Co-habiting Partners and Common-law Spouses

Under Israeli law, a domestic partnership or common-law marriage is not fully equivalent to a traditional legal marriage in all respects.  Therefore, under U.S. law, an Israeli  domestic partnership is also not treated as fully equivalent to a traditional legal marriage.  A visa applicant’s domestic partner, therefore, is not eligible for derivative visa status on the basis of marriage.  A common-law partner who is a member of the household of the principal visa holder and whose primary purpose in traveling to the United States is to accompany that person may apply for a B-2 (annotated) visa; s/he is required to qualify for a visa in his or her own right.  A partner who intends to work or study requires the appropriate work or student visa.

How long may a partner remain in the United States?

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at the port of entry determine how long a person may remain in the United States. The holder of a B-2 visa may be admitted for an initial period of six months. If you wish to remain longer than six months you must apply for an extension of stay with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

How do I apply for the visa?

As your application is based on your relationship to your partner, you are required to furnish evidence of the relationship, for example, a copy of a joint mortgage agreement, rental agreement, joint bank account etc.  We recommend that you apply for the visa at the same time as your partner.  If you are applying separately, please bring a copy of your partner’s visa in addition to the documents listed above.