A U.S. citizen can sponsor a foreign citizen by marriage. There are two approaches.

  • First there is the fiancé or K visa. It requires (1) Engaged to be married to a United States citizen; (2) Bona fide intention to marry;(3) Eligible to be lawfully married- no current spouse;(4) Met in person at least once in two years prior to filing the K-1 visa petition (5) Willing to marry within 90 days of entry into the United States; Once married the spouse applies for a change of status. The disadvantage of this process is that it takes about 4-6 months before the fiancé can enter the U.S. and then another 4 months to change status after the marriage.

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  • Second there is a marriage in Canada or the U.S. followed by a change of status once in the U.S. This reduces the time to obtain permanent residency to about 6 months. However there are issues about entry to the U.S. to get married or entering the U.S. after marriage outside of the U.S. then applying to change status. It is possible to do it but requires careful planning

Same-sex couples who are married may now put in an application for green card permits in the same manner as married heterosexual couples. We have processed several such applications.