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How to Bring Your Spouse to the United States by Theodore Huang, Esq.
The first step is to file a Petition for Alien Relative for your spouse to immigrate to the United States. You file the petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services.  Sometimes a U.S. citizen living abroad can file an immigrant visa petition at an U.S. embassy or consulate. Contact our office to see if you would qualify for this special procedure.
A spouse is a legally wedded husband or wife. Merely living together does not qualify a marriage for immigration. Common-law spouses may qualify as spouses for immigration, but only if the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurs recognizes common-law marriages and grants them all the same rights and obligations as a traditional marriage. There is no minimum age to file a petition for a spouse for immigration.
After the USCIS approves the petition, it sends the petition to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will contact the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate processing fees and the necessary immigrant visa documentation to be submitted to the NVC.
The NVC then engages in the following:
1.     Assigns a case number to the petition.
2.     Send processing fee bill and immigrant visa fee bills to the attorney.
3.     After the processing fee is paid, the NVC will send further instructions to the attorney.
4.     After supporting documents are submitted to the NVC, the NVC will review the information submitted for technical correctness and completeness.
5.     After the file is complete, the NVC will send the petition to the embassy where the applicant will apply for a visa when the case file is complete. For certain embassies/consulates, the NVC will schedule the applicant's interview. Approximately one month before the applicant's scheduled interview appointment with a consular officer, all interested parties (applicant, petitioner, and attorney) will receive an appointment letter containing the date and time of the applicant's visa interview along with instructions for obtaining a medical examination.
An appointment package is sent to the applicant. The appointment package gives the applicant an interview date and tells you the specific requirements of the visa. Items such as the following are requested:
·         Passport(s)
·         Birth certificate
·         Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse
·         Marriage certificate
·         Immigrant visa photos
·         Proof of the marriage
The applicant presents supporting documents at the interview. If the interview goes well, the spouse will receive an immigrant visa stamped in his/her passport which s/he will use to enter the U.S.

Attorney Theodore Huang specializes in helping U.S./Chinese couples reunite in the U.S. Since 1997, he has helped numerous Chinese fiancées and spouses obtain K-1, K-3, and immigrant visas. For more information, he may be reached at 626-771-1078; his firm’s website is

From: Original         Author: Theodore Huang, Esq.         Time: 3/5/2010 4:12:38 PM

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