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Bringing your foreign spouse home to the United States

Like many other Georgia residents, you may have the chance to travel to other countries whether for work or pleasure. You experience their culture, see the sights and meet new people. In fact, you may have met someone and fallen in love. The two of you decided to that the wedding would take place in your soon-to-be spouse's country but decided to start your new life together here in the United States.

If that is the case, you may want to gain an understanding of what steps are necessary to bring your spouse into the country. Fortunately, the government wants to help ensure that you and your spouse don't spend any more time apart than necessary.

What is the application process?

In order for your spouse to come to the United States, you must first submit a Petition for Alien Relative. If approved, this petition allows your spouse to enter the country. You will receive a Notice of Action letting you know that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received the petition; but wait, that's not all. After receiving the Notice of Action, you must file a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). You must include the Notice of Action with this petition.

Immigration will require several pieces of documentation when you file each of these petitions. Once approved, immigration agents will send the information to the Department of State for processing by the relevant consulate.

How long does this process take?

The application process can take some time during which you and your spouse may experience a lengthy separation. This is where the K-3 visa comes into play. This visa allows your spouse to enter the country while the Petition for Alien Relative undergoes the approval process. Therefore, if that petition does not receive the necessary approvals when you return to the country, applying for this visa could allow your spouse to come back with you instead of enduring a separation.

A K-3 visa also allows your spouse to apply for permanent residency while the Petition for Alien Relative is still in process. This could save some time later, and your spouse could begin seeking employment here in Georgia.

You may need help

The process of bringing a foreign spouse into the country can be complex and frustrating. Any errors in the application process could result in a denial and further delays. If you married in another country, it may be beneficial to seek legal assistance to help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

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