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Chicago Marriage Visa Lawyer

SimVisa is home to America’s most trusted Chicago marriage green card attorneys. From reuniting loved ones to interpreting the nuances of immigration law, we're here to help. Contact us today to start your immigration journey.

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Chicago Immigration Law Firm with Digital Solutions
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Immigration Law

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    Hire an Attorney

    With SimVisa, you have the option of receiving full-service legal support - for every aspect of your case - with immigration lawyers from a top-quality immigration law firm.

    • Step 1: Initial Consultation with SimVisa

    • Step 2: SimVisa Fills Out Your Immigration Applications

    • Step 3: SimVisa Prepares Application Package with Evidence

    • Step 4: A SimVisa Attorney Reviews Your Application Package

    • Step 5: SimVisa Submits an Application to USCIS For You

    • Step 6: SImVisa Handles All Communications with USCIS

    • Step 7: SimVisa Monitors Your Case From Start To Finish

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    *Prices do not include government fees and may vary based on case complexity
  • Quality + Cost Savings

    Self-File

    At SimVisa, we understand the temptation to save on lawyer fees by filing on your own. We have a solution for that. When you work with us, your application will be prepared under the supervision of an experienced immigration attorney. You’ll also receive a one-hour consultation to get answers to any questions you might have.

    • Step 1: SimVisa collected information and documents from you through our online portal

    • Step 2: Simvisa fills out your forms and prepares your supporting documents

    • Step 3: A SimVisa immigration attorney goes over your filled-out application and supporting documents with you (1-hour video consultation)

    • Step 4: Simvisa finalizes your packet with attorney approval

    • Step 5: We deliver your packet to your door

    • Step 6: You file with USCIS

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    *Prices do not include government fees and may vary based on case complexity

Exploring Marriage-Based Visas

Marriage-based visas are a means to unite families in the United States. There are several visa types within this category, each of which serves a different purpose and caters to specific situations and relationships.

Spousal Visa (CR1 Visa)

Conditional Resident

The CR1 visa, also known as a conditional resident visa, is designed for spouses of U.S. citizens who have been married for less than two years. This visa allows a foreign national spouse to enter the U.S. as a conditional resident for two years, after which they can be granted permanent residency.

*prices do not include government fees and may vary based on case complexity

Spousal Visa (IR1 Visa)

Immediate Relative

The immediate relative visa, or IR1 visa, is available to spouses of U.S. citizens who have been married for at least two years. It offers immediate relatives permanent residency status, allowing couples to build their lives together in the U.S.

*prices do not include government fees and may vary based on case complexity

K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

The K-1 visa, also called the fiancé(e) visa, is meant for foreign nationals engaged to U.S. citizens. It allows the citizen's partner to enter the U.S. for the purpose of getting married within 90 days of arrival. After the marriage, the foreign spouse can apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident.

*prices do not include government fees and may vary based on case complexity

All You Need to Know

Get Dependable Legal Assistance with Marriage Visa Applications

For many international couples, navigating the path to living together in the U.S. is complex. A marriage visa allows your foreign-born spouse to legally reside in the United States and build a life with you.

While the process can be intricate — involving USCIS forms, interviews, and other requirements — an experienced marriage visa lawyer can guide you through each step, ensuring a smoother application and increasing your chances of success.

The Role of Marriage Visa Lawyers

The Role of Marriage Visa Lawyers

Finding love abroad can be a dream come true, but taking the steps required to live together legally in the U.S. can be a bureaucratic maze.

A marriage visa lawyer can be a valuable partner. These legal professionals offer crucial assistance with spousal sponsorship applications, ensuring that your dream becomes a reality.

Marriage visa lawyers do much more than simply review forms. 

They provide comprehensive guidance throughout the entire immigration process, affording the following key benefits:

  • Legal guidance: Helping you navigate the complexities of U.S. immigration law and confirming that your application meets all legal requirements.
  • Complete application package: Assisting in gathering and organizing all necessary documentation for a strong case.
  • Interview preparation: Getting you ready for USCIS interviews, coaching you on how to effectively answer questions and present your case confidently.
  • Increased success rates: Dispensing knowledge that can significantly increase your chances of a successful application.

