If you are exploring whether a marriage visa is right for you, there are some factors that you have to consider. United States citizens can file a petition of their spouse, who is not a U.S. citizen, to live permanently in the United States.
There are three types of marriage Visas to be aware of:
CR1: This is an immigrant visa for a spouse of a United States citizen where the marriage has lasted less than two years. This visa allows a spouse, who is not a US citizen, what is called “conditional residency” for two years. Conditional residency just means things are pending. The nice thing about this visa is that it allows the foreign-born spouse to work. However, be aware that the couple will have to interview with immigration authorities to prove to the immigration department that the marriage is “real” and not done to defraud the immigration system.
IR1: This is an immigrant visa for a spouse of a United States citizen where the marriage is longer than two years. This visa give instant (but still conditional) residency to a spouse who was not born in the United States. However, note that the spouse must be married for at least two years to qualify. The spouse born outside the United States on this visa can begin working immediately.
K-3: This is a visa that allows a spouse to remain temporarily in the United States while the immigration proceedings are going on.
It’s important to note that the spouse who is a United States citizen can show to immigration authorities that he or she can financially support the other spouse—i.e. that this spouse is employed and makes money. So the United States-based spouse must be able to prove their income by producing things like tax returns, wage statements from their work, etc.
The 1-130 Petition
The petition is the document you need to present to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services to show you have a “real” or valid relationship between you and your foreign-born husband or wife. There are many documents you need to give to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. Some of those documents are as follows:
- Photographs showing you and your spouse together acting like a normal, married couple
- Bank records with both of your names on it
- Tax records with both names
- Utility bills with both of your names
- If you have children, the birth certificate
- Statements, also known as affidavits, from people who know about your marriage and who are willing to vouch for its validity
K-1 Visas for Fiancés
The purpose of a K-1 nonimmigrant visa permits a fiancé to come to the United States for the purpose of marrying a United States citizen. However, they must do it within 90 days upon arriving in the United States. After they have married the United States citizen, the foreign-born spouse can then apply in hopes of becoming a permanent resident. They must do this through U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.
It is important to note that the person filling out the paperwork for a Visa must be a United States citizen and the United States-based spouse has the financial capacity to support the foreign-born spouse.
Can You Appeal if Your Marriage Visa is Denied?
If your marriage visa is denied by U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, it can be very frustrating and even heartbreaking. However, it is not always the end of the road for you and your spouse. You are allowed to file an appeal. The next step is to file an appeal and have your case reviewed by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Many times people lose and need an appeal because an important document that should have been filed was not filed.
Having an experienced, thorough attorney on your side can greatly improve your chances of winning your appeal.
Jackman Law Firm Fights to Keep Couples Together
At The Jackman Law Firm, we understand what is at stake. We will fight to protect your rights and do everything in our power to keep you and your spouse together.