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Sponsoring a Spouse for United States Citizenship

Immig3

Many people have heard the stories of people immigrating to the United States in pursuit of the “American Dream.” People immigrate to the U.S. in hopes of starting a new life or to better themselves and live a different life than in their previous home. Dreaming of coming to the U.S. and actually becoming a citizen are two different concepts, though. The immigration process in the United States can be a lengthy process. If an entire family relocates to the U.S., it could take years before members of the family make it through the citizenship process and finally become a legal citizen of the United States of America. There are situations in which immigrants have sponsors in the U.S. to help them establish lawful residency quicker. Sponsorship of a spouse by a person who is already a U.S. citizen is a common example of obtaining citizenship.

While sponsoring another individual so that they can obtain legal residency and citizenship can speed up the immigration process, there are two common situations that call for different rules and action, as described below.

Being Engaged to a U.S. Citizen

One of the common sponsorship situations includes an immigrant from another country being engaged to a U.S. citizen. In this situation, the fiancé could come to the U.S. after obtaining a fiancé visa. This visa, the Petition for Alien Fiancé, can take six months, or even longer to obtain. The process begins with the U.S. citizen sending in the petition. This petition can be used to apply for the U.S. citizen’s fiancé and their children. After filing the petition and it being approved, it is then the immigrant fiancé’s duty to fill out a visa application. The U.S. citizen and their fiancé will then be required to attend an interview at a U.S. consulate. Only after this interview will the couple find out if their petition for a fiancé visa has been approved. If the petition has been approved, there is only a 90-day period for the marriage to happen. The immigrant must also apply for a green card after the fiancé visa has been approved and the marriage occurs.

Being Married to a U.S. Citizen

It is not just a fiancé who can receive sponsorship for a green card in the process to become a U.S. citizen themselves. A person who lives in another country but is married to a U.S. citizen can be sponsored by their spouse to obtain a green card. A Petition for Alien Relative allows a U.S. citizen to sponsor an immigrant when there is a personal relationship between them and the immigrant, like being a spouse. The U.S. citizen must file the petition and then three to six months later, or sometimes even longer, the immigrant spouse may be given permission to enter the U.S. After being given permission to enter, the immigrant will need to fill out various forms with the National Visa Center and eventually have an interview with the U.S. consulate in the immigrant’s country. Then, after the interview and passing every step, the immigrant will be given a green card when they enter the U.S.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have questions about sponsoring a fiancé or spouse for immigration to the U.S., the immigration attorney at Dysart Willis can help you. Contact us today in North Carolina for a consultation.

Resources:

uscis.gov/i-129f

uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-130instr.pdf

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