How to obtain permanent residence in US?

I am a Canadian Citizen. My father, however, is an American citizen. He was born in the US, and still lives there. So do my grandparents, great grandparents, etc. I am also married to a US citizen. We are 20 years old and want to live together in the US. I would like to be able to work or go to school etc. I'm not sure how to go about immigration though. Any help would be appreciated.


I was born in Canada. Mother is Canadian. I have lived in Canada my whole life. My wife is American. She has lived in US her whole life.

3 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You do not have an immigration case as you are a natural-born US citizen. All you need to do is to get yourself a shiny new US passport from the nearest US consulate. They will ask for proof that your dad was a US citizen by the time you were born and that he meets the residency requirement of the US Department of State, which he does (5 years in the US, of which at least 2 have to be after his 14th birthday).

    As a US citizen, you can you can petition the US government for your husband's immigration. You do that from anywhere in the world by filing an I-130 petition with the USCIS. It costs $420 and takes about 5 months to be processed.

    Thereafter the petition goes to the National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire and they will contact you for the mandatory Affidavit of Support.

    Since the US government needs to make sure that no foreigner becomes a public charge, every intending immigrant needs a sponsor. The form for this is I-864 and you'll need to make at least $19,387 after taxes, assuming you have no dependents, such as children, to qualify.

    What they want to see is your latest US income tax return. As you know, Uncle Sam taxes worldwide income, so you will need to file for at least the past 3 years US income tax returns. If your income is not sufficient, you will need either a co-sponsor, (your dad) or you can make up for it with assets at the rate of 1:3.

    After that's been taken care of, the entire package goes to the US consulate in your husband's country of residence, and they will ask for paperwork, a medical, police reports, and schedule an interview. If that goes well, he'll receive a CR-1 visa (married less than 2 years) or an IR-1 visa (married 2 years or longer) and has thereafter up to 6 months to "activate" it. You cannot move back to the US after him, so you'll need to move earlier or at the same time, as the whole idea behind this immigration thingi is family reunification.

    Source(s): An immigrant from Europe, I live in the charming old mission town San Buenaventura and work as an attorney in Santa Barbara, California.
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Not true, they have been misinformed. To qualify for permanent residency, one must have a sponsor - either an immediate family member or an employer. If they entered the country illegally, it'll be impossible for them to get legal without going back to their home country first and serving their ban first. If they entered legally and have overstayed their visas, they're still out of luck, unless by any chance they have a 21 year old US citizen child that could petition them.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    If you US citizen wife lives in the US then she just files for a

    spousal visa

    spousal visa

    hopefully you have spent no illegal time in the US

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