If you are outside of the United States, you may apply at a U.S. consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This process is called consular processing. If you are already inside the United States and you entered the U.S. legally (with a visa), you might be able to apply for permanent resident status without having to return to your home country to complete processing. This process is called adjustment of status.
Whether you apply for a K1 fiancé(e) visa or a spousal visa mostly depends on the U.S. petitioner’s immigration status and whether you are married. Only a U.S. citizen’s fiancé(e) can apply for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa; a lawful permanent resident’s fiancé(e) cannot apply for a K-1 visa. If you have seen each other in person in the last two years but are not able to get married in the near future, you might want to apply for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa so your fiancé(e) can come to the U.S. sooner. If you are already married, you can apply for a spousal visa.
USCIS considers all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis. USCIS may require additional documentation to support such requests and has the sole discretion to decide whether to accommodate a request. Unfortunately, the need to obtain employment authorization by itself, without evidence of other compelling factors, does not warrant expedited treatment.
Letters from friends and family members attesting to the genuineness of your marriage can help your green card application. When USCIS receives a marriage green card application, one of USCIS’s primary goals is to determine which applications are fraudulent and which are genuine. People who enter into fake marriages solely for the purpose of obtaining a green card usually do not want to tell their friends and family that they are married.
If you leave the U.S. while your Form I-485 application to adjust status is pending and before you received an advance parole document, you will be deemed to have abandoned your Form I-485 application. You cannot simply return to the U.S. However, USCIS can still continue to process your Form I-130. You can use the consular processing procedure to receive an immigrant visa outside the U.S. After USCIS approves your Form I-130, you must file Form I-824 to transfer your immigration application to the National Visa Center.
When a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident submits a petition to apply for a foreign family member, the petitioner must demonstrate that he/she has sufficient financial support to support the family member’s living expenses in the U.S. The purpose of this rule is to ensure the foreign family member will not become a public charge in the U.S. The petitioner must submit a complete tax return for the most recent year. The petitioner can provide the most recent three years’ of tax returns, but only the most recent year’s tax return is required.
If USCIS discovers that you have entered into a marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws, you may face numerous consequences, including imprisonment and monetary fines. You will also be barred from submitting other immigration applications in the future.
When you apply for a marriage green card, you must ensure that you have submitted the correct forms, the required evidence, and the correct filing fee. However, if you make a mistake in your application, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will almost always give you at least one opportunity to correct the error.
If you want to file a joint but your spouse is neither a U.S. citizen nor a U.S. tax resident, you must have either a Social Security number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). You do not need to have legal immigration status to obtain an ITIN.
Becoming a U.S. citizen will not affect your application for your wife. The processing times are currently the same for the spouse of a U.S. citizen and the spouse of a green card holder. Becoming a U.S. citizen might affect your application for your wife’s children.
If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and marry someone who has a child, the child might qualify as your stepchild. If you married the child’s biological parent before the child turned 18 years of age, the child is your “stepchild” for immigration purposes. You can apply for your stepchild to immigrate to the U.S. the same way you would apply for your own biological child. You are not required to legally adopt your stepchild before you can apply for your stepchild to immigrate to the U.S.
One of the benefits of being a U.S. citizen is that you can submit a K-1 visa to allow your foreign fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S. However, to qualify for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, you and your fiancé(e) must have met in person in the two years prior to filing the K-1 visa application. If Covid-19 has prevented you from meeting your fiancé(e) in the past two years, you may be ineligible to apply for a K-1 visa.
The sponsor can count the intending immigrant’s income in his household income if the following requirements are satisfied: (1) you have the same principal residence as the sponsor and (2) your income will continue from a lawful source even after you obtain your green card.
If your immigration application is missing important information or documents, USCIS will not immediately deny your application. Instead, USCIS will first mail you a Request for Evidence (RFE). The purpose of the RFE is to notify you of the defect in your application and give you an opportunity to correct the problem. If you timely respond to the RFE and provide all the information or documents that USCIS requests, USCIS will continue to process your application. If you do not, then USCIS can deny your application.
If USCIS requires you to attend a second interview, this means USCIS has serious doubts about the legitimacy of your marital relationship. At the second interview, USCIS will separate you and ask you a series of probing questions. You should both invest a lot of time to prepare for this interview.