Entering the United States using an immigrant visa…
After the long wait for your spouse to get an immigrant visa, the big day has finally arrived. Your spouse will be arriving in the United States using the immigrant visa. But what happens when your spouse arrives in the United States using an immigrant visa?
When your spouse arrives in the United States using an immigrant visa, the immigration officer will review the immigrant visa package that your spouse was given by the embassy. It is very important that your spouse knows not to open the package that the embassy gives to him or her, as this could create serious problems upon arriving in the United States. Assuming that all is in order, your spouse should receive a passport stamp that is temporary proof of permanent resident status. In most cases, the actual green card will arrive in the mail several weeks later.
Important issues after entering the United States and becoming a permanent resident
Some of the key issues that your spouse will need to keep in mind after becoming a permanent resident include:
- It is very important that to carefully review the green card that arrives in the mail to verify that there are no mistakes on it. Any mistakes should be corrected immediately.
- Any changes of address need to be reported to USCIS within 10 days.
- It is very important to understand the requirements for maintaining permanent resident status. Mistakes may result in the loss of permanent resident status or deportation proceedings.
- If you have been married for less than two years, your spouse will receive conditional permanent resident status and will need to remove the conditions two years after he or she enters the United States. It is very important to follow the rules regarding removing conditional permanent resident status. Failure to file the required paperwork or to go to the interview will cause significant legal problems and could result in the loss of permanent resident status.
Applying for citizenship
Spouses of United States citizens can typically apply for citizenship after being a permanent resident for three years. Spouses of permanent residents can typically apply for citizenship after being a permanent resident for five years. It is very important to review the qualifications for citizenship before submitting a naturalization application to ensure that all the requirements have been met.