When a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident marries a foreign national, a process exists to sponsor the foreign national for a visa. The visa would allow the spouse to come to the United States, and, once in the state of Illinois, the spouse could continue to pursue lawful permanent resident status under a family petition.
Petitioning for a spousal visa
The process for procuring a visa for a spouse and petitioning for lawful permanent resident status involves filing specific paperwork. Petitioners/sponsors should expect to submit supporting documentation, as well.
Spouses could file a “Petition for Alien Relative,” which is also known as a “Form I-130.” Other documents might be necessary, including the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864 or I-864EZ). Although there is no age minimum for a U.S. citizen or LPR to sponsor a spouse, the petitioner must be 18 years of age or older and maintain a residence in the United States. The Affidavit of Support establishes that the spouse will not become a “public charge.”
Additional points about spousal visas and petitions
A visa application may run into hurdles, and a spouse might need to meet with a consular officer. And then, the petitioner could make a mistake on the I-130 immigration paperwork submission. Providing a copy of a marriage license instead of a marriage certificate, for example, may result in problematic delays.
Sometimes, the petitioner’s status might change. If a lawful permanent resident filed an I-130 for a spouse and then became a U.S. citizen, the LPR could request an upgrade. U.S. citizens receive “immediate relative” preference status.
Putting together a complete and error-free petition could result in smoother processing. Not only may the petitioner’s spouse receive the visa without delays, but the underlying LPR process could also move forward with fewer issues.