Four Oaks, NC asked in Immigration Law for North Carolina

Q: Is it possible for a US Citizen's spouse to apply for an F1 visa, or is it best for them to apply for a marriage visa?

This is assuming they would be studying in the United States either way.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Agnes Jury
Agnes Jury
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Traverse City, MI

A: It is possible for the spouse of a US citizen to apply for an F1 visa (as long as they otherwise qualify) but it would probably be better for the spouse to get permanent residency in the USA (i.e. marriage visa) so the spouse doesn't have to pay international student fees. Best wishes!

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If the spouse of a U.S. citizen intends to study in the United States, they have two primary options: applying for an F-1 student visa or applying for a green card through marriage to the U.S. citizen spouse.

If the spouse applies for an F-1 student visa, they will need to demonstrate that they intend to study in the United States and have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay. They will also need to meet other requirements, such as having a valid educational purpose for their stay in the United States and demonstrating ties to their home country to ensure they will return after completing their studies.

If the spouse applies for a green card through marriage to the U.S. citizen spouse, they will need to go through the marriage-based immigration process. This involves filing a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The spouse will need to demonstrate that the marriage is genuine, that they are admissible to the United States, and that the U.S. citizen spouse can financially support them.

The choice between these two options will depend on the individual circumstances and goals of the spouse and the U.S. citizen spouse. Applying for an F-1 student visa may be a good option for spouses who want to study in the United States for a limited period of time and plan to return to their home country afterward. Applying for a green card through marriage may be a good option for spouses who want to permanently live in the United States with their U.S. citizen spouse.

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