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Factors that Can Make a Person Ineligible for a Visa

Aurora immigration attorney visa denialIf you are a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR), there are ways that you can bring your spouse, fiancé, or other family members into the U.S. to live with you if they are a citizen of another country. Unfortunately, not all who apply for visas receive them. While there is not a limit on the number of visas issued to spouses of U.S. citizens, only a certain number of other types of visas are issued each year to allow people to enter, live, and work in the United States. In addition to restrictions on the number of visas issued, certain situations can disqualify your family member from obtaining a visa.

Health-Related Situations

The United States has specific requirements for people wishing to enter the country. Health-related issues usually revolve around sustaining the health of the public. Those applying for visas must have been vaccinated against:

  • Mumps;
  • Measles;
  • Rubella;
  • Polio;
  • Tetanus;
  • Diphtheria;
  • Pertussis;
  • Influenza type B; and 
  • Hepatitis B.

The U.S. also does not allow those who have a mental disorder and associated behavior that poses a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the person or others, or those who are determined to be drug abusers or addicts.

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Requirements for Obtaining an Immigrant Visa for a Spouse

DuPage County spouse visa attorneyWhen a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) who resides in the United States is legally married to a citizen of a foreign country, their spouse may be eligible to receive an immigrant visa allowing them to come to the United States and become a lawful permanent resident. The process of applying for a spouse visa is complicated, and couples should be sure to understand the requirements that they must meet when doing so.

Required Documentation for a Spouse Visa

The first step spouses should follow to obtain an immigrant spouse visa is to file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). Along with this form, they should submit the following documents:

  • Copies of the couple’s marriage certificate and any documents showing that previous marriages have been terminated, such as divorce decrees, annulment documents, or death certificates.
  • Two passport-style photos for each spouse.
  • Proof of citizenship or lawful permanent residence. U.S. citizens can provide a copy of their valid passport, birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship. Lawful permanent residents can provide a copy of their Green Card or a foreign passport which shows temporary evidence of permanent residence.
  • Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support), which demonstrates that the immigrant spouse will have adequate financial support while living in the United States. 
  • Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application).
  • Forms showing that the immigrant spouse has completed a medical examination with an authorized doctor and received their required vaccinations.

After filing Form I-130, a spouse may be eligible for a nonimmigrant visa which will allow them to live and work in the United States while their immigrant visa application is pending. U.S. citizens can apply for a K-3 nonimmigrant visa for their spouse by filing Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)). 

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Obtaining Permanent Resident Status Under a Conditional Residence Visa

DuPage County immigration conditional residence attorneyWhen a U.S. citizen is married to someone from another country, they may apply for a spouse visa which will allow their partner to live and work in the United States. However, some spouses are only eligible to reside in the country on a conditional basis, and couples should be aware of how to remove the conditions on residence and avoid the possible deportation of an immigrant spouse.

Conditional Residence Visas

A spouse who has been married to a U.S. citizen for less than two years is eligible for a conditional residence (CR1) visa. A citizen can apply for this type of visa for their spouse by filing a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130). If the alien spouse has already been lawfully admitted to the United States, they can also file an Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status (Form I-485). A conditional residence visa allows a spouse to live and work in the U.S. for two years, after which they must apply to have the conditions removed.

Removing the Conditions on Residence

Spouses can apply to remove the conditions on their permanent residence if they were married in good faith (that is, they did not get married with the goal of evading U.S. immigration laws) and:

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What Visas Are Available When a Spouse Is Immigrating to the U.S.?

DuPage County immigration attorney spouse immigrant visaWhen family members are separated by international borders, they will want to do everything they can to be together. This is especially true for married couples or people who are planning to get married. United States citizens or lawful permanent residents who are planning to have their spouse immigrate to the country should be sure to understand their options for obtaining visas and permanent resident status.

Visas for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

To begin the process of obtaining an immigrant visa, a U.S. Citizen who lives in the U.S. and is legally married to a non-citizen must file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the spouse is already living in the U.S., an Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status (Form I-485) must also be filed.

If spouses have been married for more than two years, they are eligible for an Immediate Relative visa (IR1). If they have been married for less than two years, they are eligible for a Conditional Residence visa (CR1). Spouses who receive a CR1 visa are allowed to live in the U.S. on a conditional basis for two years. Within the 90 days before a spouse’s conditional residence expires, the spouses must file a Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence (Form I-751). If they fail to do so, the immigrant spouse may be subject to removal from the country. 

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