Love knows no borders. In the United States, around 250,000 people gain legal status through marriage each year. Although many of these are couples who love each other, officials say that less than 15% of these marriages are solely for the purpose of the foreign national receiving legal status to live in the US. If you are marrying a foreign national, what should you know before taking the plunge? It is a good idea to consult a family law attorney who can advise you on matters before tying the knot. The experienced professionals at Vayman & Teitelbaum can provide you with answer to all your questions regarding the legal matters of marriage.

Sponsoring a Partner

If you have ever married a foreign national, you will know that between the love and romance there can be a mountain of paperwork, payments, and a few headaches along the way. The person already residing in the US must sponsor the foreign national spouse. It is good idea to have a few things in order before starting the visa process. suggest signing a prenuptial agreement ahead of marrying. If you own a business or have a considerable number of assets or money in savings, a prenuptial agreement will prevent someone from marrying you and later taking much of your property through divorce.

How Long Until Permanent Residency?

After you marry a foreign national, the spouse can live in the US with a conditional green card for the first two years. Following the two-year conditional term, the couple’s relationship is reviewed by US immigration officials. If a couple is able to meet all of the immigration department’s criteria, a foreign national spouse is granted permanent residency in the US.

10-Year Liability

If you marry a foreign national and the marriage does not go well, you can be held liable for them for up to 10 years. The US government will hold the sponsor liable for his or her spouse, and this could include taking them to court over welfare or social service benefits paid to the ex-spouse.

Pay Attention to the Two-Year Green Card

Some couples forget about the two-year green card being just that: Good for two years. Upon expiration, the couple does not realize they need to follow up to gain permanent residency. If the two-year time limit expires, the spouse is technically living illegally in the US and can be deported. It is important to be on top of applying for the next stage. It is your responsibility to be aware of your spouse’s immigration status.

Are Green Cards Changing?

Recent movement on immigration has raised concerns over changing rules for some green card holders. It is important to stay informed about any potential changes in law that may impact you and your spouse.

Vayman & Teitelbaum

The law firm of Vayman & Teitelbaum can provide you with legal guidance when it comes to family law. With four locations in Georgia, Vayman & Teitelbaum is available to give you insight into marriage and family law. Visit our dedicated family law page to see how we can help you. If you have any questions, contact us and let our experienced attorneys in family law go to work for you.