Sponsoring a spouse’s immigration to the United States is relatively easy compared to other family members. However, there are still many procedural steps involved, and a small mistake could lead to your application being denied.

If you are trying to help your spouse become a legal U.S. resident, reach out to a San Diego spouse visa lawyer at Hacking Immigration Law, LLC. Our knowledgeable immigration attorneys can walk you through the application process, make sure you include all necessary documentation, and prepare your spouse for their visa interview.

Requirements for Sponsoring a Spouse as a U.S. Citizen

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers the spouse of a U.S. citizen as an “immediate relative,” which means they are eligible for an IR-1 immediate relative visa. Luckily, there are an unlimited number of these visas made available each year. To sponsor an IR-1 application, an American citizen must have a permanent U.S. address, and they must be able to provide financial support for their spouse upon arrival in the United States until their spouse is able to find employment of their own.

Along with Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, a prospective sponsor must also submit a valid marriage certificate to USCIS that shows they have been married to their spouse for at least two years prior to their initial filing date. Individuals who have been married less than two years may be eligible for a Conditional Residence (CR-1) Visa.

Once USCIS approves Form I-130, the prospective visa recipient must fill out Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application. If they are already within U.S. borders, they must complete Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. After submitting the appropriate form, there are several other steps in the spouse visa application procedure, which typically include:

  • Medical examination
  • Biometric screening
  • An interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate

An attorney with experience in spouse visa applications could guide couples in San Diego through the various requirements.

Who Else Could Sponsor a Spouse’s Immigration?

Under a current Trump administration ban, permanent residents can sponsor their spouses for a visa, but the embassy is unable to issue the visa. However, anyone who was granted asylum or refugee status in the United States within the past two years is eligible to sponsor their spouse and any of their unmarried children under age 21 for legal U.S. residency. This can be accomplished through Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. A spouse visa lawyer could explain in further detail how these processes work and offer support to citizens in San Diego seeking to sponsor their spouse’s immigration.

Talk with a San Diego Spouse Visa Attorney for Legal Advice

Applying for the right visa and successfully receiving it may take some time and effort. However, getting in touch with a San Diego spouse visa lawyer can be a critical first step toward reuniting you and your spouse as legal U.S. residents. Call Hacking Immigration Law, LLC today to discuss your situation and get the legal advice you need.