If you are a US citizen, you can sponsor your husband or your wife, or your fiancé for lawful permanent residence status. There are two ways this can happen.
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A US citizen who marries abroad and wants to bring their spouse to the United States must file an application with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services when they get back to the United States. That case is put in processing, which generally takes about 6 months.
Then, the case gets sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), which is part of the State Department. The NVC processes the case for about four months. The case then gets sent to the embassy for an interview to bring a spouse to the United States and to get them a green card. Right now, it takes about 14 months for a spouse and 12 months for a fiancé.
If a foreign national is in the United States prior to their engagement to a US Citizen, the couple will be able to file an I-130 application for spouses. They may have come into the US originally on a student or work visa and need the sponsorship of a US citizen for lawful permanent resident status to stay in the country for a longer period of time than their original visa allowed.
Depending on where the couple lives, the process can take anywhere from five to 16 months. Bigger cities, in particular, have large backlogs that can delay the process.
When someone sponsors a spouse they file a petition for an alien relative, or an I-130 form. Then, the citizen spouse files an I-864. This states that the citizen spouse will sponsor them for any debts to the government they cannot pay back to make sure the applicant will be self-sufficient.
If you have questions about sponsoring a spouse or a fiancé for US citizenship, we can help. We can guide you through the process to make sure you have the best chance of success. Call us today to discuss the process.