A marriage based Immigrant Visa Petition is designed specifically for U.S. citizens married to foreign nationals. This Visa Petition allows the alien spouse to enter the United States as a green card holder. The green card status authorizes the alien to live and work in the United States permanently. The marriage based visa or spousal visa is one of the pathways to U.S. Citizenship. Our Law office has handled hundreds of this petition with an exceptional track record of success.
For a marriage based visa petition, also known as I-130 spousal visa, a spouse is a legally wedded husband or wife. Merely living together is not a legal marriage and therefore does not confer or qualify one for U.S. immigration benefit. Common law marriages are accepted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services but only if the laws of the country where the marriage took place also recognizes common law marriages and grants the couple all the same rights and obligations as traditional marriages.
Below are basic qualifiers for a Marriage based Visa Petition:
- The Petitioner must be a U.S. citizen;
- The Petitioner must be 18 years of age or older. The Petitioner must have a domicile or residence in the United States. Citizens living abroad have the option of filing the I-130 US marriage visa petition with the U.S. Embassy through a process called Direct Consular Filing. This would eventually lead to a marriage based visa.
- The marriage must be the only marriage entered into by either spouse. Polygamous marriages are not recognized by the United States and thus a disqualifier for this petition..
Procedure for Marriage based Immigrant Visa Petition:
The procedure for Marriage based Immigrant Visa Petition is generally two fold and depends on the physical location of the Alien spouse. The first step is U.S. citizen spouse filing petition (I-130) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. If the alien spouse is already in the United States, then the I-130 petition may be filed along with an application for adjustment of status.
If the alien spouse is residing outside of the United States, the I-130 marriage visa petition is filed alone and processed by the Service Center. Once complete, the I-130 marriage visa petition is forwarded to the National Visa Center. The National Visa Center continues to adjudicate the US marriage visa and requests further documentation. Once all the required documentation is received, the I-130 file is moved to the local U.S. Embassy having jurisdiction over the foreign national spouse’s place of residence. The alien spouse is then required to attend an interview at the Embassy before an Immigrant Visa Stamp, authorizing entry into the United States, can be issued.
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