If your spouse was born in another country, your marriage does not automatically guarantee him or her citizenship. Even though you are a United States citizen, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, could deny his or her application for legal residency. If your spouse was denied, here are some of the most common reasons denials occur and what you can do about it. 

Your Marriage Is Not Real

The USCIS is tasked with determining if marriage-based applications for legal residency are legitimate. In other words, the agency wants to be sure that you and your spouse are married for the right reasons, and not just for a green card. Unfortunately, if you and your spouse do a poor job of convincing the agency, your spouse could be denied residency. 

In order to overturn the agency's decision, you have to prove that your marriage is legitimate. The first step to doing so is providing evidence of your marriage, such as the marriage license. 

You also need to show that your lives are joined together. For instance, you can open a joint bank account, file taxes together, add your spouse to bills, and even get a joint membership at the gym. The more linked your lives appear, the better it looks. 

In addition to this, you and your spouse need to show that you have an actual relationship. If you have letters or emails written to each other, share them. You can also use receipts from traveling to see each other, phone bills showing calls, and even receipts for gifts you have purchased for each other in the past. 

Your Spouse Does Not Have Financial Support

Each person that files for legal residency in the United States must show that he or she has a financial sponsor. The sponsor basically states that he or she will help financially support your spouse for as long as it is needed. The USCIS wants to be sure that the person applying for residency does not end up needing public assistance. 

If your spouse's application was rejected based on a lack of financial support, you can sign an Affidavit of Support and file it with the USCIS. The affidavit states you are willing to commit to support your spouse, if necessary, for a period of time. 

It is important to note that if you do not have a verifiable means of support for yourself, you cannot be your spouse's sponsor. You will need to find someone else willing to sign. 

Whether your spouse's application was denied for one of these reasons or another cause was stated, you need to consult with an immigration attorney like David Borts Law Office to explore your legal options.