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Yes, you are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa based on your marriage to a US citizen. But your US citizen spouse has to have an approved petition for you first. Once you enter the US, you immediately becomes a permanent resident. This is the traditional process.
The process is simple. Your spouse has to submit form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you. Once this is approved, the I-130 will go to the National Visa Center, where it will be reviewed, and she will be asked to submit an Affidavit of Support with the fee. After processing at the NVC, the case will go to the US consulate
closest to where you live abroad. You will be required to submit an immigrant visa application with fees. You also will undergo a medical examination and an immigrant visa interview.
Once the visa application is approved and the visa issued in the passport, you are eligible to travel to the US as immigrant. Upon entering the US, you will be considered a permanent resident and will get your green card
in the mail in about 4 to 6 weeks.
That whole process will take about 9 to 12 months, sometimes a little less.
There is one way to get here sooner. It is called the K3
spousal visa. Once she's submitted the I-130 she will receive an I-797, Receipt Notice. With this, she can file form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance. I realize it is called a fiance form, but it is also used for the K3 visa.
If approved, you will be eligible to apply for the K3 visa to be able to come to the US and await the completion of the processing of the I-130 petition. Once the I-130 is approved, you will apply for adjustment of status instead of the process I mentioned above. The K3 process takes approximately 6 to 9 months to complete before you can come.
There is one big problem with the K3 process however. This visa was created to help families be together at a time when the I-130 petition was taking a very long time to complete processing. Naturally, once the I-130 petition is approved, there is no use for the K3 visa. So if the I-130 is approved before the consulate issues you the K3 visa, you are no longer eligible for it. Currently it is not taking as long for the I-130 to process, so it is not very often that a K3 visa is issued anymore. But sometimes it still is, so you might get lucky.
Please know that while I always do my best to assist customers with coming up with a good solution to their situation, from time to time, the law does not provide a good solution to every situation. Please do not hold bad news against me by giving me a negative rating.
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