If there’s a signature policy focus that has defined Donald Trump’s tempestuous administration so far, it’s immigration. Make no mistake, Trump has made several moves to tighten immigration laws in the States, whilst also strengthening the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to enforce this legislation.
As a result, the process of entering the States has become significantly harder since 2016, whilst this has also created a focus on the foreign nations who gain legal status in the U.S. every single year.
In this article, we’ll look at those who gain legal status by marrying an American citizen, whilst appraising the key considerations to keep in mind when looking to tie the knot with someone from overseas.
The Challenge Facing Foreign Nationals and Marriage
Sticking with our example from the U.S., it’s estimated that one million foreign nationals gain legal status every single year, with a quarter of these achieving this objective by marrying an American citizen who’s already a lawful and permanent resident.
Now, the issue here is that Homeland Security estimates between 5% and 15% of these marriages to be fraudulent in their nature, as foreign nationals look to secure their green card by entering into a staged union.
Instances like this not only embarrass the U.S. and the Department for Homeland Security, but they also cast all marriages of this type in an unfair light.
This has also compelled the Federal government to investigate this type of union and green card applications in great detail, so anyone hoping to marry a foreign national will need to tread carefully if they’re to partner is to earn a coveted Green Card.
How to Prepare for Marrying a Foreign National
Under the existing laws, a foreign space is granted conditional permanent marriage in instances where marriages are less than two years old.
This entitles a foreign national to move to America and live with their partners, and after two years immigration officials review the marriage to ensure that the couple are still together. If this is the case and officials are convinced of the validity of the marriage, the foreign national will be approved for permanent status.
If not, that individual will have to leave their home, their partner and subsequently return to their country of origin.
It’s important to understand this process, but you’ll also have to appreciate the complications that can occur when making an application. For example, one of the requirements imposed on a citizen who wants to marriage a foreign national is a so-called affidavit of support, and filing this imposed a 10-year liability on the sponsor for various types of government assistance.
These are funds that the foreign national may access in the future, and this can place a significant and some would argue ridiculous level of pressure on a citizen who simply wants to tie the know with their loved on.
To navigate these issues, we’d definitely recommend that you seek out expert guidance from seasoned immigration lawyers, whilst accessing advice that can be tailored to suit your individual circumstances.
This will also help you ensure that your application is filled out successfully, optimising your chances of success even in the current climate.