Getting married is often one of the most exciting events in a person's life. If you were born and raised (and have been residing) in another country, but plan to come to Kentucky to live when you marry, there may be several challenges in store before your actual wedding day. If you are marrying a U.S. citizen, you'll want to make sure you cover all the legal bases to avoid delays to your entrance into the United States or to avoid facing possible deportation later.
The person you are marrying may be either a born or a naturalized U.S. citizen. Your individual circumstances may affect your application for a green card. U.S. immigration law is highly complex and often changes; therefore, it's always best to know your rights ahead of time and to scout out various networks of support so you have quick access to legal assistance if the need arises.
Immigration regulations that may affect your marriage-based visa
You can gain legal entrance into the United States through many types of visas. If you hope to obtain a marriage-based visa, the following information may be helpful:
- The length of time it takes to process your application depends on many factors, one of which may be whether you are marrying a person who holds a green card or who is a U.S. citizen.
- In all circumstances, the legal status of your intended spouse greatly matters.
- If you plan to wed a U.S. citizen, several types of marriage-based visas may apply to your situation. It often helps to have someone well versed in U.S. immigration law review your options and offer guidance as to which may be the most viable for your particular needs and goals.
- If you marry a green card holder, your own application will be filed under a limited category with a yearly quota. This may delay your arrival in the United States by several years.
- It is never a good idea to hide an existing marital status in an attempt to obtain a K1 visa. Doing so places you at great risk for deportation, indefinitely.
It's also crucial to understand that marriage laws in the United States apply to anyone who plans on marrying here or entering the United States as a married immigrant. In Kentucky and all other states, you may only be married to one person at a time. If your country of origin has different marriage laws, it does not mean you can apply for green cards as an additional spouse or for an additional spouse in the United States. Seeking clarification ahead of time of all laws that may pertain to your situation is always best.
Help with immigration issues is available
If a problem does arise, it does not necessarily mean the government will force you to exit the United States or keep you from coming here to get married. Many immigrants ask experienced immigration and naturalization law attorneys for help to overcome legal obstacles that are impeding their abilities to achieve their business or personal goals in the United States.