While USCIS permits self-filing, these services often lack the personalized approach essential for a smooth application process. A qualified marriage visa lawyer from SimVisa can anticipate potential roadblocks, address them strategically, and advocate for you at every stage.

Types of Marriage Visas

Finding love internationally can open doors to a world of possibilities. However, progressing through the U.S. immigration system to live together requires you and your partner to choose the right visa option. Here's a breakdown of the most common marriage visa types, with key insights from our experienced lawyers.

K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa

A K-1 visa allows your foreign fiancé(e) to enter the country for 90 days with the sole purpose of getting married. You must marry within that timeframe and then initiate the green card process together.

This option is ideal for couples who have yet to meet in person or want to get married in the U.S. before starting the green card process. Remember, however, that marriage is required within 90 days of entry.

CR-1 Spousal Visa

CR-1 Spousal Visa

The CR-1 spousal visa allows your foreign spouse to live permanently in the U.S. after you've been married for at least six months. If you haven't been married for six months, you may be eligible for a CR-1 visa with an I-130 waiver. This option involves filing Form I-130 and Form I-485 concurrently.

The CR-1 visa with concurrent filing is a popular option for couples who are already married and aiming for permanent residency together. It can streamline the process compared to filing the petitions sequentially.

Marriage Visa vs. Marriage Green Card

While these terms are often used interchangeably, there's a key distinction. A marriage visa allows your spouse to enter the U.S. temporarily for a specific purpose, like getting married. Conversely, a marriage green card (obtained through the CR-1 visa process) grants permanent residency in the United States.

What’s the Difference Between Marrying a U.S. Citizen and a Permanent Resident?

Marrying a U.S. citizen and marrying a lawful permanent resident present different immigration pathways. Spouses of green card holders must wait for a visa number to become available. Due to limited visa numbers, the process can be significantly longer.

If the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen, the timeline is generally faster, and the process is a bit less complex.

Choosing the Right Path

Consulting an experienced marriage visa lawyer is vital. Your lawyer can assess your specific situation, recommend the most suitable option, and guide you through the application process to maximize your chances of success.

Not Sure Where to Start? Get a Free Consultation

Reach out to the experienced marriage visa lawyers at SimVisa to explore your legal options and continue your love story in the U.S.

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Marriage Visa Requirements

Obtaining a marriage green card is a significant milestone in your journey to building a life together in the U.S. To ensure a smooth application process, it's crucial to understand the eligibility criteria that both spouses must meet.

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsorship. To qualify for a marriage green card, you must have a sponsoring spouse who’s either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Your spouse's immigration status will determine the specific path you follow.
  • Valid marriage. Proving the authenticity of your marriage is crucial for a successful visa application. To do so, present comprehensive evidence such as joint financial accounts, property deeds, and lease agreements with both names and personal testimonials from friends and family. This documentation showcases the depth and duration of your relationship, meeting the stringent standards set by immigration authorities to identify genuine partnerships
  • Medical and criminal admissibility. Ensuring the foreign spouse passes health screenings and legal checks is essential. A comprehensive medical exam must confirm the absence of any significant health concerns. Additionally, a clean criminal record, verified through background checks, is necessary to satisfy legal admissibility requirements.
  • Age requirements. Both you and your spouse must meet the minimum age requirement to obtain a marriage green card. Typically, both spouses must be at least 18 years old.

Marriage Visa Application Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Marriage Visa Application Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Here are the basic steps involved in securing a marriage-based green card, or permanent resident card.

  • Verify your eligibility. If you’re a U.S. citizen or a green card holder with a valid, recognized marriage, you may be eligible to sponsor your foreign national spouse for a permanent marriage green card.
  • Submit form I-130. As the sponsoring spouse, you must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Doing so establishes your relationship and initiates the application process.
  • Await approval and a visa number (if applicable). After the approval of Form I-130, the case will be transferred to the National Visa Center for further processing. If you’re a U.S. citizen, your spouse may proceed to the next step; if you’re a lawful permanent resident (LPR), they may need to wait for a visa number to become available due to annual quotas.
  • Apply for adjustment of status or go through consular processing. If your spouse is already in the U.S., they can apply for adjustment of status (Form I-485) to become a lawful permanent resident; if they’re abroad, they must undergo processing at the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • Schedule a biometrics appointment and visa interview. Next, your spouse must attend a biometrics appointment and an interview, if one is required. The interview is designed to assess the validity of the marriage and the general authenticity of the relationship.
  • Get conditional permanent residency (if applicable). If the marriage is less than two years old when the green card is granted, your spouse will receive a two-year conditional green card. You can remove the conditional status by jointly filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, within 90 days before the card expires.
  • Receive your green card. Once USCIS approves your spouse’s application, they’ll receive a permanent green card granting them lawful permanent resident status.

