If you or your spouse are not an American citizen, then you will need to acquire a marriage visa to start your life together in the United States. While the process of applying for a visa can appear daunting, employing a marriage visa attorney can simplify the experience as they assist you throughout the application, from the initial filing of the correct paperwork to helping prepare you for your green card interview.
1. Being informed
The process of applying for a marriage visa can appear overwhelming, especially if you are unfamiliar with American legal practices. Marriage visa attorneys are well-versed in the procedure and can provide you with accurate information specific to your case. Given the frequent alterations of immigration law, they will also inform you of recent changes and how these amendments apply to your situation. This eliminates the potential for error and allows you to relax as you are guided through the application.
2. Applying for the correct visa
Depending on your circumstances as a couple, there are several different visas which all relate to marriage and immigration into the United States. The requirements and timelines of each visa vary, so it’s important to know what category your situation applies to.
You will need to apply for one of three visas: an IR1, a CR1, or a K-1, depending on the specifics of your relationship, such as how long you have been married. A marriage visa attorney will be able to assess your situation and inform you of the best cause of action.
3. Getting the right documents
After identifying the correct visa, it’s crucial that you provide the right documents to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Submitting the wrong documents can delay the application process by several months. Your attorney will be able to guide you through the process of completing and submitting your I-130, I-130A forms as well as any additional evidence that the USCIS may request.
4. Preparing for your green card interview
After your initial application has been processed, the USCIS will schedule an interview. These interviews seek to assess the legitimacy of your relationship, thereby preventing any fraudulent marriages. While most of the questions are simple, relating to specific details about your spouse’s life and the history of your relationship, your attorney can help you prepare for the interview, ensuring that you know what to expect and avoid any stress.
5. Maintaining your visa
A marriage visa attorney will inform you of what is required of you after your initial visa has been approved, ensuring the security of your citizenship. This is especially relevant if you have acquired a CR1 visa as this visa is a conditional green card that requires renewal after two years.
Consulting with a marriage visa attorney protects the interests of you and your spouse, eliminating the risk of error and guaranteeing that you have access to the most up-to-date information. This ensures that you are prepared for each step of the process and can confidently start your life together as a couple in the United States.
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