July 25, 2017

How to Prepare for the Spouse Visa Interview

By Ray Scheetz

Applying for a spouse visa for a foreign citizen involves countless steps and forms to navigate.  There are different processes for different situations – this article deals with the situation where the foreign spouse resides outside of the United States, the US citizen resides in the United States, and the US citizen has filed Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative).  The wait to process the visa is lengthy.   While there are guides available online from various government agencies, it can be difficult to sift through everything on your own. A knowledgeable immigration attorney can guide you through every aspect of the complicated spouse visa application.

Background

As outlined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a spouse visa is also referred to as a K3 visa. The K3 visa is a process through which the U.S. Government allows a U.S. citizen to bring his or her foreign spouse into the United States.  The K3 process can only occur if the Form I-130 has already been filed, and is in process with USCIS.  If approved, the K3 visa allows the foreign spouse to enter the United States as a nonimmigrant while the Form I-130 is being processed, and the K3 visa even enables the foreign spouse to seek employment.

It is important to note that the K3 visa is only available if there is a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative filed on behalf of the foreign spouse.  Form I-130 requests permission from the U.S. Government to allow a foreign relative to immigrate to the United States.  The U.S. spouse must complete Form I-130 on behalf of the foreign spouse. 

One of the final steps before the approval of a spouse visa is an interview at a nearby U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  As detailed in a four-step guide from the U.S. Department of State, there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind while preparing for a visa interview.

Medical Examination

 Before the interview, each K3 visa applicant must complete a medical examination with a physician approved by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  Applicants should consult the list of approved physicians from the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  Otherwise the applicant’s medical examination will not be approved.

Embassy/Consulate Regulations

Each U.S. Embassy and Consulate has specific regulations governing entry and security.  It is highly advisable to read the specific rules and regulations for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the spouse visa interview will be held.

Document Collection

All visa applicants are required to bring a number of documents to the interview.  The U.S. Department of State list includes but is not limited to an appointment letter, passport, photographs, medical exam documentation, and original/supporting documents.  It is important to bring all required documents to the interview.  Otherwise, the spouse visa application may be delayed or denied.

Additional Resources

The U.S. Department of State provides additional material to help visa applicants prepare for their interviews, including a YouTube video as well as links for a list of U.S. Embassies and Consulates and an FAQ.

Do You Need Legal Advice?

Navigating the ins and outs of U.S. immigration law can be a trying experience. There are countless rules and regulations to be aware of, with zero margin for error. An experienced immigration attorney can make a real difference and help you understand the process.

If you need legal advice, contact the Law Office of Raphael M. Scheetz immediately. Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we are here to help you through any complicated immigration matter. You can reach us by phone at 800-450-3140 (toll free) and 319-378-7416 (toll) or online by filling out a simple form.