Marriage with an American: useful tips from the US Migration Service
Many foreigners living in the United States marry people from their own country. Also, many foreigners want to marry US citizens. Therefore, the United States has a fairly high rate of marriage immigration. The U.S. Immigration Service advises those who start a family with an American or an American to consider a few points. In addition, ForumDaily asked lawyer Carina Duval explain in more detail the nuances regarding international marriages with US citizens.
- Legal status
How long it takes for a foreigner to move to the United States with his American spouse depends on his or her legal status in America:
- US citizen: Since there are no annual quotas for the immediate relative (IR) category, the processing time for obtaining an immigrant visa after marrying an American citizen is the shortest. This is usually 8 to 12 months.
If you are getting married or marrying a person with US citizenship, you have several options for obtaining K1, K3 or immigration visas. You need to carefully examine all the options and choose the one that suits you best.
- Green Card Holder: In the case of a marriage with a green card holder, your application for the same card falls into the F2A category, which is limited to annual quotas. You will have to wait several years before you can travel to the United States on an immigration visa and get a green card. Typically, the total waiting time is approximately 5 years. At this time, you cannot apply for a tourist or any other non-immigrant visa in the United States — for example, a student visa (but you can still apply for H1 or L1, if you pass through the criteria separately). Thus, before you marry such a person, you need to decide whether you agree to wait so long.
If such a person has applied for US citizenship, there is no guarantee that he will receive it.
- Nonimmigrant visa: If a person lives in America on a non-immigrant visa such as H-1, L-1 or F-1, his spouse may immediately receive an American visa dependent on H-4, L-2 or F-2. It is worth remembering that these visas are not immigration and open for a limited amount of time. If the holder of the initial visa is not served on the green card, then the visa of the dependent ends at the same time as the visa of the main holder.
Before entering into marriage, it is worth clarifying the legal status of a person living in the United States and asking for his proof (American citizen passport, green card or non-immigrant visa stamp). Make a photocopy of this document and carry it with you.
2. Documents Editing
Before you marry, do not be afraid to ask for such documents, as well as to ensure their authenticity:
- Social security card and driver's license. Make copies and carry them with you.
- The document on income and payment of taxes. You will need them to confirm your affidavit of support.
3. Visa K-1
- If a person living in the USA has already applied for a K-1 visa twice, it is impossible to file a third time - you must first get a waiver.
- If you are already married, it is against the law to indicate unmarried / single status to obtain a K-1 visa.
4. If you get a visa, hiding your marital status, you can deport and deprive of citizenship (if you will be given in the future) even after 10 or 20 years after this violation. If a person residing in the United States changes his mind, he or she will not be able to apply for a green card, even after marrying you. After submitting the application, he or she can cancel it at any time, or simply refuse to provide proof of financial support.
5. Even if you have never been to the United States, a person living in America may file for a divorce at a place of residence, and a US court may dissolve you. Unlike many other countries, it is not necessary to provide a serious reason to get a divorce in the United States.
6. If a person living in the United States has already been married and is divorced or widowed, it is much more difficult to obtain a visa as a result of marriage with such a person as compared to the one who was not married. This is explained by the fact that a consular officer may suspect fraud in connection with a previous marriage. In this case, do not forget to ask for a divorce certificate or death certificate of the previous spouse of the person with whom you intend to register the marriage. You will also need photos and other evidence that this previous marriage of your future spouse was real.
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8. If at the time of receiving the green card you have been married for less than two years, you will be given a conditional green card. You will need to apply for a permanent green card through 21 a month after that by eliminating the conditions. You will have to provide proof of the authenticity of the marriage. In the absence of an emergency, it is impossible to eliminate the conditions and get a permanent green card without the support of an American spouse. Some people may use this with unkind intent - you should remember this when choosing a mate.
9. If you register a marriage only for the purpose of obtaining a green card, this is a fraud and crime that pulls a $ 250 000 fine and up to 5 years in prison. If a person obtained American citizenship in this way, he can be deprived of his citizenship and deported from the country.
10. While waiting for your turn to approve a green card, keep in touch with your American spouse - correspond, send postcards, gifts, and ask him / her to send you money through banks to prove the genuineness of relationships and support.
11. If there are too many differences between spouses - education, financial status, physical status (height, weight), language, age, race, religion, etc. - it can be more difficult to get a green card for such a marriage, because the chances that unreal, higher.
