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Spouse Visa USA: Everything You Need to Know

Learn more about the Spouse Visa USA and how you can be granted permanent resident status in the U.S. Do Law Office has all the information you need.

What Is a Spouse Visa

“Spouse visa” refers to a spouse’s immigration visa (green card). Foreign spouses of U.S. citizens or permanent residents may get a spouse visa. A spouse of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident does not immediately receive immigration status. It is necessary to apply to the immigration authorities to enter or remain in the country.

To qualify for a U.S. spouse visa, you must meet the eligibility criteria and follow the lengthy immigrant Petition process. Generally, the course of action will depend on the specific circumstances.

The Do Law Office can help you obtain a spouse visa to reunite with your family. Our experienced immigration attorneys will guide you through the entire process and ensure your application is complete and accurate. We can help you fill out forms, answer your questions, and assist at every step of the application process.

What Are the Requirements for Spouse Visa in the USA?

Marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is required before qualifying for a visa based on your marriage.

Spouses in the United States are defined as legally married to a citizen or permanent resident, regardless of whether they are heterosexual or same-sex. During the immigrant visa interview, the following explanations clarify what a spouse is and is not:

  • Under immigration law, living together does not constitute marriage.

  • Common-law spouses may be eligible for a marriage visa based on the laws of the nation where the marriage occurred. This will depend on whether or not the country recognizes common-law marriages.

  • Common-law marriages occur when a couple mutually agrees to marry without first undergoing the formalities of a religious or legal wedding.

  • Marriage visas are only available to the first spouse in polygamous marriages.

  • The spouse of a U.S. citizen must have sustained employment above the visa processing minimum.

  • The U.S. citizen must also be 18 years old at the time of application.

Cost of Spouse Visa

Depending on the location of the sponsoring spouse, spouse visa applications cost different amounts. Applicants that reside in the United States must pay $1,760 in government filing costs to receive a green card based on their family qualifications.

While spouse visa applicants outside of the United States would pay around $1,200 for filing costs. This does not include the standard fee for a medical examination, which varies by provider.


Applying for a Spouse Visa

You can apply for a spouse visa in one of two ways, allowing you to start a new life with your spouse in the USA. The following are the visa available to you:

  • Immigrant visa, also known as a CR1 or IR1 visa, enables you to immediately enter and remain in the United States as a legitimate permanent resident.

  • Non-immigrant visa, also known as the K3 visa, allows you to immigrate to the U.S. temporarily with your spouse while waiting for the acceptance of your immigration petition.

USA Spouse Visa Process

The visa process for a foreign spouse depends on the case’s specifics. Generally speaking, the process is grouped into two categories depending on the location of both spouses.

Sponsor Spouse Living Outside the U.S.

If you reside outside the United States and want to bring your foreign spouse to the United States, you must file an immigrant visa petition for alien relative, Form I-130. You can submit this form to your local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office or the U.S. embassy in the beneficiary spouse’s country.

Once the National Visa Center (NVC) accepts the visa application, the spouse beneficiary will receive a letter requesting biographical information and a signature from the NVC.

Once the forms have been completed, the spouse must send them to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the United States. In about six months, the consulate will call the foreign national spouse and issue them an immigrant visa after receiving the completed forms from the spouse.


Spouses Already Living in the U.S.

For spouses already residing in the U.S., the visa application process starts with the U.S. citizen submitting a Form I-130 petition.

The U.S. citizen spouse will submit the petition to the appropriate USCIS office to prove that the marriage is genuine. USCIS requires that the beneficiary spouse submit Form I-485 (petition to adjust status) after the I-130 petition has been approved.


Required Documents

The beneficiary spouse will be required to submit the following supporting documents along with their application:

  • Passport(s) valid for six months after arrival in the U.S.
  • Petitioner/U.S. sponsor’s Support Affidavit (I-864, I-864A, I-864EZ, or I-864W).
  • Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Form DS-260.
  • DS-260 sample (6.4MB).
  • Two (2) 2×2 passport-style photos
  • Original civil documents such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree from any previous marriages, immigration visa applications
  • Medical Forms

Income Requirement for Spouse Visa

To apply for a spouse visa, the U.S. citizen or green card holder sponsoring the petition must prove that their annual income exceeds 125% of the federal poverty threshold in the United States for their family size. A sponsoring spouse must calculate the threshold by adding the number of people in their household, including themselves, dependents, living relatives, and sponsored immigrants.

If you serve in the armed forces and sponsor your spouse or child, you must earn no more than 100% of the federal poverty level for your family size.

The typical minimum yearly income for sponsoring a spouse or family member is $22,887. U.S. citizens or current green card holders supporting only one relative must not be on active duty.

Spouse Visa Processing Times

In most spouse visa situations, the procedure takes less than a year. The timeline for obtaining a spouse visa might differ for each situation.

Processing timeframes for form I-130 vary depending on the visa category, whether immediate relative or family preference.

The workload at the location where your paperwork is handled and the degree to which you have prepared the petition are two more variables that might impact the total processing time.


How Immigration Lawyers Can Help

Technically speaking, immigration attorneys are not required for spouse visa processing. However, having an experienced Atlanta family immigration lawyer from a reputable law firm can help your application.

For a successful and straightforward immigration process, you may consider hiring an immigration attorney to help you put your papers together and prepare you for interviews. Turn to trusted professionals to ensure you save time and money.

Contact a Vietnamese immigration lawyer immediately.

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4500 Satellite Blvd.
Suite 1160
Duluth, GA 30096


Tel: 678-224-8940
Fax: 678-224-8967

4500 Satellite Blvd Ste 1160

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