Dear Sophie: Tips for filing for a green card for my soon-to-be spouse

Dear Sophie: Tips for filing for a green card for my soon-to-be spouse

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Dear Sophie:

My fiancé is on an H-1B visa in the United States, which is about to expire in about a year and a half. We were originally planning a wedding last year, but he and I both wanted to have a party and party with our family and friends, so we decided to stop until the epidemic was over. I plan to sponsor my fiancé for American Citizenship and Green Card. How long does it usually take a spouse to get a green card? Any tips you can share.

— Sweetheart in San Francisco

Dear Sweetheart:

Congratulations! It feels great to hear that you are planning to take the next step with your loved one. I understand that I want to wait for the big wedding ceremony and party. However, to avoid the risk that your husband will have to leave the United States, I advise you to get married in a civil ceremony as soon as possible and file for a green card immediately. Check out the podcast to see if my legal partner, Anita Koumriqian, and I have posted articles and outings about applying for a fiancé visa (if your fiancé is living out of the US) or a marriage-based green card.

If your husband already sponsored by his employer for a green card and he is just waiting for his priority date to be present, his employer will be able to renew his H-1B visa for more than six years, which means he does not have to leave the US For when he is waiting for the green card to arrive. Note that due to COVID-19 restrictions and increased filings, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is facing significant delays in processing all immigration cases. Currently USCIS can take more than a year to process marriage-based green card petitions.

To answer your second question, here are my tips for getting a marriage-based green card to be your husband soon:

Ask for employer support

Given that your fiancé’s employer may benefit from retaining an employer-sponsored green card without the lengthy and more expensive process (or the need to complete it), your fiancé should ask his or her company to cover legal and filing costs for the marriage. Based Green Card your fiancé’s employer will probably still need submit an H-1B visa renewal on his or her behalf.

For good-faith marriages, marriage-based green cards are usually faster, less document-intensive, and less expensive than getting an employer-sponsored green card. If your fiancé is from India or China, he can wait long enough for an employee-based green card because of the annual numerical and per-country cap. 

Marriage-based green cards for close relatives have no numerical or cap per country. For this reason, you can file a Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relatives), which establishes your relationship with your spouse, and the same time for a Green Card of Form I-485 (Permanent Residence Registration Application or Status) (Concurrent Filing).

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