Immigration Lawyer of Washington DC
Whether you are looking to join your spouse in the United States or are a current citizen or permanent resident looking to bring your spouse here to live with you, you must go through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to acquire a visa. In the interest of preventing people from marrying solely for the purposes of lawful immigration, USCIS imposes various requirements and restrictions on getting this kind of immigrant visa.
Seeking help from a seasoned Washington DC marriage visa lawyer could make a huge difference in your prospects of success with this application. A knowledgeable family immigration attorney with experience helping couples could work diligently on your behalf to give you the best chances possible of a positive resolution.
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Preliminary Qualifications for Fiancé(e) and Spouse Visas
Different requirements apply under current USCIS policy to marriage visa and fiancé(e) visa applicants. A person cannot receive a marriage visa unless they can demonstrate they are legally married to a current citizen or lawful resident of the United States in good faith and that neither they nor their spouse is married to anyone else.
Conversely, fiancé(e) visas are available only to foreign nationals who intend in good faith to lawfully marry a U.S. citizen they have met at least once in person within the past two years. In either situation, the sponsoring party in the United States must be able to provide documentation affirming their U.S. citizenship or lawful residence.
Finally, both spouses must be prepared to submit various forms of documentation affirming the validity of their marriage. The checklist includes:
- civil marriage certificate;
- divorce or death decrees for previous spouses if applicable;
- documentation regarding legal name changes; and
- passport-style photos of each individual spouse.
A Washington DC attorney could provide assistance collecting and submitting this information for a marriage-based green card application.
Basic Steps in the Marriage Visa Application Process
The marriage visa application process begins when the sponsoring party submits the aforementioned documentation to USCIS along with a completed Form I-130 for their spouse or a Form I-129F for their fiancé(e). USCIS will provide additional instructions after processing a submitted application, generally including dates and times for interviews and/or biometrics appointments.
It is worth noting that marriage visa recipients who have been married to their spouse for less than two years upon submitting their initial application can only be approved for conditional permanent resident status at first. Once their conditional status expires, they must file Form I-751 with their spouse to achieve full permanent residency based on their continued marriage. A lawyer in Washington, DC could be an irreplaceable source of guidance and support during every stage of the marriage visa process.
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Pursuing a visa based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful resident is generally much easier than applying based on other familial relationships or even an employment offer. However, that does not mean getting this kind of visa is a simple process, especially if you and your spouse have not been married for very long.
Representation from a Washington, DC marriage visa lawyer could substantially simplify this process and give you better odds of getting the outcome you both desire. Call today for a consultation.