Marriage Visa lawyer

Marriage Visa Laywer

Learn how a marriage visa attorney can help you obtain legal status in the United States.

Many couples often confuse a marriage visa with a fiancé visa and vice versa. The main difference between the two is that a marriage visa is obtained after the couple gets married. On the other hand, a fiancé visa is obtained by the foreign fiancé before marriage for the purpose of getting married in the US.

Suppose you’re a foreign citizen married to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. In that case, the best way to enter the US and live permanently is by applying for a marriage visa with the help of a marriage visa lawyer.

What Is a Marriage Visa? 

This is an immigration visa that allows the spouse of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident to immigrate to the US. There are two types of marriage visas:

CR1 Marriage Visa

If the marriage is less than two years old, the foreign spouse can receive a CR1 visa that expires after two years. A CR1 marriage visa is a conditional resident visa given to the foreign spouse to prove that the foreign spouse didn’t get married to the US citizen for fraud. The couple has to apply to remove the conditional status before the expiration of the CR1 marriage visa. 

IR1 Marriage Visa

This type of visa is issued to the foreign spouse married to a US citizen for more than two years. The main difference between an IR1 marriage visa and CR1 marriage visa is that an IR1 visa grants the foreign spouse unconditional permanent resident status and allows them to begin working immediately after they arrive in the US. 

Marriage Visa USA Requirements

Here are some of the requirements for applying for a marriage visa:

  • The US petitioner or sponsor must be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Foreign spouses of US citizens are issued with the CR-1 visa, while foreign spouses of lawful permanent residents are issued with the F-2A visa. The main difference between the two is that the F-2A visa may take longer to process than the CR-1 visa.
  • You can only petition for a marriage visa after you’re married. If you’re not yet married and intend to get married in the US, applying for a K-1 fiance visa is the better option.
  • You must prove that the marriage is valid by providing a marriage certificate that lists the names of both spouses, date, and place of marriage.
  • The couple should provide evidence that the marriage is legitimate. Evidence can be in the form of wedding photos, joint bank statements, or joint lease.
  • No spouse should be in another binding marital obligation. If one or both spouses were previously married, they would need to prove that the marriage was legally terminated. 
  • The US petitioner should be able to support the other spouse or at least meet the federal poverty guidelines. 
  • The foreign spouse should meet eligibility criteria for an immigrant visa.

How To Get a US Marriage Visa 

Below are the main steps of getting a marriage visa:

The USCIS Petition

The first step in getting a marriage visa is filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form is filed by the spouse who is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. 

Form I-130 requirements include:

  • Proof of payment of all immigration fees;
  • A birth certificate copy of the US citizen or copy of their passport pages;
  • A marriage certificate copy;
  • Documentation to prove that previous marriages were legally terminated;
  • Evidence proving the marriage legitimacy. 

After filing Form I-130 with the USCIS, they’ll process and approve your petition if it meets all requirements and then forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC)

The NVC begins processing your petition after you’ve paid all required fees. They will then send you a list of documents required. Such documents include:

  • A valid passport;
  • Immigrant visa application forms;
  • Two passport-like photos;
  • Completed medical examination forms;
  • Police clearance certificates;
  • Affidavit of Support;
  • Among others.

After submitting all required documents, the NVC will schedule an interview with the foreign spouse. The file containing forms and documents related to the petition will be sent to a US embassy or consulate closest to the foreign spouse. 

The foreign spouse will be required to undergo a medical examination performed by an approved doctor and also meet certain vaccination requirements. They would also bring their valid passport and other documents required by the NVC that hadn’t been submitted already. 

The CR1 or IR1 marriage visa will be granted or denied at the consulate interview.

How Much Does a Marriage Visa Lawyer Charge for Spouse Visa?

The fiance visa lawyer cost varies depending on the types of services you need. For this reason, it’s best to discuss with your marriage attorney about the marriage visa lawyer cost during the initial consultation. 

Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer for Spouse Visa?

While it’s not a requirement to have an attorney when you file for a spouse visa, it’s highly advisable to hire an experienced attorney like Serah Waweru and her team. 

The Law Office of Serah Waweru can help you navigate your way through the visa application process by completing the forms correctly on your behalf and forwarding them for review or reviewing your application before delivering them to the relevant government agency. 

Do You Need a Marriage Visa Lawyer for Marriage Green Card?

There are several benefits of hiring a lawyer to help you with your application. For example, you’ll have complete peace of mind knowing that your petition will be handled by a qualified individual familiar with the entire process. 

Now that brings us to the next question: do I need a lawyer for K-1 visa? The answer is no, but having one significantly increases your chances of obtaining a positive outcome. 

What Percentage of Spouse Visas Are Approved?

Spouse visas have a relatively high approval rate, but they do get denied sometimes. About 90% of Form I-130 petitions are approved, and the percentage increases when you hire a marriage visa attorney. 

Why Do Spouse Visas Get Rejected?

Some of the main reasons for spouse visa rejection include:

  • Lack of the required documentation;
  • Fraudulent evidence;
  • Unsigned forms;
  • The US petitioner income falls below the federal poverty guidelines.

To minimize the risk of rejection, it’s always advisable to work with a professional marriage visa lawyer like Serah Waweru and her team. 

Can a Spouse Visa Be Denied?

Yes, a spouse visa application may get rejected if certain requirements are not met. For example, USCIS may reject spouse visa applications if they establish that the marriage is fraudulent or if you miss USCIS appointments.

Contact The Law Office of Serah Waweru

At the Law Office of Serah Waweru, our law firm is always ready to represent you in your petition for a marriage visa. Give us a call today at 253-332-9193, or send us a message online to schedule a consultation!