What to do to help with your wife or husband’s immigration procedures?
If you are a United States citizen and you get married with a person of foreign origin, to get your wife or husband residence permit or Green Card that authorizes her or him to live and work in the country, it can take a long time.
In an article published in Forbes magazine, Andy J. Semotiuk, an American and Canadian immigration lawyer, wrote that although “the process times published by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, seem quite reasonable for applications, these can be deceptive, therefore it needs an improvement ”.
What are the improvements of the migration process suggested by Semotiuk?
Semotiuk states that the petition I-130 of a US citizen to sponsor his foreign spouse takes about 5 months to be approved.
Once the petition is approved, the foreign spouse must adjust their status within the United States to permanent residence or request permission abroad to enter the United States. This is where all the delays are found.
The internal adjustment of the status request takes about five months. On average, the whole process will take approximately one year. If a work permit application is also submitted, the spouse may be working in a few months. But not working, even for a few months, can be a difficulty.
Why should the whole process take a year? Asks Semotiuk.
For foreign spouses who are outside the US, after their I-130 petition is approved, the National Visa Center (NVC) of the US consular system, collect all the necessary documentation to process an application abroad and then deliver it to a US Consulate for adjudication and approval.
Semotiuk notes that in his experience in normal cases it may take at least four to six months at the NVC before the file goes to a US consulate for an interview and final processing. That is, spouses living abroad are very likely to wait at least one year before being approved.
What can be done to speed up the process?
What Semotiuk proposes to help make the migration process faster is:
- Is the marriage real or is just a marriage of convenience only to enter the United States?
To review this, he suggests that a prima facie marriage certificate in good faith be provisionally accepted from a credible source, such as a certificate from the United States, Canada, the Commonwealth or the E.U. If a request contains a suspicious certificate, then applicants should go to the current normal processing channel.
- Is the foreign spouse a criminal or are there security concerns related to that spouse?
To review this, he suggests that a bona fide prima facie police report be provisionally accepted from all countries where that spouse lived for six months or more as an adult. U.S. officials can perform an additional security authorization as part of the approval of a conditional Green Card.
- Is the foreign spouse healthy, or that spouse who suffers from some kind of contagious disease to worry about?Semotiuk suggests that a medical authorization from a trained US doctor be accepted and he or she should be USCIS approved.
Assuming that the foreign spouse can provide the three previous elements, they must be granted a two-year conditional Green Card.
Tips to help in the process of immigration of marriages
Semotiuk shares these tips that can help with the application in the current United States system:
- Include all the information in the application. Use the document checklist in the instructions to help you get everything.
- Inform Immigration of any change in personal information in your application, such as changes in your name, contact information, family situation.
- Check that photocopies and documents are clear. Provide certified English translations of original documents that you send in other languages.
- Tell the truth in the application.
Things that can delay the request:
- When no criminal or security problem related to the spouse is mentioned.
- When the family situation is not clear due to problems such as: a divorce, an incomplete adoption or unresolved child custody problems.
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