Americans who plan to bring a husband or wife over the border must apply for this privilege. Bringing a Canadian citizen into America to live if she is not a citizen involves several stages, and a lot of waiting.
The 130 Petition
Your spouse is considered an ‘alien,’ and as such you must fill out a form called a 130 petition which goes to U.S. Immigration. Completing this form will be the first of several stages. A spouse is technically considered:
- The person to whom you are legally married
- Your common-law husband or wife
- Simply living together is not enough to qualify for spousal sponsorship into the United States.
- To qualify, you must also have a permanent place to live in the United States, a home to which an individual’s spouse will also be coming to live.
The process of approval takes a long time. After sending off the 130, you will receive more forms to fill out. When you are ready and the forms are considered correctly filled out, U.S. Immigration will ask you to prepare a package of documents which includes the alien spouse’s:
- Birth certificate
- Marriage certificate
- Police certification
The United States government will send your spouse for a health check with an approved doctor as well. Before you are permitted to live in the country, you will have to prove that you have no burdensome mental or physical health problems and that you have no criminal record.
When the entire process is finished, you will be sent a bill by U.S. Immigration.
Some Legal Advice
With any luck, a straightforward 130 petition for Canadian and U.S. citizens to live together in the U.S. will take little time. Within the year you could be cohabiting stateside. This depends on whether you fill out the forms properly and if your application is accepted. It could be rejected on the basis of past criminal activity or for health reasons.
Speaking to a lawyer could speed up the process because a lawyer fills out the paperwork correctly and can potentially have a criminal record cleared if it contains one small infraction committed years ago.