Petitioning for my spouse
Good day, Mrs Huntington.
I really appreciate your professionalism when responding to your readers' questions and your continued assistance to the Jamaican community. I'm hoping you're able to provide me with some assistance.
I'm a naturalised US citizen currently living and working in Jamaica. However, due to circumstances, I want to go back to the USA. I lived in the USA for quite a few years but have been back in Jamaica for about three years. During that time, I entered into a relationship and would like to take my spouse with me back to the USA and for us both to reside there. Could you please provide me with your recommendation? We're not yet married but are wondering if it would be better to get married then cater to the legal processes required, or before?
Thank you for your kind words. As a US citizen, you are eligible to petition for your spouse or your fiancé. The timeframe to process the fiancé visa is the same as filing for your wife - approximately nine months.
A US citizen living in Jamaica and filing for his or her spouse or child has to prove to the US Embassy that he or she intends to migrate to the United States with that spouse or child once the immigrant visa is issued. This requires the US citizen petitioner to demonstrate to the US Embassy that the couple will have a place to live; have a job, business or is actively seeking employment; and that the petitioner has the financial ability to support the migrating spouse. The petitioner must show his US income tax filing for the most recent tax year even if the income is insufficient to meet the economic guidelines required by US Citizenship & Immigration Services; and even if his or her income was earned outside the United States.
If there are children involved, the issue of schooling in the United States has to be addressed and that information provided at the interview. The specific requirements will vary from couple to couple and are determined after consultation with your lawyer.
Additionally, you will have to provide documentary evidence to the US Embassy to prove the validity of the marriage as in all marriage cases where a green card is involved.
Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States, and family, criminal, and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida. firstname.lastname@example.org.