Immigrate a Spouse from Overseas: I-130 Marriage Petition
You happily married your spouse who is not a United States citizen and, in fact, has not even entered the country yet. You are an immigrant yourself having come to this country and are now a permanent resident. What do you need to do to bring your spouse home to you? The smart thing to do is contact a reputable immigration attorney to guide you.
The immigration laws are created so that certain family members of lawful permanent residents and US citizens can obtain a visa to come to the United States and become permanent residents. Once you and your spouse are married, you or your attorney must file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130). Regardless of who files it the form must be filled out by the legal resident applying to bring his or her spouse into this country. The purpose of Form I-130 is:
- to make sure the petitioner is qualified to sponsor another person by either being a US citizen or legal resident themselves, and
- the spouse is in fact related to the petitioner
- the marriage must be legally recognized in the country or state where the ceremony was performed and must be a valid marriage not one just for immigration purposes
It should be noted at this time the United States does not allow polygamy or recognize homosexual marriages as valid. Anyone found to marrying someone just to bring them into this country might face criminal charges themselves and their spouse would be permanently banned from entering the US.
Even though the process is started by the filing of visa petition Form I-130 it does not give the immigrant spouse the right to enter the United States or guarantee they will be eligible for a green card.
Depending on the circumstances, the process may be relatively quick while in the more complicated situations there are many more hoops involved.
For instance if the immigrant spouse lives overseas they can begin the procedure of applying for the green card immediately after the Form I-130 is completed. If the immigrant spouse is already living in the United States lawfully the Form I-130 and Adjustment of Status, (AOL Form I-485) can be filed simultaneously without having to wait for Form I-130 approval.
This procedure does not work for spouses of US citizens who have entered the country illegally. For them the process is much more complicated. Whichever way you choose there are many things that can go wrong. That is why using a good immigration law firm like the Cruz LawOffice to guide you through the process is highly recommended. The stress of becoming the citizen of another country is hard enough. Why not make it easy on yourself.