U.S. Citizen living overseas sponsoring foreign spouse

Question to Attorney Poudat: I am a US Citizen and I haven’t been living in the US those last few years but I would like to move back with my foreign spouse…. Will I comply with the requirements to sponsor him/her?

If you are a US Citizen and are married to a non-US Citizen, you are entitled to petition on behalf of your spouse in order to get him/her an Immigrant Visa, which will lead to the Green Card. But once the petition is approved, you will have to demonstrate that you meet the US poverty guidelines, i.e. you have enough money to support him/her, and that you maintained a domicile in the US.   For the revenue requirement, if you have not been working in the US, nor have properties in the country, you can use your assets abroad to demonstrate that you meet the poverty guidelines.  But you will have to provide evidence of the source/legitimacy of those possessions and that you will (or already have) transfer the funds to the US.   Concerning the proof that you maintained a domicile in the US, you can fulfill this requirement by providing current US Bank account statements, tax returns, driver’s license, evidence of participation to elections… If you didn’t maintain such ties with the US while you were living abroad, you will have to get a job offer, or even better secure employment and domicile in the US before filing for your spouse, in order to provide evidence of employment and current residence for at least three months before you file.   Of course, each case has to be assessed individually, and we strongly recommend that you seek advice from a Board Certified Immigration attorney in order to get appropriate guidance for your case!

USCIS, in coordination with Department of State (DOS), is revising the procedures for determining visa availability for applicants waiting to file for employment-based or family-sponsored preference adjustment of status. The revised process will better align with procedures DOS uses for foreign nationals who seek to become U.S. permanent residents by applying for immigrant visas at U.S. consulates and embassies abroad. In concrete terms, this new process will allow those individuals to begin filing their immigrant visa or adjustment of status applications before their priority dates become current.


The EB-5 program is due to expire on September 30, 2015: discussions are currently dividing lawmakers on its advantages, issues, and whether or not it should be renewed and/or amended. Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under this program, entrepreneurs are granted Green Cards if they invest in a commercial enterprise in the United States (usually at least $500,000), and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers in regions where unemployment is higher than the national average.


USCIS has simplified the process for paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee online in the electronic immigration system. The revised payment process reduces the amount of information an immigrant must provide to USCIS to pay his or her fees.

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