Marriage and Fiancee Visas
Marriage Based Visa
A foreign national who marries a U.S. Citizen is eligible to immediately apply for Permanent Residency (Green Card) without having to wait for a visa to become available. If the foreign spouse is currently living inside the U.S., he or she will be able to apply for their green card without leaving the U.S., as long as they can prove that their initial entry in to the U.S. was legal. If the foreign spouse is outside the U.S., he or she will have to go through Consular Processing by attending an interview at the U.S. Embassy in their home country.
At the interview, whether at a U.S. Embassy abroad or at your local USCIS filed office, the couple will be asked to prove the legitimacy of their relationship. In other words, the couple must convince the immigration officer that their marriage is true and genuine and was not entered in to for the purposes of helping the foreign spouse obtain immigration benefits within the U.S.
In order to have a successful interview, the couple should be able to answer a variety of personal questions and present the immigration or consular processing officer with a number of documents.
The following is a limited sample of what you and your spouse may be asked to explain and present at the interview:
Evidence in the form of documentation
- Correspondence received at the marital residence
- Income tax returns
- Utility bills
- Photos of the couple
If a couple is married for less than two years at the time the marriage based visa is approved, then the foreign spouse is issued a conditional green card for a period of two (2) years. Two (2) years and nine (9) months from the day of the approval of the initial green card, the couple must file a Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence USICS form I-751. Evidence required for the removal of the conditional green card status is similar to what is submitted with the initial green card application. Depending on the strength of the evidence, the couple may or may not be required to attend a second interview in front of an immigration officer. There is no need to file an I-751 if the couple is married for over two (2) years at the time the marriage based visa is approved.
If your foreign spouse has children, then a separate green card petition may be filed on their behalf as long as the marriage between you and your foreign spouse took place prior to the child(ren) turning eighteen(18).
A permanent resident may also petition for their spouse. In these cases, a visa will not be immediately available to the foreign spouse. Couples will have to check the Visa Bulletin to see when the priority date of their application will become current. In the recent months, the waiting time for this preference category has been reduced to under a year, making this petition in to a convenient option for permanent residents and their foreign spouses and children.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Yuri Tsyganov, PL., have extensive experience in all issues concerning immigration law, including marriage-based visa petitions. We know how the immigration process works and the questions you can expect in marriage adjustment proceedings. We can assist you with a conditional lawful permanent residency application if you have been married for less than two years. We know how the immigration officers conduct the interview when they believe that someone has married “for papers.” Depending on the facts of your case, you may be required to go through a demanding and unpleasant interview process. An experienced immigration attorney from our office will help you prepare for your interview and will be present at the interview to make sure that your rights are protected and that the immigration officer who is conducting the interview is in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.