Navigating this process requires precision, thorough documentation, and a clear understanding of the relevant immigration laws. SimVisa’s marriage visa lawyers can make it much easier. Contact us today to pursue a marriage-based green card with confidence.

Need Help with Your Application? Reach Out to Us Today!

If you’re trying to obtain a marriage-based green card to begin a new chapter in the U.S., our seasoned attorneys can help. We're here to provide assistance, advocacy, and support every step of the way.

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Overcoming Challenges for Marriage Visa Success

Marrying your spouse in the U.S. shouldn't be an occasion marked by frustration. SimVisa can help you overcome many common marriage-immigration-related challenges.

Proving a Bona Fide Marriage (Reason for Refusal: Weak Evidence)

We can help gather strong evidence like joint finances, cohabitation documents, and shared travel records to showcase your genuine relationship.

Meeting Income Requirements (Reason for Refusal: Insufficient Income)

Confused about income guidelines? Our lawyers provide clear guidance and can go over options like joint income or qualified joint sponsors to meet the threshold.

Medical Exam or Criminal Background Issues (Reason for Refusal: Medical Inadmissibility or Criminal Record)

Don't let medical concerns or a criminal history stand in the way of your marriage. SimVisa offers trustworthy advice to help you proactively overcome these potential hurdles.

Interview Jitters (Reason for Refusal: Inconsistent Responses)

If you’re feeling unprepared for your USCIS interview, we can get you ready, ensuring that you present a cohesive story with confidence.

You don’t have to go through the immigration process alone. Contact SimVisa today and take the first step toward your happily ever after.

How SimVisa Can Help

How SimVisa Can Help

Understanding the legal and procedural nuances of marriage visa processing can be daunting. Here are some of the ways SimVisa’s compassionate immigration lawyers can aid you with your case.

Offering Professional Guidance at Every Step

Our experienced lawyers will guide you through the process of obtaining a marriage visa, tailoring their strategies to your specific situation, whether the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen or green card holder residing inside or outside the U.S.

Minimizing Delays

We’ll gather strong evidence and verify that you’re following proper application procedures to avoid delays and potential hiccups.

Increasing Your Chances of Approval

Our in-depth knowledge of immigration law and interview preparation techniques will help you present a compelling case and increase your chances of being approved by immigration authorities.

Providing Peace of Mind

With SimVisa by your side, you can focus on planning your future with your spouse, knowing you have a capable team to handle the legal complexities.

Contact us today for a free consultation and set yourself up for a lifetime of happiness with your partner in the U.S.

Unsure Where to Start? Get a Free Case Review!

Contact Our Experienced Immigration Attorney. Let's Build Your Love Story Together!

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SohYoon Atac
Co-founder of SimVisa with over 17 years of experience in immigration law.

Education

  • Juris Doctorate - Chicago Kent College of Law
  • Bachelor's Degree - The University of Chicago
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Why Choose SimVisa for Marriage Immigration?

SimVisa offers marriage immigration services defined by experience, personalization, and a focus on results. Here are some of the ways our attorneys can help you and your spouse start a new life together in the U.S.

Unparalleled Legal Knowledge

Our Chicago-based immigration lawyers work extensively with marriage-based visas. With over 15 years of experience, we understand the intricacies of the process.

Tailored Solutions

Every couple's story is unique. We offer personalized strategies to ensure that your application reflects your individual circumstances.

Comprehensive Support

From documentation to interview preparation, we’ll be there to guide you through every step and simplify the complex process of marriage-based immigration.

Proven Success

Our track record speaks for itself. Countless couples have successfully united with the help of our dedicated legal team.

