Spouse Visa

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What Is a Spouse Visa?

A spouse visa allows a husband or wife of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to obtain entry into the U.S. This usually leads to permanent relocation of the spouse, as they may become eligible themselves for citizenship or a permanent resident green card. A V-Visa may be used to allow the spouse to travel to the U.S. This is a temporary type of visa that permits the family to stay together until the spouse can obtain a permanent immigrant visa. 

Alternatively, the spouse can be petitioned if they are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is already in the country. Waiting times for family-based visas may vary on several factors; however there are usually no quotas (maximum number of visas issued each year) for spouse visas. The petition can usually be filed under the immediate relative category. 

What Is an Accompanying Spouse Visa?

An accompanying spouse visa allows the spouse to accompany a person who has been issued a valid visa. For instance, a person who has received an F-1 visa may travel to the U.S. temporarily for education purposes as a student. Their spouse may sometimes accompany them temporarily under an F-2 visa. Other visas, such as work visas may also have corresponding accompanying visas for spouses of the visa holder. The spouse will usually have to return to the country of origin when their husband or wife’s stay in the U.S. is expired. 

Can Fiancés Also Obtain a Visa?

Fiancés of U.S. citizens or permanent residents can also obtain a visa. This can be done through a K-1 Fiancé Visa. Requirements for fiancé visas tend to be very strict, in order to prevent the occurrence of immigration marriage fraud (that is, fake marriages created for the sole purpose of obtaining a favorable immigration status). The couple may need to provide proof that their relationship is legitimate and not contrived.  On the other hand, spouse visas can be equally as strict as fiancé visas.   

Violations of immigration laws can lead to various legal consequences, including a rejection of a visa application, removal/deportation, and denial of re-entry into the U.S. in the future. 

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with a Spouse Visa?

Spousal visas can sometimes be challenging to deal with. You may need to hire a qualified lawyer if you need assistance with a spouse visa, or with any other immigration matters. Your attorney can provide you legal on advice so that you can successfully file a visa application. Also, your lawyer can provide you with much-needed representation if you need to make an appearance in an immigration court. 

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Last Modified: 03-05-2014 03:14 PM PST

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