What are the requirements and how do i bring my foreign spouse to the U. S? This is a very common question in our offices.
At Cuberlo Law, one of our priorities is to help families reunite in the United States. We are immigration attorneys in New Jersey with over 10 years of experience in these types of cases.
Call us today and get a private consultation for any immigration matter involving a family-based immigration in the United States .
As a U. S. citizen, How do I bring my Foreign Spouse to the U. S. in 2023?
Hundreds of questions come in each year about the requirements to petition to bring a spouse to the United States. In order to achieve that, the following are some the requirements:
- Being at least 21 years old.
- Be an American citizen.
- Be a permanent legal resident.
The requirements will change depending on whether you are a citizen or a resident and if your partner is in or out of the country.
Requirements For American Citizens
If you are an American citizen and you are within the United States, you will need to submit the following documents for:
Spouses Within The United States
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
- Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status.
Both documents will need to be completed and submitted at the same time to apply to your spouse.
Spouses Outside The United States
- File Form I-130.
- Once the form is approved, the consular process will be carried out at the United States embassy or consulate in the country where the spouse is located for processing.
Requirements For Permanent Residents
If you are a legal permanent resident in the United States, you can petition to bring your husband. For this you will simply need the following documents:
Spouses Within The United States
- File Form I-130 once a visa number is available.
- Apply for adjustment of status in the United States using Form I-485, Application for Registration of Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status.
- The spouse must have maintained their continuous legal status in the United States in order to adjust status if the spouse had an immigrant visa petition or a work certificate before April 30, 2001.
Spouses Outside The United States
- File Form I-130 once approved and a visa number is available.
- You will need to submit this form for consular processing at the U. S. embassy or consulate in the country where the spouse is located.
- Wait for the U. S. consulate or embassy to notify you of the next procedures to be carried out.
What Documents Do I Need To petition to bring My Spouse?
You will need certain documents to petition to bring your spouse to the United States, among these are the following:
- Form I-130 signed and paid with its corresponding fee.
- 1 copy of your civil marriage certificate.
- 1 copy of the divorce, death or annulment document proving that your previous marriages have ended legally (in case you have had other spouses).
- 1 passport photo of yourself.
- 1 passport-style photo of your spouse.
- Some legal evidence of a name change for you or your spouse, among them could be one of these:
- A court order for name change.
- A marriage document.
- Divorce certificate.
- If you are a U. S. citizen, you must prove your status with one of these requirements:
- 1 copy of your valid american passport.
- 1 copy of your U.S. birth certificate.
- 1 copy of the consular process of foreign birth.
- 1 copy of your naturalization certificate.
- 1 copy of your American citizenship certificate.
- If you are a legal permanent resident, you must prove your status with one of these requirements:
- 1 copy (both sides) of Form I-551 (Permanent Resident Card).
- 1 copy of your foreign passport with a stamp showing the temporary evidence of your stay in the United States.
Documents To Be submitted By The Spouse
Spouses can submit some documents at the same time that Form I-130 is processed if they are located within the United States. They must submit the following to USCIS:
- Form I-485.
- 1 copy of your biographical information Form G-325
- Form I-693, Medical Report and Immunization Record.
- 2 recent color photos from the last 30 days.
- Form I-864, Affidavit of financial sponsorship under section 213A of the law.
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, in case you want to work in the United States while waiting for a resolution.
- 1 copy of the birth certificate of your permanent resident spouse or U. S. citizen.
Read our related article on how to legally enter the United States and how to get a job in the United States being illegal. This way you will better understand the importance of having a legal status in the country.
How do i bring my foreign spouse to the U. S. if I’m a U. S. citizen or resident?
If you are an American citizen or resident and want to petition to bring your spouse to the United States, you must complete the following processes.
Application Process To petition to bring A Spouse If you are A U. S. Citizen
If you are an American citizen, these are the steps to follow to petition to bring your spouse:
- Complete Form I-130 and send it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; USCIS.
- After its approval, send the visa application to the National Visa Center; NVC.
- The NVC will process your file and forward it to the consulate or embassy closest to your spouse.
- The NVC will schedule an interview appointment for your partner to attend.
- At the interview, they will face marriage based Green Card interview questions that must be answered and the necessary documentation submitted.
- If approved, the consulate or embassy will issue your partner an immigration visa.
- The spouse will have six months to be able to travel to the U. S. Once they arrive, they will have to provide the documents and visa at the airport.
- You and your partner will have to wait for the Green Card to arrive, it usually takes a few weeks and arrives by mail.
In case they have been married for less than two years, the residential card will be a conditional one and will expire after two years.
Both of you will have to file a request to obtain a Green Card before the last 90 days in which the conditional card will be issued.
Read our related article on how to get a Green Card. It will help you complete the information on “How do i bring my foreign spouse to the U. S.”
Application Process To petition to bring A Spouse If you are A Permanent Resident
If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you will need to do the following:
- Complete Form I-130 and submit it to USCIS.
- If the petition is approved, the spouse will be placed on a waiting list to obtain an immigration visa number.
- The filing date will become a priority date for the visa, the visa application will not be submitted until the priority date updates.
- Once the priority date updates, you will need to submit the visa application to the NVC.
- The NVC will be in charge of sending the file to the consulate or embassy closest to where your partner lives and will then schedule an interview.
- If approved, the embassy will issue an immigration visa number.
