Applying for a visa or green card after marriage to a U.S. citizen can be stressful, but simply hoping that you’re doing it the right way can be even worse. Understanding the process on how to begin your application will get you started on the right track, but keep an eye out for these common mistakes.
First, and probably the most important of all, is failing to complete the application properly. You must fully and properly complete the various application forms. Do not leave any questions unanswered. If a question is not applicable to you, write “N/A” for “not applicable.” Make sure that you have entered your personal information correctly. Your name, last name, date of birth, place of birth, country of birth, and so on. All of this information must be exactly as it says on your passport. The photos you attach need to meet the government’s specifications for size and color. Do not attempt to take these yourselves — go to a professional. Generic pharmacy stores will have employees that know how to take and print appropriate pictures. Make sure that you submit the completed application form along with the necessary documents to the right USCIS office, sending it to the wrong USCIS office will delay your application.
Second, failing to enter into a valid marriage. For immigration purposes, you must be legally married. There are various form of invalid marriage. You cannot be legally married to someone else, and if you were previously married, you will have to provide proof that the marriage ended, for example by submitting death or divorce certificates. Failure to include such proof will, at a minimum, result in your application being delayed while USCIS requests this information from you.
Finally, if a person fails to show sufficient financial support U.S. immigration laws prohibit the issuance of an immigrant visa to any person who is likely to become a public charge. The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse must file an Affidavit of Support on Form I-864 to prove that he or she will provide the immigrant any necessary financial support for a period of years to avoid this prospect. Failure to file this Affidavit, or to show sufficient financial resources to maintain the immigrant and the sponsor’s household at a level that’s at least 125% of the U.S. Poverty Guidelines will result in your application being denied.
The application process is strenuous and complicated, so it always best to seek the help of an attorney. They will be familiar with the process, the forms and have the experience to guide someone through the process. This is also especially helpful when unexpected circumstances arise. This blog is provided by the attorneys at Stump and Associates. We specialize in immigration, guiding our clients to achieving the American Dream of living and working in the United States.