Marriage Petitions

Orlando Marriage Visa Attorneys

Helping You Achieve Your American Dream

If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident who marries a foreign national, you will likely want to bring your new spouse to the United States as quickly as possible. Getting them the status that they need to live and work in the country indefinitely will require obtaining a green card through the marriage visa process.

Because the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is perpetually suspicious of marriage fraud, obtaining a marriage-based green card can sometimes be especially challenging, especially for newer marriages. Our Orlando marriage visa lawyers at Angel Law Firm, PL can give you the legal guidance that you need throughout the petitioning process. We can help you avoid common application mistakes, gather the necessary evidence of your marriage, and prepare you for your interview with USCIS.

If you are looking to sponsor your spouse for a marriage-based green card, contact us online or call (407) 337-8799 to discuss your legal options.

How the Marriage Visa Process Works

Once you are married and are ready to pursue a green card for your spouse, you will need to complete Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative. This application will establish that your marriage is legitimate and therefore your spouse is eligible for a green card.

USCIS heavily scrutinizes marriage-based visa applications for evidence of fraud. “Fraudulent marriages” are those in which a couple marries only to facilitate lawful permanent residency and are not based in any actual union. For this reason, you will also need to provide ample evidence of your marriage with your petition.

Evidence that you should consider including with your marriage visa petition includes:

  • Photographs of you and your spouse together
  • Estate planning documents naming each other as primary beneficiaries
  • Evidence of any children
  • Documentation and photographs of your wedding
  • Joint credit card statements
  • Joint bank statements
  • Joint insurance policies
  • Joint mortgage, lease, or rental agreements

After submitting Form I-130, you may receive a “Request for Evidence” from USCIS. This can occur if there was an omission in the original petition packet or if the agency is not satisfied with the amount of evidence provided. We can help you efficiently respond to these requests and avoid other common application errors.

Next comes a lengthy waiting period, the extent of which will depend on whether the sponsoring relative is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. U.S. citizens can sponsor their spouses through the “immediate relatives” category, which has no annual cap and consequently enjoys faster processing times. Lawful permanent residents must sponsor their spouses through the family preference category, which does institute an annual cap. This means you must wait for a visa to become available after your petition has been processed by USCIS.

Once USCIS approves your petition and a visa becomes available, your spouse will need to formally apply for their green card through either adjustment of status or consular processing. Adjustment of status is used if they are already in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, while consular processing is completed through a U.S. embassy abroad.

Both adjustments of status and consular processing involve submitting additional documentation, application materials, and identifying information. This will include submitting to a medical exam by a USCIS-approved doctor.

Finally, your spouse will need to participate in an in-person interview conducted by a USCIS official. If your spouse is abroad, this interview will take place in their home country’s U.S. embassy or consulate, and you will not attend. Should your spouse already be in the United States, you will attend the interview with them at your local USCIS office. The interview is meant to ensure that your marriage is not fraudulent and will involve reviewing your application materials.

If the USCIS official conducting your interview is satisfied, your spouse’s green card will be approved and promptly issued via mail. Our Orlando marriage visa lawyers can guide you through each step of the process and work with you to overcome any obstacles that you might encounter.

Benefits of a Marriage Visa

A marriage-based green card confers lawful permanent residency in the United States, meaning your spouse will be permitted to live and work practically anywhere in the country. They will also have the opportunity to pursue permanent U.S. citizenship after a waiting period of 3-5 years.

Marriage visas also allow beneficiaries to more easily travel in and out of the United States. They can even sponsor their family members for visas.

The Importance of Removing Conditions

Depending on the recency of your marriage, your newly issued green card may be “conditional.” This means that, unlike other family-based visas, the green card will only initially be valid for a period of 2 years. Conditional green cards are issued to those who have been only married to their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse for 2 years or less.

Removing conditions from a green card is required if you intend to stay in the United States. If you fail to properly remove conditions, you will lose your status and begin accruing unlawful presence, which can jeopardize future immigration efforts.

Spouses with conditional green cards can petition to have their conditions removed once they are within 90 days of their visa’s expiration. This procedure is accomplished by submitting Form I-751, which will be completed jointly with your spouse. You will again need to include evidence that demonstrates the legitimacy of your marriage. Ideally, you will provide new evidence from the preceding 2 years to show how your marriage has evolved.

You will most likely be required to participate in another interview with a USCIS official as part of this process. The interviewing official will ask additional questions about the submitted evidence and work to determine if the marriage is genuine. Should they be satisfied, a petition to remove conditions will be granted. Your spouse will receive a new green card with a validity period of 10 years. Future renewals will generally be more expedient.

There are certain situations where a conditional green card holder is no longer with their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse but can still successfully remove conditions. Waivers are offered for scenarios where a petitioning spouse has died, a petitioning spouse became emotionally or physically abusive, or the marriage was entered in good faith, but a divorce became unavoidably necessary.

No matter your circumstances or the complexities of your situation, our Orlando marriage visa lawyers at Angel Law Firm, PL can give you the support that you need in pursuing a green card. We are familiar with the intricacies of the marriage-based visa system and can leverage our knowledge to get your spouse a green card as efficiently as possible.

You do not have to navigate the marriage visa process alone. Call (407) 329-7711 or contact us online to get experienced legal support. We offer our services in English and Spanish.

What Sets Us Apart

  • Long-Term Partnerships

    Many of our happy clients start with one service but come back for assistance with other legal matters. When you work with us once, you can work with us for a lifetime.

  • Tailored Solutions for Each Client

    Our team is very detail-oriented and is dedicated to providing solutions fit to your unique case.

  • Personalized Attention

    Our attorneys meet with clients as soon as they come to us and handle cases personally until they are resolved.

  • Bilingual Staff

    Our staff provides legal services in both English and Spanish.

Partner With Us Today Discuss Your Case During Your Initial Consultation

Our attorneys and staff speak both English and Spanish. We will speak to you in whichever language you are most comfortable with to ensure smooth communication. Get in touch with us today to get started.

Call Us Today