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What is U.S. Spouse Visa?
A US spouse visa is available for spouses of U.S. citizens or green card holders who wish to live permanently in the United States. The VISA enables an immigrant partner to legally stay and work in the United States indefinitely, with access to public benefits such as health care and employment authorization cards (EACs). Four types of visas are available, including a K-1 Fiancé Visa, Family Preference Immigrant Visa, IR-1 Spousal Visa, and CR-1 Spousal Visa.
Types of U.S. Visas for Spouses
Several types of visas are available for spouses of U.S. citizens or green card holders and those who wish to live in the United States permanently. Some of the most popular types of visas include:
- K-1 Fiancé Visa: Allows the foreign national spouse to enter the United States to marry their fiancé within 90 days of arrival.
- Family Preference Immigrant Visas: There are four types, including unmarried children under 21, married children under 21, and siblings of American citizens over 21, as well as spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents. This type is also known as a “Green Card” because it allows the holder to stay indefinitely and gain access to many public benefits like health care or employment authorization cards (EACs).
- IR-1 Spousal Visa: Also known as an immigrant visa, this type is available to individuals who have been married for two years or more and can provide proof that their marriage is genuine. The process begins with submitting a petition by the sponsoring U.S. citizen or resident alien spouse, followed by an interview at the United States Embassy or Consulate abroad to obtain an immigrant visa stamp valid for one year, after which it must be renewed annually.
- CR-1 Spousal Visa: This type is available to couples who have been married for less than two years and cannot provide evidence of a genuine marriage relationship due to extreme hardship faced by one spouse if they were denied entry into the U.S. The process includes filing Form I-130 along with necessary supporting documents at the USCIS office, whereupon an immigrant visa number becomes available immediately after approval; then, upon obtaining that number, one may proceed with applying at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad.
Eligibility Requirements for a U.S. Spouse Visa
In order to be eligible for a U.S. spouse visa, applicants must provide documentary evidence that their marriage is genuine and valid. Proof can include photographs of the couple together, letters or emails, transcripts of phone conversations, social media posts, and other documents that demonstrate a long history of commitment between the two parties.
Additionally, applicants must meet specific financial requirements in order to secure the visa, such as demonstrating an ability to support oneself while living in the United States and providing financial documentation, such as tax returns and bank statements, that show sufficient income or assets to cover living expenses.
How to Apply for A US Spouse Visa
In order to apply for a U.S. spouse visa, applicants must first file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative form with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In addition to the I-130 petition, applicants must also file Form I-129F with USCIS to request approval of the visa application. After submitting the forms, applicants will be required to attend an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy in the foreign country where they reside.
During this interview, applicants will be required to provide proof that their marriage is genuine and valid by offering documents such as photographs, letters or emails, social media postings, and other documents demonstrating evidence of commitment between the two parties. If approved after the interview, applicants must submit any additional documentation that may be requested before they can receive their visa.
U.S. spouse visa holders are required to have medical insurance that meets specific minimum requirements in order to be approved for a visa. This insurance must provide coverage for medically necessary treatments, emergency services, and inpatient and outpatient services. Additionally, it must be issued by a U.S.-authorized provider and provide evidence of coverage throughout the entire period of the visa holder’s stay in the United States.
If you do not already have medical insurance, there are several options available to you, including employer-provided plans, individual plans offered by private insurers, or government-sponsored healthcare programs such as Medicare or Medicaid.
Benefits of having a U.S. spouse visa
Having a U.S. spouse visa allows an individual from another country to live and work in the United States with their partner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The visa holder has the right to travel freely within the United States, pursue professional opportunities and gain access to educational resources and state benefits reserved for legal residents of the country. Additionally, having this type of visa gives you protection under U.S. laws and legal recourse in the event of mistreatment, abuse, or discrimination while in the United States.