Looking to sponsor your spouse so he or she can legally live and work in the United States? Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined legal experience assisting clients petitions for foreign spouses whether they are already physically present in the United States or presently residing outside of the United States. Learn everything you need to know about marriage visas:
Green Card Processing through Marriage and Adjustment in the US
Under the Adjustment of status process, a foreign national changes their immigration status from a either a temporary nonimmigrant status (or in some cases from being out of status) to become a lawful permanent resident while remaining in the United States. In this circumstance, the adjustment occurs through marriage to a U.S. Citizen who is willing to file an immigrant petition on their behalf.
In order to file for adjustment, the foreign national spouse must demonstrate that they were inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States and do not have any inadmissibility grounds (such as some types of criminal history, false claims to US citizenship, past misrepresentations to obtain a Visa or many other grounds). In order to obtain permanent resident status without having to return to their home country to apply for an immigrant visa at a United States abroad, Spouses of U.S. Citizens are eligible for adjustment of status to permanent residence once the US Citizen spouse files a petition on their behalf called the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. The I-130 Petition for Alien Relative is typically filed at the same time (concurrently) as the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. For immigration purposes, the intending immigrant (or foreign national) is referred to as the ‘beneficiary’ of the application, while the U.S. Citizen spouse is referred to as the ‘petitioner’ of the I-130 application. The petitioner allows the beneficiary to apply for adjustment of status on the basis of their marital relationship (established with the filing of the I-130 Petition).
At Colombo & Hurd, we have applied for thousands of marriage based applicants to go through this process over the years. If you would like to find out more information about the process domestically please contact our Orlando Green Card Marriage Attorneys at 407-478-1111 or our Tampa Attorneys at 813-444-1114.
Marriage Visa Basics: K-3 Visa, CR-1, IR-1
Marriage visas permit the spouses of U.S. citizens to lawfully enter and reside in the United States from abroad. Historically, many of these visas processed were K-3 visas that allowed the immigrant spouse to enter the United States in order to complete the immigration process. Currently, K-3 visas are no longer processed for a variety of reasons. Instead, marriage visas are currently processed as either CR-1 (Conditional Resident) or IR-1 (Immediate Relative) visas. The sole difference between these visas is the length of time you have been married.
- If you have been married for two years or longer at the time the visa is issued, you will receive an IR-1 visa.
- If you have been married for less than two years at the time of issuance, you will receive a CR-1 visa will be provided.
CR-1 & IR-1 Visa Requirements
In order for the foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen to qualify for a CR-1 or IR-1, certain requirements must be met including the following:
- The petitioning spouse must be a U.S. Citizen.
- The U.S. Citizen must be legally married to their foreign husband or wife under the laws of the country where the marriage occurred.
- The marital relationship must be bona fide.
- The spouse must be otherwise admissible to the U.S.
The filing process includes the following steps:
- File the appropriate forms to initiate your “Petition for Alien Spouse.” These forms are the first steps in petitioning the U.S. government to legally recognize your relationship with your spouse.
- Submit supplementary evidence of your relationship (an immigration lawyer can advise you on what is appropriate).
- Once your petition is approved, it will be sent to the DOS National Visa Center, and from there will be forwarded to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or consulate where your spouse currently resides. Your spouse will then need to apply for their nonimmigrant visa.
- A visa interview will be scheduled. Your spouse will need to bring the proper documents to this meeting. It is advisable to seek legal counsel in preparing for this interview.
- A CBP officer at the port of entry still has the power to determine if your spouse will be admitted or not. It is wise to have legal counsel on tap to work through potential complications.
While you can find the details about the filing process on the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs website, it is recommended that you hire an experienced immigration attorney to help you with your petition. One mistake or omission on your petition can cause a delay or denial of your spouse’s visa. We know firsthand the mistakes you must avoid and how to follow due process to avoid complications.
Services You Will Receive
At Colombo & Hurd, PL, you will receive personal attention from an experienced immigration lawyer as we:
- Guide you through the application process
- Provide expert preparation of petition and Consular forms
- Submit documents
- Monitor progress and advocate on your behalf
- Review your petition
- Prepare you for the US Consulate interview
- Provide digital access to all your immigration documents
- Answer any questions or concerns you may have
Recognized in the Field
As an award-winning boutique law office, Colombo & Hurd, provides an exceptional level of personal and professional service. We’ve won thousands of cases for our clients and earned recognition in the field for the following:
- Colombo & Hurd has been awarded an AV rating by the Martindale-Hubbel Law Directory. An AV rating is the highest rating available to any law firm for skill and integrity and the rating is reserved for attorneys designated as outstanding in the field.
- Colombo & Hurd has been listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, a peer review honor granted to fewer than 2% of all law firms in the United States.
- Attorneys from the firm frequently appear on major news outlets including ABC News, Fox News, Univision and Telemundo to provide immigration guidance globally.
- Our firm regularly participates in international seminars all over the world, educating students, professionals, investors and individuals how to conduct business in the U.S. and the U.S. immigration process.
- The attorneys at the firm have been recognized on a number of occasions by various institutions for the pro bono legal services provided to their communities.
Why Trust Colombo & Hurd?
Colombo & Hurd is a law firm founded by immigrants dedicated to assisting clients ranging from the world’s leading multinational corporations to entrepreneurs, investors and their families desiring to conduct business with the United States.
What separates us from the competition?
- Our Commitment to You: We invest time and resources to better understand our clients’ business drivers and processes and refine our service model to meet your evolving needs.
- Direct Attorney Involvement: We pride ourselves on the direct involvement of an experienced partner in all matters we handle and offer open communication with attorneys at every step of the way.
- Fixed Fee Billing: We simplify billing and provide superior immigration law services at competitive fixed fee rates, allowing you to forecast (and budget for) your immigration expenses.
- We Pay Attention to Detail: By utilizing the latest technology and a team of highly trained personnel, we provide the shortest possible turnaround time without compromising the quality of our work.
- National in Scope: We operate efficiently on a national scale with an overriding commitment to client service.
We understand you need your marriage visa to proceed as smoothly and efficiently as possible. With a near-perfect success rate on CR-1 and IR-1 spouse visas, we can confidently assure you your case is in good hands. Read our client testimonials to learn what you can expect from Colombo & Hurd.
Ready to Get Started
Contact our marriage visa attorneys at Colombo & Hurd today for an initial consultation at 407-478-1111 or 813-444-1114. We will gladly discuss the filing process as well as the length of time likely required for the visa to process. Our lawyers assist clients both in Florida and around the world to obtain green cards for their loved ones.