Family sponsorship is one of the most popular ways to obtain green cards. If you are a lawful permanent resident or US citizen, one of the advantages of your status is that you can sponsor your family in order to bring them to the United States. US immigration laws permit family sponsorship to allow families to be reunited in the US. If you are a citizen, you will have the ability to sponsor more family members.

However, if you are a green card holder, you can still sponsor a spouse or child to come to the US to live. If you are a US citizen, you can sponsor a parent, spouse, sibling or child. You can sponsor other relatives, as well. However, these relatives will be placed lower in priority than immediate relatives and may need to wait longer to secure their green cards.

How Your Spouse Can Sponsor You To Come To The United States

Method 1: If the spouse is outside the United States, they would apply via the consular processing application method. The spouse will typically remain outside the United States while the application is being processed. The application will be forwarded to the United States consulate in the spouse’s country.

Method 2: The second method is the Adjustment of Status method which is for applicants who are already in the United States. These applicants are usually visitors or are on temporary visas such as work permits or student visas and they end up marrying a United States citizen. In these applications the applicant changes their status.

What Happens If There Is A Divorce?

If the marriage has ended because you got divorced, your US citizen spouse has died, or due to abuse in the marriage, the foreign- born spouse may be eligible to apply for a waiver of the joint petition requirement. However, these waivers are very difficult to get.

Living in the United States after an illegal entry and married: US spouse is a U.S. citizen living in the United States.

  • Average Time – One to six months or longer for approval of the Form I-130, and additional time depending on individual circumstances.
  • Summary of Process – The U.S. Citizen start the process by filing a Form I-130 with USCIS. However, you will need to come see Jaime Alvarado because you may be unable to apply for the greed card without leaving the United States- which could expose the immigrant to penalties preventing return for several years.

What of the Death of a Sponsor?

Under US immigration laws, there are certain circumstances tah llows for you to obtain a green card even after the death of your green card sponsor. There is a law which protects widows and other surviving relatives as well as a procedure which allows for the “humanitarian reinstatement” if an I-130 which was revoked upon the death of the petitioner.

The following factors may determine if you will be able to complete the process of obtaining legal permanent resident status after the death of your green card sponsor, including:

  • Whether the I-130 was approved prior to the petitioner’s death
  • The relationship between the beneficiary and the petitioner
  • Whether the beneficiary was residing the US when the I-130 was approved
  • The ability of the beneficiary to obtain an appropriate financial sponsor

Overall you should expect that it will between 8 months to one year to receive an immigrant visa based on marriage to a United States citizen, and it may take over a year. The wait could be considerably longer if you receive a request for evidence or you have difficulty in obtaining the required documents. Spouses of permanent residents will typically have an even longer wait because they must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available. Contact Jaime Alvarado & Associates at 915.852.0050 to take care of all your immigration needs.