Orlando Marriage Visa Attorney
If you marry in a foreign country and would like to live with your spouse in the U.S., you can file a petition for an immigrant visa for your spouse. The marriage itself does not guarantee immigration success. Filing a petition for permanent resident status is a complex process that is best pursued under the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney. Contact Orlando Immigration Attorney Zaida Kovacsik to explore your options.
U.S. law defines a spouse as a legally wedded husband or wife. Also, same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and their minor children are now eligible for the same immigration benefits as opposite-sex spouses. However, please note that the mere act of living together does not qualify as a spousal relationship for immigration purposes, regardless of how long the cohabitation has taken place. Common law spouses may qualify as spouses for immigration purposes. This will depend on the laws of the country in which the common law marriage took place. Lastly, with respect to polygamy, only the first spouse may qualify as a spouse for immigration purposes.
CR-1 or IR-1 Immigrant Visa
The CR-1 or IR-1 visa is intended for use by U.S. citizens who are sponsoring their foreign national spouse for immigration. The CR-1 is an “immigrant” visa, meaning that it results in the spouse becoming a legal conditional permanent resident upon their arrival in the U.S.
90 days before the second anniversary of the conditional resident status, one can apply to have the conditions removed. CR-1 visa holders can also bring their unmarried children who are under 21. Note that it will be necessary for the U.S. citizen to file separate I-130 petitions for those minor children.
To be Eligible for filing the CR-1 / IR-1 visa:
- The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen, and the beneficiary must be their spouse
- For the IR-1 visa, the couple must have been married for two years at the time the beneficiary enters the U.S. following the visa interview; and
- The marriage between the U.S. citizen and foreign spouse must be valid, meaning that they have met all requirements to have a valid marriage in their jurisdiction. Additional proof of the validity of the marriage, above and beyond a copy of the marriage certificate, is required to be submitted with the petition. This typically includes joint account statements or if necessary, affidavits of third parties who can attest to the validity of the marriage. It is important to make sure that this key factor is addressed by an experienced attorney in order to avoid delays or outright rejection of the immigrant visa petition.
If your spouse has an illegal entry in the U.S., he or she may qualify for a WAIVER of inadmissibility based on the illegal presence.
To set up an appointment, call Orlando Immigration Attorney Zaida Kovacsik today.