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The requirements for immigrating to the U.S. on a spouse visa

On Behalf of | Feb 20, 2019 | family immigration

There is a path to immigrating to the U.S. for nonresidents who marry U.S. citizens in Kentucky and elsewhere. However, receiving an IR1 or CR1 visa is far from guaranteed. Therefore, it is important for those seeking entrance to the U.S. through such means to understand the requirements in order to improve their chances of approval.

To qualify for an IR1 or CR1 visa, people must meet certain eligibility requirements. According to the U.S. Department of State, couples seeking an immigrant visa for a spouse must be legally married or, in some cases, common-law spouses. Although there is no minimum age to file a petition for this type of visa, petitioners must be at least 18 years old to sign the Affidavit of Support, a required form. Additionally, they have to keep their principal residence in the U.S. and intend to stay there for the foreseeable future.

Before they can be approved for a spouse visa, people must pass a medical examination. This may include, for example, a physical exam and review of their previous medical histories, as well as blood tests and chest X-rays. They may also be required to get certain vaccinations if they have not already received them.

In addition to meeting the eligibility and health requirements, people must also submit certain documentation to be considered for spousal immigrant visas. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this includes a copy of the civil marriage certificates for those seeking IR1 or CR1 visas, evidence of name changes and passport-style photos of both spouses. If they were previously married, people must include copies of divorce or annulment decrees or death certificates to prove the relationships have been terminated.

The sponsors, or petitioning spouses, are required to include a copy of their U.S. birth certificates, valid U.S. passports, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, certificate of citizenship or naturalization certificate. Permanent residents who are petitioning to bring their noncitizen spouses to the U.S. must provide a copy of their passports with stamps showing their temporary U.S. residence or the front and backs of their green cards.