Immigration through marriage


A United States citizen or lawful permanent resident may sponsor their spouse so that they could obtain lawful residency. This includes same-sex spouses after the Supreme Court found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional on June 26, 2013. All applications for immigration through marriage require evidence that the marriage was not entered into solely for immigration purposes. If the spouse is already in the United States, they may qualify for adjustment of status if they entered the country lawfully and their spouse is a United States citizen. In certain instances, someone who entered without inspection may qualify for adjustment of status if a visa petition was previously filed for the non-citizen spouse on or before April 30, 2001.

If the spouse does not qualify for adjustment of status due to entering the United States without inspection, or if they currently reside in another country, they may be able to do consular processing from outside the United States. Oftentimes, a waiver is necessary if the person had previously resided in the United States in an unlawful status for more than six months.

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