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Applying For a Spouse Visa in the United States

Spouse Visa

The US spouse visa process is long and complicated. It is important to know the options and prepare accordingly.

The first step is for the US citizen spouse to file a petition. This is done through Form I-130. This is followeda low-stress biometrics appointment at the local USCIS office.

Documents Required

There are several ways to immigrate to the United States as a permanent resident, including through employment or family members. However, the most common method is through marriage to a U.S. citizen. Spouse visas are also known as immigrant spouse visas, and are coded IR1 or CR1.

When filing Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Fiance), the couple must submit proof of their relationship. This can include phone records, joint bank accounts, joint ownership of property, travel documents and receipts of money transfers. The petitioner must also provide documents showing that any previous marriages were legally terminated.

After USCIS approves the petition, it forwards the case to the National Visa Center. There, the NVC collects additional fees and sends a file to the appropriate U.S. Embassy in the foreign spouse’s country of origin. This location will then schedule the visa interview. Before the interview, the foreign spouse must undergo a medical exam and meet vaccination requirements.

Preparation

When sponsoring a fiance(e) or spouse it is important to be prepared for a lengthy process. There are several forms that must be submitted or filed at different times and even a single mistake can delay the entire process.

Having an immigration attorney is essential to ensure that the proper paperwork is filed and that there are no delays in the processing of your application. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you save both time and money during this stressful process.

It is important to understand that the CR-1 or IR1 visa comes with conditional residency for two years and that you will be required to file an application to remove those conditions at some point in the future. Having an attorney prepare you for the interview and review your questions will ensure that you are ready to successfully complete your interview with a USCIS officer. There are many questions that can be asked at the interview and we have compiled a list of 70 sample spousal visa interview questions for your reference.

Medical Examination

If you are applying for a spouse visa in the United States (CR1 or IR1) then you will need to complete a medical exam. This should be donea doctor that has been approvedthe US State Department and you will be provided with a list of these doctors. You should bring a copy of your past vaccinations with you to the appointment.

The NVC will also need to receive a completed form I-864 Affidavit of Support (if required). This is your spouse’s promise to support you financially if you cannot work.

Once the NVC has received all of the necessary documents, it will schedule an interview with your local embassy or consulate. This is when you will be able to determine whether or not your spousal visa application will be approved. This entire process takes less than a year for most couples, but it is important to be well prepared.

Interview

A visa interview is a crucial part of your spouse visa process. The interview will be conducteda consular officer and is designed to verify that your marriage is genuine and ongoing.

The interview will usually last between 15-20 minutes. During the interview, the officer will ask a variety of questions about your relationship and your life together. Some of these questions can be quite personal, and it is important that you answer truthfully. If you are unsure of an answer, it is better to say that you do not know than to make something up.

The officer will also be looking to see if you can support your spouse financially. Depending on your situation, you may be asked to provide an affidavit of support or demonstrate that you meet the poverty guidelines. This is why it is important to have your finances in order before the interview. The interview is the final step before your spouse is granted a CR-1 visa, and becomes a permanent resident of the United States.

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