When the sponsor is not the U.S citizen, the process will take more time due to the absence of "Concurrent filing" and waiting time involved for visa availability. Each step must be processed sequentially and add a little bit more to the overall timeline.
This column will cover the specific case matching the petitioner and beneficiary residence status while seeking this immigration approval.
- Sponsor is a Permanent residence with Green Card
- The beneficiary is living in the USA.
Processing Steps —
Irrespective of where the beneficiary currently lives, the first step of this process involves sponsoring your partner through "I-130 - Petition for Allien Relative". And in this step, you are validating the legitimacy of the marriage with USCIS.
Once you correctly filed I-130 and mailed to USCIS mailing address. You must receive the receipt notice in about two weeks, confirming that they received your package. You can track the processing status using the receipt number in the USCIS portal.
Then, the USCIS process usually takes about ten to fifteen months to decide your application, whether to approve or not.
What to Expect Next?
Now, assuming that you have approved a petition for the I-130 application provided by USCIS.
Since the sponsoring spouse is not a U.S citizen, the beneficiary has to wait for visa availability dictated by the USA legal immigration law. USCIS will release a monthly visa bulletin, which highlights the country-specific current visa availability and where they are right now with processing backlog applications.
In between waiting period, from I-130 approved to before you can file a green card application usually takes about ten months. During that time, one has to maintain the lawful status of their stay using other means available, for instance, using the nonimmigrant visa.
In the case of your application is denied, you will have an option to appeal your case in the immigration court, and that time you must hire an experienced immigration lawyer to represent you.
Filing I-485 Application —
In addition to including main applications, there are few pre-requirements that a spouse has to complete.
- Completing Medical Examination
- Biometric and fingerprinting with local visa application processing center.
This step will cost you more than $1445 towards direct government fees, biometric fees, and medical examination.
Appearing for an Interview —
In all the cases, an Interview is the final major hurdle to overcome. Prepare well and have your supporting document organized. And if a counselor convinced about your relationship and materials furnished to support your case. He or she will immediately grant a visa for legal entry into the United States.
You will get the physical green card in about two to three weeks to designate the mail address in the application.
How much time and money does this cost?
The overall process may take around 40 months and cost you direct fees to the government and medical examination to the tune of $1980. Note, this does not include any external service you may arrange with an immigration attorney. And. You should plan for $4000 expenditure from start to end.
You can find the detailed breakup of costs and list of documents to consider for most of the cases —