Update: Attorney Karina Duval in a comment ForumDaily clarified the main nuances regarding international marriage with Americans.
Immigration by marriage - occupies a special place in the immigration process. So special that by Resolution 1040 (XI) of the UN General Assembly of January 29, 1957, the Convention on the Nationality of Married Women was adopted.
Prior to the adoption of this convention, there was no legislation that would provide legal protection for the civil rights of women who married outside their own country. Article 3 of this convention establishes that a woman who is married to a citizen of another country may, at her request, obtain the citizenship of her husband in a special simplified naturalization procedure. The granting of citizenship may be subject to restrictions established in the interests of state security or public order.
The United States party to this convention grants citizenship to the wives of Americans in a simplified manner; Marriage with a US citizen is the fastest way to coveted American citizenship, and it is much faster than the path that refugees have to travel, the most protected of all migrants. It is marriage with an American who is the fastest and best category for immigration to the United States. For this category, unlike many others, there are no immigration quotas, that is, established restrictions.
As a result, many women try to immigrate to the United States through marriage. However, before deciding to take such a step, you need to know not only the advantages of this path, but also the disadvantages.
As mentioned above, the granting of citizenship may be subject to restrictions established in the interests of the state. Therefore, each case is carefully checked.
If it seems to you that you met your destiny, and want to stay in America by marriage, then you need to know and remember a number of rules:
1. You need to make sure that the previous marriage is dissolved. It would seem obvious. But alas, marriages that are not dissolved at home often become serious problems. If you are in America, but in the post-Soviet space, for example, in Russia or Ukraine, you still have a husband or wife, before moving forward, you need to terminate this marriage.
For the dissolution of marriage in the homeland there is absolutely no need to go there. You can terminate the marriage remotely. For example, the office of attorney Karina Duval (russian-divorce.ru) has been specializing in conducting such divorces for over 20 years. The absence of obstacles to a new marriage is the key to your success in a new American life.
2. If your marriage is dissolved, but you do not know where and when, you should find out and get a divorce document. Do not be surprised, it happens. For example, you left for the United States, and a desperate spouse went to court and got a divorce without your participation.
If you have no questions about the legitimacy of a divorce, you agree to the dissolution of the marriage and do not plan to dispute it, then just get documents about it. As in the previous case, Karina Duvall’s office will receive divorce documents for you, no matter where and when you were divorced. Even if you yourself do not know where and when it happened.
3. In addition to divorce documents, you will need to terminate all previous marriages if you have been married more than once. And besides documents on divorce, you will also need documents on previously concluded marriages (marriage certificates or a certificate of the established form that the marriage was concluded and terminated). All these documents must contain a notarized translation.
If these documents are not available, they must be obtained. There’s no need to go home for this: you can request any documents remotely by contacting the office of Karina Duval, who recovers any documents in almost any country, and also prepares notarized translations into English.
4. Separately, it is worth dwelling on marriages and divorces registered in the Crimea after the 2014 year. They are not recognized in the USA.. Unfortunately, few people know that the United States authorities do not recognize the actions of the Russian authorities in Crimea. Therefore, marriage must be registered either in Russia or in Ukraine. But not in the Crimea. The same applies to divorce. Divorce is necessary in Ukraine, in accordance with Ukrainian laws. Specifically - in Kiev.
5. Of course, if you are planning a marriage with an American, and you have a child, then you will need documents regarding your child. First of all, of course, this is a birth certificate of a child. It is highly advisable to have permission from the father to move the child to the United States. Given the conflicting relationships of the former spouses, such a document is far from always possible, so if you doubt that your husband will help, do not contact him for permission, in any case, if you are a citizen of Russia.
In accordance with Russian law, a child travels accompanied by one of the parents, and the consent of the second parent is not required by law. When applying for a visa, the American embassy also does not always require the consent of the second parent; a court decision on determining the place of residence of the child with the mother may well serve as its alternative. But even if there is no such decision, the court decision to recover child support from the father for the maintenance of the child is also proof that the child lives with the mother.
If you have any further questions, you can send them to attorney Karina Duvall by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call + 7 (495) 662-8721 in Russia / + 1 (212) 205-2211 in the USA
You can also familiarize yourself with already existing recommendations on the websites of the lawyer: russian-divorce.ru and russian-divorce.com.
Attorney registration: # 78 / 857
NYS registration: 4775086
Notary public, registration: 02DU6376542
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