How Long Does it Take to Bring a Spouse to the USA?
Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.
Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: August 28, 2018, Last Updated on: June 1, 2021.
When an American citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States marries someone from another country, one question is on their mind: how long does it take to bring my spouse to the USA?
Most people know that a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (“green card holder”) can bring a spouse to the United States, and sponsor the spouse’s green card. As for how long the process takes, this can vary depending on your circumstances, which we will explain in detail on this page.
Here we will give you an overview of the process, including the steps involved, the forms you will need to complete, and how long each phase of the process usually takes. Be aware, however, that processing times can vary depending on policy changes, staffing levels, and priorities in the various agencies involved.
Note: the information on this page is for anyone who is:
- A United States citizen or legal permanent resident
- Currently in the United States
- Already married to their spouse, who is not yet in the United States.
There are possible ways for holders of some other types of visas and work permits to bring a spouse to the United States, but only a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can obtain a green card for their spouse.
If you are currently engaged but not yet married, or married but residing outside the United States, the process is different than what’s explained below. If your spouse is already in the U.S. with you, you will need to apply for a change of status in addition to filing the forms explained here.
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