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Can I Sponsor my Spouse to the United States

Can-I-Sponsor-my-Spouse-to-the-United-StatesHow to Bring your Spouse to the United States

Do you wish to have your spouse live permanently with you in the United States? Are you curious or confused on how to do so? The process can seem overwhelming and emotional; however in this article, I will explain the processes and steps in order to sponsor your spouse to the U.S. Specifically, in the U.S., a sponsorship is referred to as a petition and below will be a detailed explanation of who can petition, the requirements of the petitioner and the spouse, and more. At Akrami & Associates, we can try our best to unite you and your spouse permanently.

Who is able to Petition?

In the United States, your status determines who you will be able to petition for. In order for you to petition for your spouse to immigrate to the United States permanently as a green card holder, you must be a:  
  • U.S. citizen, or
  • Green card holder (permanent resident)

2 Main Ways to Petition for your Spouse

There are two main ways for one to sponsor their spouse in the U.S. This is subdivided by whether you are a U.S. citizen or a green card holder.

U.S. Citizen

If you are a U.S. citizen and you are looking to sponsor your spouse, there are 2 main ways to do so. The two main ways are: Inside the U.S.: You will have to apply to register as a permanent resident and also fill out the petition for an alien relative form, both at the same time. Outside the U.S.: You will have to fill out the petition for an alien relative form. If and once the application is approved, then it will be sent for consular processing and the consulate will communicate with the applicant with regards to processing information.

Green Card Holder

If you are a green card holder and you are looking to sponsor your spouse, there are 2 main ways to do so. The two main ways are: Inside the U.S.: You will have to fill out the petition for an alien relative form. Once you have done this, you will receive a visa number and then you must apply to adjust your status to permanent residency using the application to register as a permanent resident. Keep in mind, while waiting for your visa number, you must maintain your lawful status in the U.S. in order to proceed with adjusting your status. Outside the U.S.: You will have to fill out the petition for an alien relative form. If and once the application is approved, then it will be sent for consular processing and the consulate will communicate with the applicant with regards to processing information.

Required Documentation for Spousal Petition

Most of the required documentation is from the petitioner applying to sponsor their spouse. However, the spouse that is being sponsored must also provide some details on the forms. Below is a list of documents the petitioner must provide.
  • Completely filled alien relative form that is signed with the proper fee
  • Completely filled and signed biographic information form (one by the petitioner and the other by the spouse)
  • A copy of the marriage certificate
  • A copy of all divorce certificates for all previous marriages that the petitioner and the spouse were involved in
  • Passport style photos of the petitioner and the spouse
  • Documentation with regards to legal name changes for the petitioner or the spouse, if applicable
Furthermore, as a U.S. citizen as well as a green card holder, you must provide proof of your status within the U.S. For instance for a U.S. citizen, they may demonstrate their status with:
  • A copy of your valid U.S. passport
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • A copy of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • A copy of your naturalization certificate
  • A copy of your certificate of citizenship
Whereas, for a green card holder, they may demonstrate their status with:
  • A copy of the front and back of their green card
  • A copy of your foreign passport which includes a stamp showing temporary evidence of permanent residence

What Constitutes a Conditional Residence & How to Remove Conditions

Your spouse will receive permanent residence status conditionally if you have been married for less than 2 complete years at the time that your spouse received permanent resident status. In order to remove these conditions on their permanent residency, both you and the spouse must fill out the Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence form. On your spouse’s conditional resident card, there will be a date of expiration, and you must apply to remove the conditional status at least 90 days before that date. Keep in mind, if you forget or do not file for the conditions to be removed during this time frame, your spouse’s residency will unfortunately be void and terminated and they may be subject to removal from the U.S.

The Visa Petition is Pending – Can Spouse Live with Petitioner in the Meantime

Your spouse may be able to come to the U.S. to live with you as long as she/he is eligible and applies for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa. This is also only an option for petitioners who are U.S. citizens. Additionally, the spouse may be able to work in the U.S. with a K-3 visa. This may be a viable option for couples who wish to stay together while the spousal application is processing. On the other hand, if you are a permanent resident of the U.S. and wish to live with your spouse while their application is being processed, you must have filed an alien relative form on or before December 21, 2000. If this is the case, then your spouse and/or dependent children may be able to apply for the V visa classification, only if more than 3 years have passed since the form was filed.

Contact Akrami & Associates to Petition for your Spouse

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned requirements and documentation into consideration before you attempt to apply for a spousal petition. Spousal petitions are difficult applications to pursue on your own and it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients unite with their spouses and they are now extremely happy living together in the United States. If you believe that you may be eligible to petition for your spouse, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise. With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!