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I-130 Processing Time for a Spouse

I-130 Processing Time for a Spouse

By Brian in Visas and Green Cards | on 2024-01-30 03:59:56

The term I-130 refers to a family-based immigration visa petition. The government does not limit the number of immediate relatives, like spouses, that can enter the United States. However, that does not mean that your husband or wife’s visa application will be processed overnight. 


If you are a US citizen, that does help speed up the process. For citizen petitioners, the wait can range anywhere from just over a year to four and a half years. If the petitioner is just a green card holder (not a US citizen), you can anticipate a wait of anywhere from two and a half to five and a half years.


Begin the process by consulting our Austin immigration attorneys about your next steps. 


USCIS Service Centers

Each United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) field office regularly posts how long their backlog is for I-130 visa applications. The five field offices that process I-130s are in California, Nebraska, Potomac, Texas, and Vermont. At the moment, each of the five field offices has a 14-month wait for citizen petitioners. For green card petitioners, the wait times are as follows:

  • California Service Center – 38.5 months
  • Nebraska Service Center – 29 months
  • Potomac Service Center – 32.5 months
  • Texas Service Center – 37 months
  • Vermont Service Center – 34.5 months


Proving Your Marriage Is Authentic

It’s pretty easy to prove that your parents or children are blood relatives—a birth certificate will usually do the trick. However, something you’ll face when petitioning for your spouse’s visa is proving that your marriage is not a sham. A “qualifying” marriage means that you and your spouse are genuinely in love and are planning a life together. If the main reason you two got married was for immigration purposes, your spouse will not be awarded a visa


To prove the marriage is legitimate, be prepared to show:

  • Your marriage license
  • Life insurance policies showing your spouse as the beneficiary
  • Joint bank account statements
  • Personal correspondences in which your friends or family acknowledge the authenticity of your relationship
  • Both old and new photos together in a variety of settings
  • Deeds for jointly-owned property
  • Leases you both signed together
  • Joint credit card statements or insurance policies 
  • Birth or adoption certificates showing you have children together
  • School documents for your children showing the family address and both parents as emergency contacts
  • Documents proving that you live at the same address (utility bills in both names, both of your car registration or driver’s license documents showing matching addresses, etc.)


Who Else in my Family Can I Petition? 

If you are legally residing in the United States, you may request for your unmarried child under age 21 and your parents to get a green card, too—not just your spouse. There is no limit to how many immediate relatives of lawfully present immigrants can enter the country annually. Your extended relatives fit in the “family preference” category (grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles). Family preference visas are limited each year, and therefore, the backlog is significant, especially if you are only here on a green card. 


We Are Austin Immigration Lawyers Ready to Help

The Austin immigration attorneys at J. Sparks Law can help you bring your spouse to the United States most efficiently and economically. Find out how we can help today! Contact our office for a free immigration consultation now.

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