- The spouse will have a maximum of six months to travel to the U. S. and their Green Card will arrive in the mail within a few weeks.
As with American citizens, if you have been married to your partner for less than two years, the residential card will become conditional and will have an expiration date of two years.
You can submit the request for a Green Card in the 90-day period before the conditional card expires.
In case you are the holder of a Green Card and are elected for American citizenship, you can go through the process on how to get U. S. citizenship. This will speed up your partner’s processing and you won’t have to wait for an available visa number.
Our realted Services for family-based immigration petitions
In addition to the spouses, our attorney Carolina Curbelo can help you with the following family petitions:
- U.S citizen petition for parents
- How to bring my son to the United States
- How can a U. S. citizen sponsor a sibling
How To Remove The Conditional Residence?
If you have been married to your partner for less than 2 years and applied to enter the United States, your partner will be issued a conditional Green Card instead of a permanent one.
- The conditional card is valid for a maximum of 2 years and may expire.
- If the couple fails to revoke this conditional card, they run the risk of being deported from the United States.
An immigration attorney can help you obtain cancellation of removal or any other immigration deportarion relief.
In order for you to lift the conditional card, you and your partner must:
- Apply Form I-751, Petition to Cancel Residency Conditions.
- Form I-90, Application to Replace Green Card, is not used in these cases.
- You must request that the conditional status is removed within the 90-day period before the conditional card expires.
How Long Does The Petition To bring A Spouse to the U. S. Take?
A very frequent question in our offices is: “If I marry an American, how long will my residence take?” The interest is logical, being an urgent procedure to obtain a stay in the United States.
The reality is that the process can take a long time; In addition, it depends on the procedures requested for your spouse to go and live in the United States. Among these processing times we find the following:
Processing Time For Form I-130
The processing time for Form I-130 depends on several factors. One of them is whether the applicant is an American citizen or a legal permanent resident.
This is mainly because there is a limited number of American visas. The usual waiting time can range from 5 to 12 months, although some requests can be processed in 2 months.
Processing Time For A Spouse Visa
Once USCIS approves Form I-130 for an American citizen, their spouse can apply for a visa, this process usually takes 3 to 5 months.
In case of being a permanent resident, you will have to wait for your partner to have a visa number available with your priority date. This usually takes about 24 months.
When the priority date is updated, you can apply for a visa and the process can take between 3 to 5 months.
The Time To Get A Green Card
Once the visa is approved by the NVC, the embassy or consulate process of the country where your spouse is currently living can take 2-3 months.
After completing an interview, an immigrant visa will be issued that will be valid for 6 months.
Upon arrival in the United States, the applicant will receive their Green Card after approximately one month.
How Much Does It Cost To petition to bring A foreign Spouse To The U. S?
The fee for this is around $535, but the total cost can go up to about $2,000 if your spouse resides in the U. S.
In case the spouse is in a foreign country then the cost will be of approximately $1,500.
It should be noted that the costs of this process may include:
- Translations of documents.
- Payment of documents or photocopies.
- Travel expenses for interviews at U. S. consulates or embassies.
Frequently Asked Questions on how to bring a foreign spouse to the U. S. if you are an american citizen
We have already answered the main question: “How do i bring my foreign spouse to the U. S.” Let’s look at some of the most common related questions that we get in our office. Remember that this is general information and to give you a specific answer about your situation we must know the details. Feel free to contact us by email or phone right now.
Can My Spouse Come To The United States While The Visa Petition Is Pending?
If you are a U. S. citizen, you must file Form I-130 and your partner, if eligible, will apply for the K-3 non-immigrant visa.
With this visa, your spouse will have the right to work and live in the United States while you wait for your visa application to be pending.
If you want to obtain this benefit, you must file Form I-129F. If your partner wishes to wait outside the United States while your visa is in process, you won’t need to file Form I-129F.
If you are a permanent resident, your spouse can be eligible for a V visa, as long as no more than three years have elapsed since the Form I-130 was processed.
You can learn more about the different types of visas available in the United States in our specialized article. You may also be interested in reviewing the K-1 fiancé(e) visa.
Can I Appeal If My Request Was Denied?
If your request is denied or denied, you can appeal. In the denial letter you will get all the information on how and when to appeal.
The appeal will be sent to the Board of Immigration Appeals after requesting it and making the respective payment.
You can learn more about how to appeal an immigration decision in our dedicated article on the subject.
If I Married An American Citizen In The USA, Can I Be A Resident?
If you married an American citizen in the USA, you may be an American resident, but you should know that it all depends on how long you have been married.
If you were recently married; that is, if you have been married for less than 2 years, then you will have a conditional residence that can expire and if that happens, you may face deportation.
What Does It Take To arrange My Husband’s documents?
If you are willing to arrange the papers for your spouse, it is best to contact our immigration attorney.
After studying your case, we will give you all the possible tools so that you can arrange any type of procedure or documentation for your partner.
Curbelo Law Helps You with Petitions To Bring Your Spouse To The U. S.
Now you have a clear view on what it takes to bring your foreign spouse to the U. S. If you are looking for legal advice to bring your spouse to the United States, do not hesitate to contact the law firm of Curbelo Law. With over 10 years of experience in the legal area of immigration, we are ready to assist you in this and any other immigration procedure.
New Jersey-based immigration attorneys are available to assist you in all of these processes. Call us today and get a private consultation.