Many New Jersey residents hope to find love at some point in their lives. For some, they may reach this desired milestone but not in the way they expected. Some individuals fall in love and marry people they met in other countries. As a result, immigration steps must be taken if they want their foreign spouses to live in the United States.

Unfortunately, this process can take time. In fact, the entire process for sponsoring a foreign spouse to live legally in the United States can take approximately one year to complete. The process would begin with the citizen spouse filing a petition for the foreign spouse in order to establish that a relationship exists. Unfortunately, it can take up to five months for this petition to obtain approval.

After the approval, the foreign spouse would need to adjust his or her status either while in the United States or apply while still living abroad. The National Visa Center will obtain the paperwork necessary for the application after the initial petition approval. It can then take approximately six months before the application file moves to the U.S. Consular system to continue the process.

Waiting a year for a spousal immigration case can certainly seem daunting. New Jersey residents and their foreign spouses may be able to help their cases along if they ensure that they include all the necessary information and paperwork in their applications. Working with U.S. immigration law attorneys throughout the process could also have benefits for individuals working through this type of case.