What You Must Know About U.S. Marriage and Immigration Law: Part II

Immigrants walking in a line

A marriage-based immigration visa allows your spouse to come to the US from another country and become a green card holder. In part one of this blog, we answered some questions associated with marriage and immigration laws in the US, who is entitled to petition, conditional green card, and the kind of visa status one can get through a marriage. In the second and concluding part of this blog series, we will answer some more questions on the subject.

Q1: Is it possible to bring my fiancé if we are not officially married?

You can bring your fiancé(e) to America even if you are not legally married but are engaged to each other. You will have to apply for the Fiancé Visa (K-1) by petitioning Form I-129F. However, you must remember that the sole purpose of this visa is to bring your fiancé(e) to the country so that you can marry. Once your fiancé gets the K-1 visa, (s)he must enter the US within six months from the date of issue and you must marry her/him within 90 days.

Q2: Do I need to prove the authenticity of our marriage?

Fake marriages to get a green card are a serious issue, and in order to curb such malpractices, the USCIS is extremely careful about exposing fraudulent marriages. You and your fiancé(e) will have to prove the legitimacy of your marriage in the petition, as well as go through an interview that both of you need to attend. The interview process is stressful as you may be asked some personal questions relating to your marriage and relationship. Immigration officials will probe and try to find evidence to ascertain whether your marriage is genuine or fake.

Q3: Is my marriage still valid in America if I get married in another country?

Your marriage is valid in the US provided you are legally wed in some other country. If you married an underage person or someone against his/her will, then such marriages are illegal in the country.

Q4: Is it possible to live with my spouse with the visa application still pending?

If you got married outside America and want your spouse to stay with you in the country while waiting for the visa petition to be processed, you may apply for the K-3 visa. With the nonimmigrant visa, your spouse can enter the US and seek employment until the marriage-based visa is processed.

Q5: What is the cost of marriage-based visa?

It will cost you $420 to petition form I-130. This is the application for Alien Relative, which you need to file for the marriage-based immigration visa. Based on the situation and your spouse’s location, you may also need to file form I-485, which is the petition for Adjustment of Status. The cost may vary from $0 to $1070 depending on factors such as your age and whether or not you have any refugee status.

If you have any further questions related to marriage-based immigration visas, feel free to  without breaking your bank.