On today’s episode of the Navigating Love and Immigration™ podcast, Megan takes listeners on a deep dive into the multiple paths available for couples who want to immigrate to the United States together. She starts the episode by talking about ‘decision paralysis’ and why most couples get stuck in this part of the process. Then, she gives us an overview of the most popular visa options for couples: Adjustment of Status, Spouse Visa, Fiancé Visa, and in some cases the Direct Consular File option. Megan then goes on to explain each of these options in detail.
First up, she explores the most popular option, which is the Adjustment of Status. She says that couples tend to choose this option because the process can be completed while the couple is together in the United States. From there, she moves on to option two, the Spouse Visa, which is an option for individuals who are married to a United States citizen or, in some cases, a lawful permanent resident. Unlike Adjustment of Status, the process for the Spouse Visa takes place outside of the United States. Next, Megan talks about the third option, which is the Fiancé Visa and how it is typically faster than the Spouse Visa. The Fiancé Visa option is only available to couples who are currently engaged and have not yet married. Finally, Megan explains the last option, called the Direct Consular File, which is available only in limited situations and when both the petitioner and the beneficiary are living abroad in another country together. Megan finishes off the episode with a message of encouragement for all couples who are just starting out on their immigration journey: determine what option you are eligible for, pick one, and go for it! Please note that the information contained in this podcast is not legal advice. Megan does encourage listeners to consult with a licensed immigration attorney to confirm eligibility and what options are available, based on the specifics of the case.
Beating ‘decision paralysis’
Choosing an immigration path
Overview and eligibility criteria of Adjustment of Status
Overview and eligibility criteria of Spouse Visa
Overview and eligibility criteria of Fiancé Visa
Overview and eligibility criteria of Direct File
“Just as Yogi Berra says, ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it.’ At some point, you will have to make a decision. And really, it's really important to pick a path and get started because so many couples will tell me once they've gotten started in their immigration journey, and once they've gotten to the finish line, that the number one thing that they wish they would have done was to get started sooner and just to have picked a path sooner.”
“It's one of the most popular options because it consolidates, it combines all of the applications really into one. It's a process that happens here in the United States, and once that application is filed, then the next step in the process is that you would receive your work permit and travel authorization. ”
“A lot of couples who are not yet married, they're engaged at the beginning of their immigration case, are typically considering whether or not they should file for a Fiance Visa, or whether they should get married and file for the Spouse Visa. That really will depend on a lot of different factors, including the country of citizenship or origin of the immigrant, because there can be different wait times.”
“The Direct File option is, I would say, a more rare option for couples. But we've definitely helped many couples to use this Direct File option.”
“I know that it's an overwhelming process, immigration, and especially at the beginning of your journey, trying to pick a path. But just remember, when you come to a fork in the road, take it.”