FIANCEE VISAS AND MARRIAGE-BASED VISAS
Application for Fiance Visa:
Application for immigrant visa (for spouse living abroad):
Application for Green Card for family member in the United States:
Below is an average of how long USCIS takes to process an application.
If you are planning to marry a United States citizen and you are currently outside the United States, you may be eligible for a fiancee visa. The fiancee visa usually takes about six months to process and is valid for one calendar year after issuance. The fiancee who enters using a fiancee visa must marry his or her fiancee within 90 days of entering the United States. Then, the newlywed can begin the application process and gain legal permanent residency.
If you are already married to a US Citizen and wish to enter the United States, you may be eligible for an immigrant visa through your consulate. This type of visa can be very streamlined and usually allows the immigrant to receive a green card automatically upon entering the United States. Processing times can vary greatly, from six to eighteen months, depending on the time of year.
If you are already inside the United States and entered the US on a visa, you may be able to apply for your green card after marrying a US citizen. However the timing of your entrance and your marriage could completely disqualify you. It is very important that you speak to an attorney before marrying to ensure you do not damage your immigration case.
If you entered the United States without permission, your case will be much more complicated, and it will take over 18 months to receive an approval. Our firm can help you through the entire process of obtaining a your visa, applying for legal permanent residency, and obtaining permission to legally work in the US.
The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program grants up to 50,000 visas each year, based on a lottery system. The purpose of the visa is to create more diversity of immigrants. Applicants must be from a country with low rates of immigration to qualify. Applicants can be living outside or inside the United States, so long as they remain in lawful status. Click here to see if you qualify for a Diversity Visa.
USCIS PROCESSING TIMES
In many cases, other family members, such as parents, children, and siblings of US Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents can also qualify for an immigrant visa. In some cases, the applicant can apply for immigrant status while living in the United States. Visa wait times vary greatly depending on the family relationship and the immigration history of the applicant. Speaking with an attorney beforehand will help you avoid the surprise of a 20-year waiting list, for example.