A Canadian spouse married to a US citizen may be eligible to move to the United States based on marriage. However, the couple must prove that they have a valid relationship and not one forged to obtain immigration benefits. Unfortunately, obtaining this visa has become very difficult because there have been many cases of forged relationships. However, if you have a valid relationship with your US spouse, all you have to do is prove it.
Thus, the US spouse seeking to sponsor a Canadian spouse to the US must ensure they follow the due process. We often recommend that spouses planning to bring their relative to the US hire an experienced immigration attorney to help.
Two Ways to Sponsor a Canadian Spouse for a US Marriage Green Card Visa
For a US citizen to sponsor a Canadian spouse to the United States, they must prove their relationship’s validity. Also, the US citizen spouse must prove that they are financially stable enough to support their spouse once they come. If they already have children between them, proving that their marital relationship is valid becomes much easier. Below are two ways in which a US citizen may sponsor their Canadian spouse:
1. Filing IR1 or CR1 Immigrant Visa
To get the IR1 or CR1 visa, the US citizen spouse must file Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative. These immigrant visas are only available to the spouses of United States citizens; spouses of green card holders are ineligible.
2. Filing the K-3 Fiancé Visa
The K-3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa; the US-citizen spouse can also file this to bring their Canadian spouse to the US.
This visa must be filed and issued in the country where the US citizen and Canadian couple got married. Once the visa has been issued, the spouse can enter the country as a nonimmigrant while their immigrant visa is being processed.
The filing process for the K-3 fiancé will include filing Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
A Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a US Spousal Visa in Canada
Immigrant visas in Canada are processed at the United States Consulate General in Montreal. During the process, the immigration officer will ascertain whether the applicant qualifies for and should be given the visa. Below is a step-by-step guide to obtain a US spousal visa in Canada.
File a Petition
First, you will file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, if you are a US citizen or green card holder. You will be required to establish your relationship with your Canadian spouse who wants to live with you in the US. This is the first step in the process; the USCIS will generally approve the petition if the petitioner can establish a valid relationship.
Once the USCIS approves the petition, it will forward your case to the National Visa Center. The NVC will start by creating your case in its system after which it will send you a welcome letter.
You will be required to submit certain fees, forms, and supporting documents. The NVC will then review your case to ensure all the documentation needed to schedule your visa interview is present.
The next stage is the interview at the US Consulate in Canada; the NVC will set this up. The NVC will typically schedule interview appointments within three months of accepting the requested documentation. However, this will depend on the operating status and capacity of the US consulate in your country.
Before you attend your interview, ensure you have prepared well according to the US consulate’s instructions. On the interview day, go to the US embassy in Canada with your printed DS-260 confirmation page.
You can go alone or with other family members who are also benefiting from this visa; a consular officer will interview you. Your biometrics will be taken as part of the interview process.
If Your Visa Is Approved
Immigration officers have the final say over whether or not you get an immigrant visa. If your visa is approved, you will get a sealed packet by DHL or Loomis courier service with your visa affixed.
Carefully read the information on the visa and cover letter stapled to the envelope to ensure your information is correct. You are not to open the sealed packet; you will take it sealed to the immigration officer at the port of entry.
How Can Herman Legal Group Assist?
Applying for a US spousal visa is generally difficult; it can be even more frustrating if you have issues. At Herman Legal Group, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who can render their expertise. Our lawyers know their way around US immigration laws and what you need to do to improve your chances of acceptance.
We are Ohio-based, but our services are open to US and international immigrant seekers. Therefore, feel free to book us online for consultation or call us at +1-216-696-6170.
If you are looking to bring your Canadian spouse to live with you permanently in the US, we hope this information helps. The process is usually long and time-consuming and, while a lawyer cannot influence the final decision, they can make the process less exhausting.