With the popularity of reality television shows based on marriage-based visas and the recent administration change, our readers are likely curious about the current state of marriage-based visas. And, like so many legal issues in life, the answer is, it depends.
The sad state of current affairs
Hundreds of thousands of couples that have one U.S. citizen and one foreign citizen are in a state of limbo thanks to the past year’s restrictions and shutdowns. With government buildings and services shutdown and federal retirements at all-time highs, the processing of visa applications and documentation has slowed to a crawl.
This has led to what many have called a “virtual freeze” on visas, even marriage-based visa applications, leaving many couples in a rom-com like scenario of perpetual apartness and virtual rendezvous. In fact, according to Bloomberg News, the visa interview backlog alone has ballooned from 75,000 last year to nearly 500,000 as of February 2021.
Different levels of marriage-based visas
What many may not know is that marriage-based visas are not the last step in the process. Indeed, there is a visa to get a foreign spouse legally into the country. Then, there is a work visa, and after that is the transition to a new, more permanent status.
At each level of the process, there is more-and-more paper work and government approvals needed. This is why the virtual freeze has had such a dramatic effect because even those that can be together in the U.S. may be forced to live on one income for an extended period of time, which, during these times, can be an incredible strain.
What can we learn?
Essentially, trying to immigrate on one’s own is extremely complicated, if not nearly impossible. This is why Greensboro, North Carolina, residents looking to bring their spouse to the U.S. should call an immigration attorney immediately. While they may not be able to speed up the process, they can help navigate it to avoid unneeded delays.