In this day and age, with the ability to connect so easily and the ease of international travel, many Americans are finding themselves falling in love and wanting to spend the rest of their lives with people who live on the other side of the world. It’s not as easy as just saying “come live with me, honey,” so when this happens, many find themselves asking – what now?? Time to strap in and get cozy with the US Immigration System! Fortunately, there are a few options, each depending on what is more of a priority for you and your sweetheart – do you mind living apart a bit longer and saving money or do you want them to come to the US as soon as possible?
If your priority is speed, then you should look into the Fiance Visa. This option is quicker, but involves a few more steps (and thus, a few more pesky application fees!). In the Fiance Visa scenario, an application is first lodged with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). With this petition, your job is to prove to USCIS that your relationship is legitimate and bona fide. If approved, your file is then transferred to the US Consulate in your fiance’s home country, where he or she will attend an interview. After receiving their visa, your fiance will then be permitted to come to the US. Once here, and in the midst of the haze that comes from being reunited, you and your fiance have 90 days to get married. Once married, you apply to adjust your fiance’s status to that of a Legal Permanent Resident. This step involves another set of applications, as well as an Adjustment interview at a local USCIS field office (where the legitimacy of your relationship is scrutinized once again). Once approved, your fiance (now spouse) will receive their Legal Permanent Residency, via a greencard, and you can live happily ever after in the United States!
If speed of processing isn’t too much of a concern, you can always get married immediately and petition for your honey as your spouse. Similar to the Fiance Visa, the first step of the Spouse Petition involves lodging a petition with USCIS, in which the focus is to prove the bona fides of your marriage. Once approved, the file is transferred to the State Department, who collects another set of fees and forms and coordinates with the Consulate in your spouse’s home country to set an interview date. After attending the interview, your spouse will receive their Immigrant Visa and can officially travel to the US. He or she will be admitted as a Legal Permanent Resident, receiving their greencard shortly thereafter, and you can go on living in your wedded bliss!
Here at the Law Office of Erica S Gelfand, we have successfully brought countless fiances and spouses here to join their US Citizen partners. Contact us today for a free consultation and we can help you get started!