We help you getting your U.S. Marriage Visa in Ghana
U.S. Immigration law allows for the immigration of foreigners to the U.S based on a relationship to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. An overseas national married to a U.S. citizen is in immigration law terminology referred to as an “immediate relative”.
Along with the U.S. citizen spouse, all unmarried children of the couple under the age of 21 years fall into this category. The parents of a U.S. citizen also qualify as an immediate relative provided the U.S. citizen is over 21 years of age. There are no waiting periods or quotas for persons in this category. As such qualified applicants do not have to spend time waiting for their priority date to become current once the petition is approved by the USCIS.
A marriage based visa or green card is also available to anyone who is living in a foreign country, married to a U.S. permanent resident and whose marriage is real and regally valid. To qualify for this visa, a spouse or child (under age 21 years) of a U.S. lawful permanent resident must meet all of the following criteria. Unlike the spouse of a U.S. citizen, a spouse of a permanent resident is subject to a waiting period or quota.
What is a Waiting Period?
Waiting periods are not set periods of time and are only partly predictable. They depend on visa supply and demand, combined with monthly decisions by the U.S government. It is thus difficult to predict how long an applicant will have to wait for their priority date becomes current.
What is a Preference Category?
A spouse of a lawful permanent resident is referred to as a “preference relative”. The U.S. government ranks preference relatives, usually giving visas quicker to those at the top.
How visas are allotted year by year
Each year the U.S government allots a certain number of immigrant visas in each preference category. For purpose of visa allocation, the government follows the final year, which starts and ends in October. Currently, the total worldwide numbers are:
The U.S government gives out visas month by month, making sure never to go over the annual limit. There are also limits on the number of visas allocated for any one country. No more than 7% of total visas each year can go to any one country and often the percentage turns out to be less.
The Application Process
Required Documentation in support of the Visa application
Documents showing that the Marriage is Bona Fide
What happens after a visa is issued?
Assuming all goes well at the visa interview the applicant will be given an immigrant visa. The inspection process during entry typically involves a U.S. border officer opening the sealed envelope containing the visa documents and making sure the applicant has not used fraud. The border officer has expedited removal power which means that the officer can turn the applicant right around and send them home if anything appears wrong in the applicant’s packet or with answer to the officer’s questions.
If the applicant’s marriage is less than two years on the date of their entry to the U.S. the border officer will grant them a conditional residence, i.e. a CR1 visa. If the marriage is older than 2 years, they will be made a permanent resident.