Why Choose Simvisa for Family-Based Immigration?
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FAQs About Marriage Green Card Applications

Our clients have a lot of questions. Here are the answers to some of those most frequently asked.

What is a marriage visa?

A marriage visa allows a foreign national to enter and reside in the United States based on their marital relationship with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. It applies to both married couples (CR-1 visa) and those intending to marry (K-1 visa).

You may not require a marriage visa if your spouse is already in the U.S. Instead, you can apply for an adjustment of status to become a green card holder. This process will enable you to legally reside and work in the U.S. as a permanent resident.

What is a marriage green card?

A marriage green card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a legal document that grants foreign nationals lawful permanent resident status in the United States based on their marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. A green card allows the foreign spouse to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely.

What happens if the marriage is less than two years old?

If your marriage is less than two years old, the foreign spouse will receive a conditional green card valid for two years. You must file jointly to remove the conditions and obtain a permanent green card within 90 days before the card expires.

How do I sponsor my spouse for a marriage green card?

As a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder), you must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to establish the relationship. Once the I-130 is approved, your spouse can proceed with the green card application process.

Is an interview required for a marriage green card?

Most applicants are required to attend an interview as part of the green card application process. This interview serves to verify the legitimacy of the marriage and confirm the foreign spouse’s eligibility.

Can my spouse work while their marriage green card is being processed?

Yes. If the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen, the foreign spouse can apply for a work permit (Form I-765) concurrently with their green card application. This allows them to legally work in the U.S. while their green card is pending.

How long does it take to get a marriage green card?

The time it takes to obtain a marriage green card can significantly vary, influenced by several factors including the applicant's country of origin, the specific USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) center processing the application, and the case's complexity. On average, the processing time ranges from 12 to 30 months or more.

This timeframe differs based on whether the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, as well as the applicant's current location—inside or outside the United States. Below is a breakdown that offers a clearer picture of expected wait times under various circumstances.

How much does a marriage green card cost?

Immigrating to the U.S. on a marriage visa can cost several thousand dollars in filing fees and other expenses. Form I-130, for example, has a filing fee of $535, while Form I-485 is currently $1,140. Other related expenses could include translations of required documents, medical examinations, and travel costs to attend your interview.

What’s the difference between marriages to U.S. citizens and permanent residents?

Marrying a U.S. citizen and marrying a lawful permanent resident present distinct immigration pathways. When the sponsoring spouse is a green card holder, you can expect the following conditions:

  • Visa number wait time: Spouses of green card holders must wait for a visa number to become available;
  • Longer wait for a green card: Due to limited visa numbers, the process can be significantly longer.

If the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen, the timeline is generally faster, and the process is a bit less complex.

How do I prove a bona fide marriage?

Proving the authenticity of your marriage is a crucial part of being approved for a marriage green card. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Documentation: Gather documents that showcase the genuine nature of your relationship, including joint leases or mortgage agreements, shared utility bills, and joint bank account statements;
  • Photographs: Compile photographs taken throughout your relationship reflecting various intimate moments, such as family gatherings, holidays, vacations, and snapshots of daily life;
  • Communication: Present a record of consistent communication, which may include emails, text messages, phone records, and letters;
  • Affidavits: Obtain affidavits from family members, friends, and acquaintances who can vouch for the legitimacy of your marriage;
  • Joint activities: Outline joint activities, hobbies, and interests you share to demonstrate that your bond extends beyond the legal aspects of marriage;
  • Social media: Showcase your relationship on social media platforms; posts, comments, and photos can add an extra dimension to your evidence;
  • Evidence of cohabitation: If you live together, be prepared to provide documentation of shared living arrangements, including lease agreements, utility bills, or correspondence addressed to both spouses;
  • Special circumstances: If you have children together, offer their birth certificates or adoption records as evidence; if you've faced certain challenges, such as medical emergencies, include documentation of those experiences;
  • Interview preparation: Be ready for an interview with USCIS officials — make sure to review your relationship history, as the interviewer may ask questions about your life together;
  • Legal guidance: Work with an experienced immigration attorney, as they’ll be able to help organize your evidence, prepare affidavits, and guide you through each step.

Remember, the goal is to paint a comprehensive, convincing picture of your relationship. Strong evidence that highlights various aspects of your life together can significantly strengthen your case.

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