Jethmalani & Nallaseth PLLC


Family Sponsored Immigrants

U.S. Citizens
If the immigrant has already obtained his U.S. citizenship before the marriage, then the spouse can migrate to the U.S. immediately as there is no limited quota for the spouse of a U.S. citizen. However, it may still take about nine months to a year to complete all the formalities. A U.S. citizen may also sponsor a fiancé/e, but must marry him/her within ninety days of the alien fiancé/e’s arrival into the United States.

Legal Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)
If the immigrant is a legal permanent resident (Green Card holder), he/she may also sponsor his/her spouse, but this is subject to a quota that is heavily oversubscribed resulting in a long wait, before the alien spouse can emigrate. It is not possible for a green card holder to sponsor a fiancé/e.

H-1B Visa Holders
It is actually easier for a holder of an H-1B visa to marry and bring his/her spouse to the U.S. than it is for a legal permanent resident. This is because, the H-1B visa, being a temporary non-immigrant visa allows the holder’s spouse (and children under 21, if any) to be issued an H-4 visa that would enable him/her/them to come to the U.S. immediately. The H-1B visa allows for ‘dual intent’, i.e. a person may enter the U.S. on a temporary basis and then lawfully apply for permanent residence. Therefore, once the individual obtains his/her permanent residence status, the foreign spouse also obtains it derivatively.