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What is the spousal immigration process?

Immigration Services

Spousal immigration is an important topic in the greater conversation of U.S. immigration law. When a Kentucky resident marries an individual who is not a legal citizen or resident of the country, they must go through an important legal process to allow their spouse to join them permanently in the United States.

This post will provide an overview of that process but the contents of this article should not be relied on as legal advice. The help of an immigration attorney should be sought by those who have family immigration questions.

First, a U.S. citizen or legal resident must file an immigrant visa petition for their spouse. That petition requires a filing fee and if it is approved the individual's spouse will be allowed to apply for an immigrant visa. The spouses of U.S. citizens are given priority over the spouses of permanent residents; the spouses of permanent residents are placed on a waiting list for consideration by the government.

Once a foreign spouse has submitted their visa application they will be contacted by immigration officials to visit the U.S. Consulate in their country to finish the application process and fill out other paperwork. Spouses may then be granted visas to come to the United States, but those who have been married to their American spouses for less than two years may need to take on other steps to ensure that they will not later be removed from the country.

There are many steps that must be completed to immigrate to the country as a citizen's or resident's spouse. The guidance of an immigration attorney can be very useful to those who wish to do the process right from the outset.

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