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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
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Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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Spouse Visa Questions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) define a spouse as a legally wedded husband or wife. A visa allows foreign citizen to request for permission to enter in US, it does not guarantee the entry though. Below are some spouse visa related questions answered by immigration lawyers.

I married an illegal immigrant who entered the United States without a visa. He has been paying income tax the entire time he has lived here. Will he have to leave the U.S. and go back home? Will he be able to get a spouse visa?

Because your spouse entered the United States illegally it may be very difficult to sponsor him for a spouse visa. You can still file the petition for his visa but if it’s approved, your husband will have to return to his home country for his immigrant visa interview. When he leaves the U.S., because he has been here illegally, a bar will be triggered and he will not be allowed to return for 10 years. You can apply for a waiver to request forgiveness, but this is very rarely granted and the process is complicated. In order to file the waiver, you as the U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative must prove that having your spouse be away for 10 years will be an extreme and unusual hardship for reasons that are more than simply economic or psychological. For example, if you have mental health issue or a medical condition that keeps you from working and you need the support of your husband, you can get the necessary medical examinations and provide documentation to the consulate. However, you must be able to convince the authorities your hardship is different from that of all the other U.S. citizens who live separately from their spouses and whose spouses are barred from living in the U.S. because they were here illegally. Read more about the waivers at the following links:

I am in the U.S. on an E-2 spouse visa. Will it still be valid after my divorce?

Your visa will no longer be valid and you will be out of status once the divorce is finalized. If you stay, you will be in the U.S. illegally and will be at risk of deportation. What you would want to do now is file Form I-539 as soon as possible to change status to a B-2 visitor visa. You will need to be able to show you are able to support yourself financially. If your status change is approved you will get an additional six months in the United States. You may wish to have an immigration attorney help you file the change in status as soon as possible.

I have been a joint sponsor of two immigrants within past five years. I earn $50,000 per year and have no other dependents. Can I also be a sole joint sponsor for third person?

It should be fine to sponsor the third person, you will need to show you are financially stable and able to sponsor this individual, given your other obligations, but if you can do this there should be no problem. Your ability to sponsor people with an I-864 is limited only by your income. As long as you can afford to support the person or people you sponsor, if becomes necessary, there should be no limit to the number of people you can sponsor with Form I-864.

I am in the U.S., while my wife and her son are in Ukraine. My spouse has not yet changed her last name to my last name. I have filed an I-130 for my spouse. Will either my spouse or her son face any problem entering in the U.S. with a different last name than mine?

It should be if your wife and her child do not have your last name. However, you will need to an I-130 for her child in addition to the I-130 you have filed for your wife.

When applying for a spouse visa or when filing for divorce when one has a spouse visa, couples can feel unsure of the appropriate course of action. If you are confused about the legal process and in need of clarification, it may be sensible to get Experts insight.

Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 34505
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
9200179
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
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2 Immigration Lawyers are Online Now

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Recent Spouse Visa Questions

  • I have 3 DUI convictions 2 of them back in 1984 and the third

    I have 3 DUI convictions 2 of them back in 1984 and the third in 2010, Also I have have been married 2 times and ended up in divorce. My second marriage was with a filipina who i sponsored from the Philipines. our divorce was final in July 2014, will this effect my I-129F petition and my new fiances K-1 visa being approved. She is from Main Land China
    Sincerely
    John
  • Immigration Question... I am a US Citizen, deployed to the

    Immigration Question...
    I am a US Citizen, deployed to the Middle East on a Letter of Authorization (LOA) issued by the U.S. Army with a deployment end date in 2016. My wife who is a green card holder (CR1) has accompanied me overseas. I am a contract employee with a U.S. company on contract with the U.S. Department of Defense.
    My wife received her CR1 status in April 2014 when she entered the US. We will be married 2 years in December 2014. Our residence is in the U.S., we jointly own a U.S. company, have filed joint U.S tax returns for 2012 and 2013 and will file a joint tax return for 2014. In addition, we have joint bank accounts in the U.S.
    When we returned to the U.S. In late April 2014, we fully intended to stay since my overseas contract had ended and we were starting a new business in the U.S. However, soon after we returned to the U.S. and my wife received her CR1, I received a contract renewal for an assignment overseas. To,accept, I had to be back in the Middle East within 10 days. My wife came with me so we both live outside the U.S. temporarily until my job with a U.S. Company on US government is complete.
    I need to stay in the Middle East until my contact is over and my wife cannot go back to the U.S. by her self. We are planning to return to the U S in January 2016.
    We will apply to remove her conditional status in 2016.
    I contacted the US embassy/consul about a Returning Resident (SB-1) application. The US State Department Web Site says:
    1. “A provision exists under U.S. visa law for the issuance of a returning resident special immigrant visa to an LPR who remained outside the United States due to circumstances beyond his/her control. “The US Department of State form “APPLICATION TO DETERMINE RETURNING RESIDENT STATUS” states that an example of proof that a protracted stay was for reasons beyond the applicant’s control is “accompanying a U.S. citizen spouse”.
    2. “If you are an LPR unable to return to the United States within the travel validity period of the green card (1 year) you may be eligible and can apply at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa.
    3. “If you are the spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or of a civilian employee of the U.S. government stationed abroad on official orders, you may use your Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551, to enter the United States even if it has expired. Therefore, you would not need a Returning Resident (SB-1) immigrant visa”
    It appears from the information above that my wife can stay with me in Kuwait and does not need to “return to the United States within the travel validity period of the green card (1 year)”. In addition, she does not need the SB-1 Visa. She can use her Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551, to enter the United States even if it has expired.
    Is this correct?
    The embassy/consulate response was - "note that the administration of green cards is the responsibility of DHS/USCIS. The Embassy has no role in this process." According to what I have been told an read we cannot apply for a Reentry permit since she is not in the U.S.
    What do we need to do so we do not jeopardize my wife's green card status?
  • I got REF for extension of my TN application regarding evaluation

    I got REF for extension of my TN application regarding evaluation of degree. I have Bachelor of Commerce from India and over 8 years accountant Canadian and American experience. FIS evaluated my degree as Bachelor of Accounting substitute with experience. Is that going to work out. If you think it is going to work out I like to hand over case to you. CCI evaluator also ready to give me Bachelor of Business Administration based on my education. I got number of times TN. Right now I am on TN as an Accountant. Thanks in advance for answer.
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