How to get a Green Card marrying a US citizen, if you are not in the US( Consular Processing)

For the spouse of a foreign national that is married to a U.S. Citizen, applying for a marriage-based visa through a consular of embassy is a great option. This is because the foreign national does not have to be in the United States to apply for their visa and conduct their interview. They do however have to travel to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to conduct their interview.

One of the important features for applying for a marriage-based visa through a consulate or embassy is that the spouse whom is a legal U.S. citizen does not need to attend the consular interview. This is because by this point, the U.S. citizen or in some cases, legal U.S. resident does not have to prove that the marriage is a legitimate marriage. By the time the foreign national has their interview scheduled, all the proper evidence and forms should have been submitted.

This is very important because sometimes the spouse of the U.S. citizen lives in a country that is extremely far from the United States. For example, it is extremely difficult and expensive for the U.S. citizen to travel to countries in the middle east for their spouse who may be a citizen of countries such as Iran, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

The foreign national does have to bring with them to the interview any children that are of a certain age and if they are included in the application.

If it is feasible for the U.S. citizen to attend the interview of their spouse, either to offer emotional support or any other help that they may be able to provide, they are usually welcome to attend. Before the U.S. citizen books their flight an accommodation to the U.S. consulate or embassy where the interview is being held, it is a great idea to contact that location first.

This is because embassies and consulates are given a bit of freedom to develop their own rules and procedures.  And in some cases, the U.S. citizen spouse may not be allowed to attend the interview.

There are many reasons for the foreign national to bring their U.S. citizen spouse. One reason may be that there may be some red flags raised due to the marriage. One good example of this may be a big age difference in the spouses. Another reason may be to prove that the marriage was not entered into under false or fraudulent terms. Having your spouse there may have the interviewer better accept that your marriage is legitimate, may.

If your spouse is not there, the interviewer may ask the reason why they are not there. The interviewer may be trying to determine if there is a good reason for why the spouse is not present. If you answer that the expense of traveling is too much, this may raise concerns with the interviewer that the U.S. citizen may not be able to fulfill their financial obligations and support for their spouse, which is an important requirement for this visa. IF this is the case, your application may be delayed for further investigation, or worse, denied.

One thing that should definitely raise alarms for the foreign national and the U.S. citizen is if the interviewer asks specifically for both spouses to attend the interview. One reason for the request may be because the consulate or embassy may believe that the marriage was made under false pretenses.

It is also quite possible that they may even interview the both of you separately. In situations like this, it is critical to find a competent and experienced immigration attorney, although, it may have been a good idea to have hired one from the start, just to make sure you were doing everything correctly.

There is also the possibility that the request was made just for no real negative reason. Maybe the interviewer just wanted to speak to the both of you. It would be highly advisable however to treat the situation seriously and if possible hire a competent and experienced immigration attorney.

Finally, its important to remember that the person being interviewed is the foreign national. If the spouse is there for support, they should not answer questions not specifically addressed to them. It may raise alarms if the U.S. citizen spouse answers all the questions instead of the foreign national.

In order to be sure that you meet the requirements for an immigrant Visa and/ or to properly file a petition, it is advisable to seek legal guidance from an experienced immigration attorney. 

This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advise. For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.

Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (reading & writing) & speaks Azeri Turkish.


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Published by kennedylawblog

Lawyer in California, USA Fluent in American English & Persian (Farsi); Speaks Azeri (Turkish)

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Kennedy Law Ramona Kennedy, Esq. (949)677-0063


Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate(Doctorate in law) in America. Ramona Kennedy is a licensed Attorney in California (USA) and a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Ms. Kennedy's areas of practice are US Immigration law, US federal Laws and California State Laws. This is an immigration law blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advise. For further information please contact the law offices of Attorney Ramona Kennedy.

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