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Steps in Bringing a Spouse Overseas to the U.S.

Steps in Bringing a Spouse Overseas to the U.S.

PUBLISHED ON: September 24

Thousands of foreign nationals living in the United States become citizens of the country. As a country that was established by foreign nationals, today, the authorities in the United States still promote family unions by authorizing citizens of the country to petition their spouses in foreign countries to enter the country and live permanently with their spouses. In some instances, you may also be able to petition for the children of your spouse to enter the country and reside here permanently.

Unfortunately, the immigration system in the United States is extremely complicated. Understanding what you need to do when filing a petition is very challenging. Our experienced Chicago immigration lawyer can explain the steps you need to take when going through the process.

Petitioning for Your Spouse to Enter the Country

The first step you must take when filing a petition for your spouse to enter the country is to file Form I-130. In the event that your spouse is already lawfully in the U.S., they must file Form I-485. They must submit this form when submitting Form I-130. There is a fee for filing Form I-130. It is $535, and you must pay this fee when submitting your petition.

Necessary Documents to Bring Your Overseas Spouse to the U.S.

Like most immigration issues, you must submit supporting documents when filing your application to bring your overseas spouse to the United States. If you are a citizen of the United States, you can confirm your legal status by filing a copy of one of the following documents:

  • Your United States passport,
  • Your birth certificate,
  • Your certificate of naturalization,
  • A report from a consular if you were born outside of the country, or
  • Your own citizenship certificate.

You can still petition for your overseas spouse to enter the United States if you are a lawful permanent resident. The documents you must submit in these situations are a copy of the back and front of your green card or a passport from a foreign country with evidence that establishes that you are a permanent resident.

Additional documents may also have to be submitted with your application. These include:

  • A copy of your marriage certificate,
  • A copy of any marriage annulment decrees, divorce decrees, or death certificates that are applicable to your case,
  • Photos for both you and your spouse that meet passport photo requirements, and
  • Evidence that you have legally changed your name or that your spouse has legally changed their name.

Our Immigration Lawyer in Chicago Can Help Bring Your Spouse Into the Country

The immigration system in the U.S. is very complex, and petitioning for your spouse can be incredibly stressful and emotional. You may file a petition and, after waiting many weeks for an answer, find out that you have been denied. At Sverdloff Law Group, our Chicago immigration lawyer understands the importance of being reunited with your family, and we are here to help. Call us now or contact us online to get the legal advice you need and learn more about how we can help.


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