Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Seattle Immigration Lawyer | The Marriage Route to Getting a Green Card, Continued - Living Abroad and Married to U.S. Citizen

In the case of an immigrant living abroad who is married to a U.S. citizen there are two possible routes to getting a green card. First, the traditional method is for the U.S. citizen spouse to file the visa petition (I-130) with USCIS. Assuming USCIS approves the petition, the immigrant will go through consular processing abroad. Hopefully, the immigrant spouse will be approved for the visa, which he or she must use within 6 months to go to the U.S. and claim permanent residence, or conditional residence. This process typically takes at least a year.

Second, there is an alternative, more expensive option that is sometimes faster, depending on the speed of the particular USCIS processing office. (You should consult with an immigration attorney in making this decision.) The U.S. citizen spouse can send in the visa petition to USCIS and once he or she receives a receipt notice from USCIS, the U.S. citizen spouse can file a separate fiancé visa petition (Form I-129F). Yes, you read that right. A fiancé visa petition, even though you are already married. Once USCIS approves the fiancé petition, the immigrant spouse then proceeds through the consular processing system abroad. At the consular interview, the consulate will hopefully approve the immigrant for a fiancé visa (K-3). The immigrant spouse can travel to the U.S. using the K-3 and once in the U.S. can file for adjustment of status with USCIS. Following what will be at least several months of waiting, both spouses will attend an interview and hopefully the immigrant will be approved for permanent residence. Whichever route you decide to take, an experienced immigration lawyer can guide you through the process and minimize administrative delays.

Stay tuned for my next article, which will cover how to obtain a green card for an immigrant living in the U.S. who is married to a U.S. LPR, and for an immigrant living abroad who is married to a U.S. LPR.

1 comment:

  1. If your fiance is NOT in the USA, you can obtain a Fiance Visa which allows your future spouse to enter the country for 90 days and have a marriage in USA. You can then start the marriage visa process and file an Adjustment of status (Form I-485).Get your K1 Fiance Visa quickly. Automated Visa Preparation System without the high legal fees. Approved by Immigration Lawyers.