Permanent Residency for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Will I Qualify for Immigration as a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen?

Likely, yes. If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you likely qualify for immigration as a permanent resident. Your marriage must meet a number of basic preconditions for you to qualify. Your marriage must be a bona fide marriage, entered into freely by both you and your spouse, and not a “sham marriage,” i.e. one entered into solely for permanent residency status. You must have followed all the proper marriage formalities in the local jurisdiction or country where the marriage took place. If you have previously been divorced or legally separated, those changes must also have been legal in the local jurisdiction where they occurred.

You may also qualify as a permanent resident, even if you were married within the last two years, if you may seek a divorce or legal separation in the future, if your spouse is deceased, or if you are the victim of spousal abuse or battery. Contact the experienced lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates today for a consultation.

What If I Am Granted Permanent Residence Within Two Years of Marring a U.S. Citizen?

In this case, you will be granted permanent residency on a “conditional basis.” This means that you will be a full permanent resident in all respects, except that your residency is subject to termination if your marriage ends within the first two years; either through divorce, annulment, or a finding of a “sham marriage.”

As a permanent resident on conditional basis, you will be eligible for employment, you will be able to travel freely within and outside the United States, and you will be accumulating time towards the physical presence and residency requirements for naturalization as a U.S. Citizen.

Please contact us for a consultation regarding the special requirements and procedures required for this type of case.

What if I am Legally Married to a U.S. Citizen, but I Might Seek a Divorce or Legal Separation in the Future?

If you are legally married to a U.S. citizen, but you intend to or might divorce or legally separate in the future, you may still be eligible to qualify as a permanent resident. The length of your marriage and whether it occurred within the past two years prior to the approval of your permanent residency status will be an important factor. This situation may require experienced and knowledgeable legal assistance.

Contact the competent immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA for a consultation. Our immigration lawyers will gently take care of your case with the utmost confidentiality and sensitivity.

What if I am the Widow(er) of a U.S. Citizen?

You will likely qualify for immigration as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, even if your spouse is deceased. New legislation passed in 2009 allows you to qualify if you were married to a U.S. citizen at the time of your spouse’s death, if you file your petition within two years, and if you have not remarried. You no longer are required to have been married to your U.S. citizen spouse for at least two years prior to his or her death. Your unmarried minor children may also be included in the petition as well.

This residency status requires the filing of a different form, Form I-360. If you have already filed a pending I-130 immediate relative petition prior to your spouse’s death, it can be converted to a widow(er)’s I-360 petition.

At The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, we understand the loss and suffering you may be going though, and we have the knowledge and sensitivity to help you cope with your petition in this situation.

How to Contact Us

If you have questions about marriage-based immigration, or even about an H-1B visa, immigration visa, other green card matter, or any other immigration process, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. Our law firm handles various matters including Green Cards and Permanent Residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H1B visas, Investor Visas, PERM applications, and many more. Please contact us and experience how our law firm can assist you in your immigration matters. Whether you are an employer, an employee or a family member, the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA has competent, responsive and innovative lawyers who can make your immigration experience pleasant and seamless.

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