Have you been cuddling your pillow at night in the thoughts of your far-away spouse? Is the longing getting stronger daily to have your darling with you? Then, it’s time to get your mate over to the US to live permanently with you and getting a spousal visa is the way out.
But the US does not consider all partners to be a spouse. You have to be legally married according to the laws of the country where it took place.
So, how do you go about it? What will you need to accomplish it? Not to worry, you’ll find all that here and more to get that spouse visa so that you never face the winter alone again. Let’s get started at once!
File a Petition
Filing the Petition for Alien Relative is the first thing you’ll need to do. As a sponsor or petitioner, you must be domiciled in the US. Moreover, you have to at least 18 years to sign the Affidavit of Support. These are requirements for both the Lawful Permanent Resident and US citizen alike.
As an LPR, the petition will be for Second Family Preference, while a citizen requests for an Immediate Relative. Your petitions must be directed to these three bodies; the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
NVC Processing and Fees Payment
Upon approval by the USCIS, your petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), where a case number is assigned. Then comes the request that you fill online, the DS-261. The essence is to choose an address and agent to assist, but you won’t have to do this if you make use of Immigration Advice Service.
Next, the NVC starts processing the case and communicates the means of payments of customary service fees. These fees include the cost of filing the immigrant Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) and processing of immigrant visa application (Form DS-260). You would also pay for medical examinations and compulsory vaccinations.
That’s not all. You’ll have to foot the cost of document duplicating, fees for obtaining the documents you need for the immigrant visa application. These documents include your passport, police certificates, and birth certificates, to mention a few.
Lastly, there are expenses for movement between the United States’ embassy or consulate in proximity with your spouse for a visa interview.
Signing the Affidavit of Support
Once the fees are no longer an issue, the next step is for you as the petitioner to sign the Affidavit of Support. The document is an attestation that you would meet the financial obligations of the beneficiary.
You would need to prove that you’re earning enough to take care of yourself and your spouse. Petitioners must gather evidence of finances and other documents to back it up.
The duration of sponsorship is till your spouse obtains US citizenship or 40 qualifying quarters of work which often takes about ten years. If your finance isn’t meeting the requirement, find a joint sponsor to assist you.
Complete the Online Form
You’re almost there. There is the online Visa Application (DS2600) that you and the beneficiary would have to complete. Both of you will need the printout for the interviews, which you’ll both have at the consulate.
Submission of Civil Documents
You and your partner will need to make available scans of your civil documents as applicable to your country. Among them should be the birth certificate, marriage certificate, passport and police report. A word of caution is that you are to upload the documents and not mail them. You can check here for more info on this aspect.
Prepare for Interview
The NVC will message you, your spouse and agents the appointment date and time for an interview. You may also request separate interviews should meeting together at the same consulate prove difficult.
As a way of preparation, complete medical examinations with an embassy-certified doctor. Also, gather all documents that you’ll need. Please note that you would be presenting the originals at the interview. It would be a good idea to try out some interview questions beforehand to know if you are ready.
Do all you can to appear at the consulate at the scheduled date and time. At the interview, you’ll present your appointment letter given by the NVC and a passport. The passport must have a validity of at least six months beyond the proposed date of entry to the United States.
Also, you’ll present two photographs that meet standard requirements, a DS-260 confirmation page and other supporting documents. It is at this stage that your biometric capturing will take place.
After the Interview
Once you are through with all of these, you have to wait. The request can either be granted or refused. On approval, the NVC will return your visa and passport to you. You’ll also have to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before you can enter.
As long as there are no previous criminal sanctions against you and your spouse, the probability of getting your spousal visa is high. Without mincing words, the process can be tedious and the duration lengthy. You have to exercise lots of patience. In the end, the joy of having your spouse with you is worth it in every way.