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Immigrant Visa Options For Spouses of Americans

The United States, being the land of opportunity, has attracted millions of people from around the world for many years. Many people of varied nationalities still aspire to go to the U.S. either to work, study, or do business.

Those who are fortunate enough to be granted a visa to enter the country often wish to stay long term. Foreign workers from Asia are often eager to find high paying jobs in the U.S. in the hope of improving their lives and that of their families back home.

Eventually many such individuals naturalize to US citizenship. In some cases these individuals then wish to petition for their spouses and family to come to the USA.

Filing a Petition

The first step towards obtaining an immigrant spouse visa is for the American citizen to file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Keep in mind that immigration laws and regulations in the U.S. can evolve somewhat over time. Hence, it is a must to be updated on the overall posture of immigration matters at the time of filing a petition. 

A spouse/parent who wishes to bring his or her spouse and/or minor children to the U.S. can file a petition even if still in a lawful permanent resident status. However, once he or she becomes a U.S. citizen the case’s priority is upgraded from family second preference to immediate relative. In order to upgrade the preference category in such a way the petitioner must provide proof of US Citizenship to the appropriate agency.

Take note that only minor and unmarried children who have not reached the age of 21 are eligible to apply for immigrant dependent visas. As with spouses, immigrant children will also have to submit the necessary civil documents, pay the fees and undergo medical examinations.

Required Fees

There are a number of fees involved with the US Immigration process itself and we encourage those reading this article to contact our offices directly for further information on the specific fees in specific cases. It should be noted that upon being approved for a US Immigrant visa, it is necessary to pay the Green Card fee prior to traveling to the USA. As of the time of this writing, that fee is 165 USD.

In case the applicant cannot pay the immigrant fee, a family member, friend, employer, lawyer or any accredited representative can pay for you as long as they are able to provide your Alien Number (A-Number) and Department of State (DOS) Case ID. Although the fee needs to be paid before going to the U.S., in some cases it can be paid after one's arrival in the U.S. Failure to pay this fee would also mean the non-issuance of a Green Card.