3.) Immediate Relatives
Married U.S. citizens are actually referred to as “immediate relatives” and are exempt from every numbered quota limitations. What this basically means is that the spouse who is foreign is given U.S. residency but only as soon as all of the paperwork is processed and filed; there is no more period of waiting. Being married to a permanent resident may include a waiting period of up to many years for the spouse who is foreign to become a resident. If the U.S. citizen lives abroad, the immigration paperwork is filed into the correct U.S. Consulate. If the foreign spouse and the American citizen spouse are both residing within the United States, the immigrant petition which is also known as I-130 petition, and the adjustment of status application, which is also known as I-485 application along with a few more supporting documents are filed all at once with the USCIS. This action allows the foreign spouse to continue to live legally in the U.S. even if the underlying I-94, which is a form that is issued at a port-of-entry to the U.S. with approved stay information expires immediately after it is filed. In other words, there is no requirement to extend the underlying nonimmigrant visa status (such as student, visitor, worker, etc.) once I-130 and I-485 are filed together.
The USCIS will provide employment approval document and permission to travel outside the U.S. which is also known as an (“advance parole document” to the immigrant spouse anywhere from 60 up to 90 days after it is filed. Some examples of supporting documents that might take some time to retrieve and should furthermore be secured in waiting of the sponsorship based on marriage could be a birth certificate of the foreign spouse and translated into English if doable), a birth certificate or other evidence of U.S. citizenship like maybe a copy of the first two or three pages of their U.S. passport or a copy of naturalization certificate of the sponsoring U.S. spouse, or divorce decrees, if there are any available. The simultaneous filing of the immigrant petition and adjustment of status application are feasible even if the foreign spouse has resided in the U.S. beyond his or her visa status’s expiration date. Staying over the expiration date by 180 days or more and then leaving the U.S. can result in the violator to being banned from entering the U.S. again for 3 to 10 years, depending on the length of violation of the authorized stay. That being said, in most situations, it is best advised not to leave the U.S. once a major violation of status has already taken place and the immigrant petition, adjustment of status application, and supporting documents have been yet been filed and approved by the USCIS.
What follows the submittal of all of the sponsorship paperwork is that the USCIS will schedule a date for the marriage interview which is also known as adjustment of the status interview which can take place at any time between three months and twelve months after the paperwork is filed away. This is done in order to decide whether the marriage is a legitimate marriage, that the sponsoring loved-one has not gotten any particular benefit in the trade for marriage and sponsorship, that this married couple is not keeping their marriage a secret from friends and relatives. Both spouses have to attend the adjustment of status interview. After a successful marriage interview, the foreign spouse is given the status of a Conditional Permanent Resident.
To learn more watch the video below!