with instructions, including guidance for obtaining a medical examination, will be communicated. During the interview process, ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken. Generally, applicants will receive their original civil documents and original translations back at the time of the interview.
Your spouse is supposed to answer questions truthfully at the interview correctly and effectively. The embassy or consulate issues them with an emigration spousal visa USA if they get approval.
Port of Entry
Once a visa is issued, the spouse has 6 months to travel to the United States. When they arrive, they will show the documents and the visa at the port of entry, and they can enter and join you in the US. You will have achieved in bringing spouse to USA.
It is imperative to follow instructions carefully. This is because a lack of following instructions will cause unnecessary delays. The total time of processing varies and cannot be definitively predicted for all cases; however, generally, the spousal green card takes 8-11 months for processing of the application plus an additional 1-2 months to schedule the interview. There could be delays when the US sponsor, or petitioner, cannot meet Affidavit of Support requirements while some Visa applications require further administrative processing.
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