Alien-Spouse Immigrant Visa

Visas for the Spouses of U.S. Citizens and Green Card Holders

Two types of immigrant visas are available for people who are planning to travel to the United States for the purposes of reuniting with a spouse and of establishing permanent residence in this country. Whether the person who is currently living in the U.S. is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident will determine which type of visa is appropriate for the immigrating spouse. An IR-1 visa is appropriate for spouses of U.S. citizens, whereas an F2 visa would be the right choice for spouses of lawful permanent residents.

The IR-1 is the first type of visa in the immediate relative immigrant visa category. The provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allow for an unlimited number of such visas because U.S. immigration law places a higher priority on reuniting citizens with their loved ones who are living abroad than it does on reuniting green card holders and their family members. To meet the definition of "spouse" for the IR-1 visa, it is necessary to prove that you are legally married to your husband or wife.

Applying for a visa for the spouse of a permanent resident can be a more difficult than it is for the spouse of a citizen since the INA provides no more than 480,000 visas per year for the family-preference immigrant category. Nearly a quarter of these are allocated to the F2 category, which includes not only the spouses of green card holders but also the minor children and unmarried adult children of permanent residents. The number of applications for family-preference visas frequently exceeds the number of visas available in any given year, and when this happens, all of the applicants who are required to wait until the next year are given their visas on a first-come, first-served basis according to their priority date, which is the date when the petition was originally filed.

How a Virginia Immigration Lawyer Can Help

Contact us at Fayad Law, P.C. before filling out your Form I-130 or taking any other steps so that a Fairfax, Virginia immigration attorney from our team can assist you with the process and guide you along the way. Even simple mistakes on the petition could cause your application to be denied or unnecessarily delayed, which could greatly extend the amount of time before you are permitted to reunite with your spouse.

Our firm has offices in Richmond and Fairfax, as well as in Raleigh, North Carolina, and we provide our assistance to clients throughout the world. We know how much is at stake for you and are ready to take immediate action on your case! Contact our office now for an initial consultation and to learn more about how we can be of assistance.