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Can my spouse apply for a visa in my home country if she has a different nationality?

By August 9, 2022Immigration
A couple cooking dinner together

If you are applying for a U.S. visa in your home country and your spouse who has a different nationality is applying for a spousal visa with, you may be wondering if there will be any issue with your spouse’s application given the fact that your spouse is not a citizen of the country where the Consulate is located.

Example 1

You are a national of Spain and you are applying for an E-2 investor visa at the U.S. Consulate in Madrid. Your spouse is a national of China and only has a Chinese citizenship. You are wondering if it’s fine if she applies for an E-2 spousal visa with you at the Consulate in Madrid and if there will be any delay in her visa petition given the fact that she is not a Spanish national. You have been living in the US for 5 years prior to applying for the E visa on another visa status and you want to just fly to Spain to apply for the visas.

This is completely fine, and we actually see this scenario quite often. We never had an issue with this scenario at any Consulate and Consulates always adjudicated the E visa spouse petition. It is also fine if the investor (and the spouse) just fly back to the home country for the visa interview, as the country is the E2 investor’s home country. You can schedule an interview together and the Consulate will interview you both at the same time.

One thing we have seen recently is, that if your spouse has a US travel docs account in a different country (e.g. she applied for a US visa in the past in China and has an account for a Chinese Consulate), she may need to “transfer” this account to the country where she will be applying. Recently, our client was trying to add his spouse onto his account when he was going to pay the visa fee, but was unable to add her. The problem was that the spouse had a US traveldocs account in a different country. If this happens, your spouse should be able to fix this by calling the US traveldocs customer support in the country where she previously applied for a visa and they should be able to help with this over the phone.

Example 2

You are applying for an L-1 visa at the U.S. Consulate in Rome. You are an Italian national but your spouse is a national of Japan. You have been both living in Italy for the past year.

This is completely fine as well. Even though your spouse is not an Italian national, she has been residing there for some time so it’s completely fine if she applies for an L-2 visa there with you. Again, you can schedule an interview appointment together.

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