How to petition for your spouse?

August 6, 2014

 

To petition for your spouse, the petitioner must be a lawful permanent resident of the United States, or a U.S. Citizen. The petitioner may file Form I-130, Petitioner for Alien Relative, to establish the existence of a relationship with the beneficiary who wishes to immigrate to the United States. The petitioner may not file this form if the individual and the beneficiary were not both physically present at the marriage ceremony, and the marriage was not consummated.

 

If the petitioner gained lawful permanent resident status by virtue a prior marriage, the petitioner must demonstrate that a period of five years has passed since the individual became a lawful permanent resident; establish clear and convincing evidence that the prior marriage was truthful and terminated, or that prior marriage was terminated due to the death of the petitioner’s former spouse.

 

The petitioner must prove with clear and convincing evidence that the marriage is legally valid where it took place; that the individual and the beneficiary have genuine feelings so the marriage is trustworthy; and that no fee or any other consideration was given between the petitioner and the beneficiary. If the marriage between the petitioner and the beneficiary was effectuated in times where the beneficiary was subject of an exclusion, deportation, removal, or rescission proceedings, or while the decision in any of these proceedings was before any court on judicial review. The petitioner will have to meet a higher standard in showing that the relationship is genuine.

 

To corroborate citizenship the petitioner needs a copy of his birth certificate, naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship, form FS-240 which is a Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States, an unexpired U.S. passport, or an original statement from a U.S. consular officer. To corroborate you permanent resident status, the petitioner must show a copy front-and-back of the permanent resident card.

 

The petitioner must prove that there is a family relationship to the beneficiary. The documents that the petitioner needs to submit are the followings; a copy of the marriage certificate, a passport-style color photo of the petitioner and the beneficiary within 30 days and a complete and signed Form G-325A, Biographic Information for the petitioner and for the beneficiary. In addition to those documents the petitioner must show at least one of the followings; documents showing joint ownership or property, a joint lease, documentation showing co-mingling of financial resources, birth certificate of the child(ren) born to the petitioner and the beneficiary, or affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship.

 

The filing fee for the Form I-130 is $420.00. Because USCIS fees change periodically, we encourage you to check on the website www.uscis.gov or call at 1-800-375-5283 and ask for the fee information. Filing immigration documents can be complex and confusing. Make sure to consult an immigration attorney before petition for your spouse.

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