Congratulations, you have obtained Legal Permanent Residence Status and obtained your Green Card. What now? Well if you are in the United States alone, but are married, and maybe have children, then you probably want to try to get them visas so they can join you in the United States. If you have a foreign spouse (spouse who is living in another country), your spouse is eligible to obtain a family visa under the second preference. The United States government recognizes both same sex marriages and opposite sex marriages. The marriage just has to be legally recognized in the location where the couple was married.
Let’s make something clear. Your family will not receive their (Legal Permanent Residence status (Green Card) right away. That takes several years, even for your spouse. What they will receive is a visa to enter the United States, which is a nice start since they will be here in the United States with you.
Keep in mind that there is a limit to the number of visas are granted each year by the United States government. Most visa categories have a limit on how many visas are issued and the family based second preference is no exception. So, if you are serious about trying to get your spouse a visa, don’t hesitate to seek the professional guidance of a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney.
As discussed earlier, the United States government recognizes both same sex marriages and opposite sex marriages. The first requirement you must meet is to have a bona fide marriage, which means it has to be a legal marriage to begin with. The marriage cannot be made specifically for immigration purposes. The United States government will ask you and your spouse to provide documents, photos, and other evidence to show that the marriage is bona fide. It is not uncommon for the United States government to ask you to provide additional documents throughout the application process.
The second step is to make sure that your spouse is not classified as “Inadmissible” to enter the United States. There are many reasons why someone would be classified as inadmissible, how long the status last, and what was done to be classified as such. We will not get into that in this blog since it is a long and complicated subject. Just know that if your spouse is classified as inadmissible, then your spouse will not be granted a visa.
If your spouse is already in the United States legally with a valid visa, then yes you and your spouse can apply for the family visa, changing the category visa that your spouse has (for example going from student visa to family visa.
If your spouse is in the United States illegally, well that can be a problem. Why it can be a big issue is because staying in the United States illegally can lead to a person being classified as inadmissible and barred from coming to the United States for several years, depending on how long the person was in the United States illegally.
If you and your spouse meet the above requirements and go through the whole application process, then all that is left is the final step. In the last step your spouse will need to attend an interview at a United States consulate. During the interview, the officer will review all the documents you and your spouse have submitted. The officer will ask questions about the documents, ask her about experiences that you two have shared, etc.
This is an immigration legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice. 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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