Things to Know if you’re Marrying a Non-Citizen in the United States

Misbah Akhtar

You’re on vacation to a faraway land, and you sight the man of your dreams and fall madly in love. Congratulations! Now that international marriage is your future, and your new fiancé has the likelihood of returning home with you. It may seem like a twist in the reality series, but the situation is happening with you. However, you wonder where your happiness will lie?

If you’re a United States citizen or hold a green card, you think this could happen to you in the United States. Well, you’ll be glad to know that the answer is yes. However, if you’re marrying a non-US citizen, there are some rules that you need to follow if you plan on living together in the United States. These include some legal steps to ensure that your man can enter the boundaries of the country with you.

One thing to know is that your future spouse will require his green card to come and live with you. Thus, depending on the circumstances, there will be some differences in the application process. We know all of this sounds pretty complicated and challenging. But, believe that expert family immigration lawyers can help you dwell in tranquillity. A reputed attorney will work in answering all your questions and make the entire application process easy. He will help you turn in all your government requisites and aid in completing all the forms. You will also know if you are eligible enough to apply for a marriage-based green card.

Things to Know if you’re Marrying a Non-Citizen in the United States

Now that you’re thinking of the United States as your future place of residence, you may need to take into consideration some critical circumstances:

If you live in the United States and your future spouse will be an immigrant:

Consider applying for a green card through a consulate or U.S. embassy after marrying outside the United States. The process is known as consular processing.

The experts suggest filing Form DS-160 or Form I-130. The authorities refer it to the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. After filling up the application form, you need to appear for a medical exam and an interview at the consulate or U.S. embassy.

The process can sometimes be lengthy, but note that the option leads to a green card as soon as you arrive at the United Nations. Now that you’re engaged to immigrant, the second option you have is to have your future spouse come to the United States on a K1 visa, famous under the name fiancé visa. The permit allows you to marry in the U.S. and adjust the status of your spouse to a green cardholder. You can also change the visa of your future husband in advance from the U.S. embassy or consulate.

Another essential rule to be aware of is that you must have seen your husband before filing for a fiancé visa within the previous two years. Note that the foreign partner who’s applying for a fiancé visa must marry the U.S. citizen partner within 90 days of entering the country, or they will have to leave the country.

After getting married in the U.S, you will need filing Form I-485, which requires biometrics and the scope of the interview. Suppose the non-U.S. partner wishes to travel outside the boundaries of the United States or seek employment during the processing of the green card application. In that case, he/she must file for a travel permit or work permit. Both ways involve temporary separation from your spouse when they’re amidst the process of applying for a visa or a green card outside the United States.

You might be wondering about the hassle involved in attaining a fiancé visa for your spouse. The process doesn’t have to cause you sleepless nights if you have a reputed lawyer by your side. Getting assistance from them enables you to put together all the documents and forms while submitting the requisites to the government.

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Study through the U.S. Naturalization Process:

Naturalization is the process through which a permanent resident becomes a full citizen. Many times, the documents of the spouse falls short of the eligibility requirements to become citizens. In this case, you must:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Possess a green card for a minimum of three years.
  3. Be married and “live in marital union” with a U.S. citizen for at least three years before applying and until the application examination.
  4. Live in the state of application filing for a minimum period of three months before applying.
  5. Be in the country for at least eighteen months of the previous three years before applying. The residence must be continuous from the date of applying for naturalization.
  6. Has the ability of reading, writing, and speaking English.
  7. Has an understandability of civics (knowledge of U.S. history and government).

After the spouse meets the three-year residency requirements and the application filed, the naturalization process takes about six months to complete. The strategy foresees completion only after getting through the interview and citizenship test.

After the successful approval of citizenship, the spouse needs to take an Oath of Allegiance during the naturalization ceremony. An administrative officer or judge presides over the ceremony. The naturalization process completes after this final step.

Your spouse can apply for a U.S passport and can register to vote after attaining successful citizenship.

The Bottom Line

Note that civil marriages are the only types of weddings that the U.S authorities recognize for immigration purposes. The recognized authorities must issue the marriage certificate at a local or national level. It can be hard to navigate a new relationship. What’s even more difficult is the struggle of navigating the resident status and visa requirements. You may consider this as a lifelong difficulty, but a helping hand can help you attain a sigh of relief during your man’s citizenship journey.

The best thing that you can do is render some local support or take help from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. These experts will offer you programs and referrals for your assistance to the best levels.

Reach out to them for one-stop solutions!

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