How to bring spouse to USA

wedding photo of a couple by water

How to Bring Spouse to USA

How to bring your spouse to the USA. This video is for U.S. citizens who are filing green card applications on behalf of a spouse who lives overseas, not living in the USA. So this is how we do it.

File Immigrant Petition

Number one is you have to file what’s called an Immigrant Petition with the USCIS. In the Immigration Petition, there is a filing fee that you have to pay. You need to check with the USCIS to figure out what that amount is and make sure you have the correct amount in the application. You also want to submit several civil documents like birth certificates, marriage certificates, proof of your U.S. citizenship, and a few other documents that are required for the application.

Once USCIS receives your application, they will issue what’s called a Receipt Notice and that Receipt Notice is just verification that they have received your application and that you have paid the appropriate amount for the application, and then you’re just not going to hear from Immigration for several months because it takes them that long to actually touch the application and review it. They have several applications that they have to get through and they have a limited number of employees to review those applications. So it just takes several months to go through the process.

Then hopefully UCSIS reviews your application and approves it, and when they approve it, you will get an approval notice in the mail and also they will forward the approved application to the National Visa Center.

National Visa Center

The National Visa Center is an arm of the U.S. State Department and they handle the initial processing of visa applications for them.

The National Visa Center will send you an email and in the email they will tell you how to access their online portal and you will access the portal, pay some additional fees to them, and then you will fill out a form called a DS-260 and you will also fill out an affidavit of support and you will upload all of the civil documents that you initially submitted to USCIS and you will submit some additional documents like police certificates as part of the application process with the National Visa Center.

After National Visa Center receives all of those documents, they will review them. If they don’t have everything that they need they will send you another email just telling you to submit the additional documents but hopefully they have what they need and then what they’ll do is they’ll say that they are going to forward the application to the consulate.

US Consulate (or Embassy)

Once the consulate receives the documents they will eventually schedule your spouse overseas for an interview and as part of that process they will give your spouse information on obtaining a medical exam and also some information about how to have their passport delivered back to them after the interview if their application is successful.

Then your spouse is going to show up at the interview on the day and time that they are given and that interview is typically a fairly quick interview, like five or ten minutes. I haven’t heard anybody spend 30 minutes or longer there. They’re usually fairly quick and the one thing to note about that interview though is your spouse might be waiting for a few hours just to have the interview, just to get called and have their number called for the interview, but the actual interview itself, fairly quick process, 5, 10, 15 minutes.

After the interview is over, your spouse hopefully gets approved and then they’ll get an immigrant visa pasted into their passport.

US Customs and green card

What they next do is they take that immigrant visa and the passport that it’s attached to and they will go to a customs officer when they fly into the U.S. and present that passport with the visa in it to the customs officer. The customs officer might ask some additional questions but then they will give that passport back to your spouse and eventually your spouse will get the green card in the mail several weeks later from the day after they arrive at the airport.

So that’s generally how that process works. If you have additional questions feel free to reach out to us. Take care.

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