3 challenges people may face when bringing foreign spouses to the U.S.

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Family Immigration

Love knows no boundaries or nationalities. People can fall in love across cultures. The internet has made it easier than ever before in human history for individuals who are citizens of different countries to pursue meaningful relationships with each other. United States citizens have the right to travel freely and most other countries and may fall in love while working or vacationing abroad. People can also connect with individuals in a country where they have cultural heritage or family members. Falling in love with someone who lives in another country is a difficult experience.

Thankfully, immigration laws provide options for those who have married a resident of another country. It is possible for a United States citizen to petition to bring a foreign national spouse into the country lawfully. Their spouse can receive a green card. There are several challenges that people need to prepare to address if they want to secure a green card for a foreign national spouse.

Paperwork requirements can be stressful

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant the spouses of citizens green cards. However, absolute precision is typically necessary when filling out the mandatory paperwork to help a spouse enter the United States. Small mistakes and oversights when applying for a spousal visa and green card could lead to frustrating setbacks and denied applications.

Background checks are still necessary

Even though a foreign national spouse has a clear tie to the United States, they must still meet the standards imposed by the USCIS on all immigrants. Typically, they must submit medical records and undergo a thorough criminal background check. They also may need to attend in-person interviews or submit to a biometrics appointment where they provide signatures or fingerprints. All of this can delay the process of bringing a spouse to the United States, which can be quite frustrating for those separated by international boundaries.

Any green card received is conditional

Even after someone secures a green card for their spouse, there are still additional steps that they must take. The green card secured through marriage is not the standard 10-year green card in many cases. Unless the marriage between the citizen and the foreign spouse has already lasted more than two years, their green card is a conditional document that requires new paperwork after approximately two years in the country. The failure to apply to remove the conditions on someone’s green card could lead to the loss of their status as a permanent resident or other immigration setbacks.

Most people can, very easily, make paperwork mistakes or other oversights that could delay bringing their spouse to the United States. Those who get the right support during complex immigration proceedings can minimize the challenges and frustrations inherent in dealing with the USCIS for something as personal as reuniting with their spouse.