Spouse or Fiancé(e) Visa Attorneys Serving the Cleveland Area
Based in Ohio and Serving the U.S.
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents may petition for their foreign national spouses. If their spouse is living abroad they can process through the consulate. If their spouse is already here, they can file to adjust their status. U.S. citizens may apply for fiancé or fiancée visas before they marry. Although the process of getting a spouse or fiancé(e) visa may seem easy, there are roadblocks and obstacles to overcome. The best way to do this is by hiring an experienced family-based visa immigration attorney. Call us today and schedule a case assessment; 216-970-7102.
For foreign national spouses living abroad, the primary avenue is as follows:
First, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident files a visa petition. Citizens and permanent residents can petition for green cards on behalf of their foreign national spouses. They do so by filing a Form I-130 visa petition. U.S. citizen petitions for their spouses are called “immediate relative petitions.” This means that upon approval the spouse moves immediately on to the next step. Permanent residents are subject to quotas. These quotas allow only so many visas each year. There is a wait list. This should not discourage permanent residents from filing for their spouses but they should do so with appropriate expectations. These quotas should encourage permanent residents to file for naturalization so their spouses become immediate relatives.
Once USCIS approves the visa petition and a visa becomes available, then the parties must submit several more forms and more supporting documents. This time the parties send their submission to the National Visa Center (“NVC”). The NVC then schedules the foreign national for an interview at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Upon approval, the consulate will take the foreign national’s passport and affixes an “immigrant visa” stamp to the passport. This is routinely called “consular processing.”
If the foreign national spouse was here in the U.S. and needs an immigration waiver for past violations (such as unlawful presence or criminal violations), then he or she would submit it at the consular interview. If the foreign national spouse needs a waiver for foreign conduct that cause the consulate to deny the visa application, then he or she can also submit a waiver at this time.
Fiancé(e) K-1 visas: Fiancé(e) visas are temporary (non-immigrant) visas available to foreign nationals planning to marry U.S. citizens. The process is very similar to the one above but upon entry into the U.S., the foreign national beneficiary must marry within 90 days and then file to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent resident. This is a separate application from the initial fiancé(e) K-1 visa petition and the NVC filings and must be filed with USCIS as soon as possible after entry and marriage.
For Spouses in the U.S.: When a foreign national enters the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, overstays that visa, and marries a U.S. citizen, that individual may be eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status. Even if you believe that your spouse entered the United States “illegally,” he or she may still qualify for legal status through your marriage. It’s best to have your case assessed.
For Fiancé(e)s present in the U.S.: If you get engaged while here in the U.S., there is no process to simply adjust status. Fiances cannot file to adjust status. Instead, the U.S. citizen files the K-1 fiance visa petition, the foreign national fiance departs the U.S. and the return through the consulate with a fiance visa. Then, as noted above, the couple marries within 90 days and files to adjust status.
Requests for Evidence & Notices of Intent to Deny: In all family visa cases, and especially those stemming from recent marriages, USCIS routinely issues Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs). Applicants must timely respond and should seek attorney assistance. Often what seems like a simple issue requires a more in depth and thorough response. If you receive an RFE or NOID, hire someone who understands the case to respond on your behalf. This will be your last chance to persuade the government of your spouse’s eligibility. And possibly to avoid a marriage fraud accusation.
Knowledgeable, Compassionate, and Thorough Immigration Attorneys
If you have questions or concerns about fiancé(e) or spousal visas please call us. We understand how frustrating this process is. Our immigration lawyers routinely listen to our clients vent about government processing wait times and getting work authorization and social security numbers for their spouses. Please call us at 216-970-7102.