How to Sponsor Your Spouse for US Immigration: A Step-by-Step Guide
Oct 5, 2023
Before delving into the immigration process, it's crucial to establish the legal requirements for a marriage that qualifies for sponsorship:
To sponsor a spouse, your marriage must be legally recognized in the country where it took place and in the United States. Same-sex marriages are also recognized.
If either you or your spouse has been previously married, you must provide evidence of the termination of those marriages, such as divorce or death certificates.
Once the eligibility criteria are met, several special considerations come into play when sponsoring a spouse:
K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa
If you are not yet married but plan to marry your foreign fiancé(e) in the United States, the K-1 visa may be an option. This visa allows your fiancé(e) to enter the U.S. for the purpose of marriage within 90 days of arrival. After marriage, you can proceed with the adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident.
Proof of Genuine Marriage
U.S. immigration authorities are vigilant in ensuring that marriages for immigration purposes are genuine. You will be required to provide substantial evidence of your bona fide relationship, including joint financial documents, photos, and affidavits from family and friends.
Affidavit of Support
As the sponsoring spouse, you are financially responsible for your spouse until they become a U.S. citizen or have worked for ten years in the United States. You will need to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate your ability to financially support your spouse.
Both you and your spouse will be required to attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate. The purpose of this interview is to verify the legitimacy of your marriage and the intentions of your spouse to live permanently in the United States.
If your marriage is less than two years old at the time your spouse is granted lawful permanent resident status, they will receive conditional residency. After two years, you must jointly petition to remove the conditions to establish the authenticity of your marriage.
Divorce and Immigration Status
If your marriage ends in divorce during the immigration process, it can complicate your spouse's immigration status. Seek legal advice promptly if this occurs.
Seek Professional Guidance
Sponsoring a spouse for immigration can be emotionally and legally complex. It's highly recommended to seek the assistance of an immigration attorney who specializes in family-based immigration. An attorney can help you navigate the intricacies of the process, ensure you meet all the requirements, and prepare a strong case to demonstrate the legitimacy of your marriage.
Sponsoring a spouse for immigration to the United States is a profound commitment that involves unique considerations and requirements. By understanding and addressing these special considerations, you can increase the likelihood of a successful immigration journey, ultimately reuniting with your loved one in the land of opportunity.
For expert guidance and support throughout this journey, consider Fibi Law Firm. Our immigration specialists are ready to assist you. Contact us today to turn your dream of reuniting with your spouse in the United States into a reality.