Asked in Immigration Law for Florida

Q: US citizen and non US citizen spouse both living abroad want to move to the States.

I’m a US citizen and my spouse is a Spanish citizen (Spain). We got married in 2011( in Spain) and have been living in Spain since then. We want to move to the States in 2018. Do I (US citizen) need to return to the States first to secure a job in order to petition for my spouse’s green card? I can’t find much information when both parties are living abroad. Thanks in advance!

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2 Lawyer Answers
Myron Morales
Myron Morales
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Austin, TX

A: No, you can use assets or a co-sponsor to meet the financial obligations.

1 user found this answer helpful

Kevin D. Slattery Esq.
Kevin D. Slattery Esq.
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Tampa, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: You can file your Petition for Relative with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services even though you are currently residing abroad. Simply include some evidence, perhaps an affidavit, of your intent to relocate, both you and your spouse, to the United States after approval of the Petition for Relative and related Application for Immigrant Visa of your spouse. As another colleague pointed out, if, due to lack of employment in the United States, you can not demonstrate adequate income to make sufficient your Affidavit of Support, to be submitted during the immigrant visa stage in the case, then you can overcome that with assets or a joint sponsor whose income/assets are sufficient. Note that generally the Petition for Relative being filed by a U.S. Citizen living abroad must be filed with USCIS here in the United States. There are, however, exceptions where the petition may be filed at an overseas office. The USCIS overseas office in Rome, Italy has jurisdiction over Spain. As per the USCIS website: "U.S. citizens residing in this field office’s jurisdiction but outside of Italy may file with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the U.S. citizen's place of residence if the USCIS Rome field office director determines that there are exceptional circumstances." See https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-offices/italy-uscis-rome-field-office For a discussion of what qualifies as "exceptional circumstances", see: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/2012/May/DOS-I130May1412.pdf If you think that you may want or need help, consider scheduling a consultation with a competent immigration attorney. Many attorneys in the United States offer online Skype consultations for those living abroad.

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