An American citizen can bring their foreign spouse to the state of Missouri in one of two ways. Each involves obtaining a visa, but the ways to acquire them are different.
Visa Application Process
To obtain either visa for your spouse, there are requirements and applications that must be filled out first.
These pre-emptive processes include:
- becoming legally married (living together doesn’t qualify as a marriage and you will not be able to sponsor your partner);
- establishing residency in the U.S. (if you live outside the U.S. you will need to submit a visa petition first);
- being a legal U.S. adult (age 18 or older);
- obtaining a digital photograph of your spouse;
- filling out the visa application form DS160;
- paying the necessary fee; and
- interviewing at the U.S. consulate.
Once you and your spouse have completed the steps listed above, your spouse can apply for a U.S. visa.
Which Visa to Apply For
The type of visa your spouse should apply for is conditional on whether you already live in the U.S. or a foreign country. If you live in the U.S., you can sponsor your spouse, who will receive either a CR (Conditional Residency)-1 or IR (Immediate Residency)-1 visa.
To complete the process for a CR (Conditional Residency)-1 or IR-1 visa you need to:
- sponsor your spouse for an immigrant visa into the U.S.; and
- submit an Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative Form (I-130).
If you and your spouse have been together for longer than 2 years, they will receive the IR-1 visa; if you have been together for 2 years or less, they will receive the CR-1 visa.
You can obtain a K-3 visa if you and your spouse got married in a foreign country. You must start the application process in the country where you were originally married; then your spouse can immigrate to the U.S. to finish the application.
To finish the K-3 visa application, you and your spouse need to fill out a Form I-129F. Your spouse can join you in the U.S. while you wait for their citizenship to become effective.
Contact Smith Law Offices, LLC Today
There are many legal rules and forms to navigate when trying to bring your spouse to the U.S. from a foreign country. Our attorneys have over 30 years of collective immigration law experience and know how to handle the visa process quickly so you and your spouse can have a life together.
Call our firm today at (636) 400-1177 or contact us onlinefor a case evaluation.