Introduction

Falling in love with a foreigner can be absolutely romantic. Foreigners bring another worldview and culture into the relationship, and this can be refreshing. Before you can live happily ever after, immigration law in the United States has a few requirements that need to be addressed in order for a foreign spouse to reside in the United States legally.

 

Definition of a Spouse

A spouse is a partner in a legal marriage; either a husband or a wife. A foreigner who has been legally married to a United States citizen is required to apply for a visa to remain in the U.S. legally. If a foreigner and a U.S. citizen are cohabitating, this will not entitle the foreigner to a marriage certificate. Foreigners who partake in polygamy should know that polygamy is against the law in the U.S. Only the first spouse that the foreigner married as a polygamist can be considered for a visa. Death or divorce certificates from the foreigner’s past marriages must be valid and verifiable by the foreign spouse’s home country.

 

Can a Foreign Spouse Work in the United States?

In keeping with immigration law, a foreign spouse is eligible to work only after they have completed the I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. They can apply with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the area that they live. An immigration lawyer could also provide assistance when completing the I-765.

Can You Travel and Re-Enter the U.S. with a Visa?

A foreigner may want to travel back to their home country to introduce their newly married spouse to their family. This can be done with a visa. Traveling to their home country does not have to be confusing as long as the foreigner does their research. When traveling, there will be different requirements for different countries. Make sure to research these requirements before traveling. Foreigners may be required to carry a passport, their visa, and medical information. If you have any questions about leaving and reentering the US, please contact your immigration lawyer for more information.

 

Differences between an Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa

There are two different types of visas available to foreign spouses. There is the immigrant visa and the non-immigrant visa. Those who are seeking to reside in the United States permanently will apply for the immigrant visa, and those who are visiting for tourism reasons, medical help, educational purposes, or business trips will apply for the non-immigrant visa. If you question which type of visa is best for your situation, contact the USCIS or your personal immigration attorney.

 

Conclusion

In closing, applying for a visa as a foreigner may seem like an overwhelming task. However, if you want to live and work in the US with your American-born spouse, it is a requirement. Multiple questions may arise during the process, and this is okay. There are plenty of resources out there to help along the way and ensure that all the correct procedures are being followed to obtain the appropriate visa.

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