How to Get a Green Card for Your New Spouse
One of the great things about living in America is you get to meet people from many different countries all over the world. Given the right attitude, you can easily find out about all kinds of foreign cultures, customs, and beliefs, and have the opportunity to extend a friendly handshake, or perhaps more. Yes, not only can people enrich their cultural knowledge, but they might also find true love. International marriages are becoming more common, so you are no longer restricted to these shores to find the one person with which you plan to share your life.
Just one problem… you may not be able to share your life here.
The Risk of Deportation
The United States of America has always been a land of opportunity, but illegal immigration is a great concern when it comes to our state of well-being. So if you fall in love with someone who is still a citizen of his or her home country, you need to find a good immigration attorney to make sure this person can stay with you. Sneaking into this country unlawfully or staying here beyond the authorized amount of time on one’s visa is a deportable offense. Penalties will not only affect your loved one, but you may also face conviction for harboring an illegal alien.
How to Go Green
If you are a U.S. citizen (or a permanent resident) and you wish to marry someone from a foreign country and bring him or her to live with you, the spouse needs to apply for a green card so he or she can be considered a permanent resident. There are a few forms you need to complete and submit to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services to make this happen. An immigration attorney can help you file all the necessary documentation.
The primary form is the I-130, which is the Petition for Alien Relative. Once you have signed it and paid the appropriate fee, you will also need to present your marriage certificate, proof of your own citizenship or permanent residency, proof that any and all prior marriages for both you and your spouse have ended, passport-style photos of both of you, and evidence of all legal name changes. In addition, both you and your spouse will need to fill out a G-325A form, which will supply biographic information to the Department.
If all this seems confusing, contact an immigration attorney to represent both you and your spouse. Attorneys will work with the Immigration and Naturalization Services to make sure your loved one is just as welcomed in Uncle Sam’s home as he or she is in yours.
by Ali Golchin