How long is the Immigration process (spouse petition) ?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Laurel, MD

How long does a US citizen have to court a non-citizen before he/she can marry and petition the spouse to become a permanent resident so they can live in the US together forever and start their family. How long do you have to wait before starting the paper work, is there such a thing as too soon, or too long( time wise). What criteria does the petitioner have to meet. what can be done to ensure that it goes smoothly, are there any good attorney referrals here that can help with the process. Also after the documents are filed how long will it take, and what documents would be required of the spouses. Thank You. Also does immigration check credit reports?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Ismail T. Shahtakhtinski

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . - There is no waiting time required. Depending on specific circumstances and facts, it may be advisable to file immediately or wait slightly.
    - The petitioner has to be US citizen with sufficient income and taxes paid/filed/or exempted. If you do not have sufficient income, you can find an additional sponsor.
    - There are also some criminal convictions which can make the petitioner ineligible.
    - To ensure that it goes smooth, the best idea is to hire an attorney.
    - After the documents are filed, in Maryland, it will take approximately 4-5 months.
    - There is an extensive list of documents that will be required, and much of it depends on the specific circumstances. If you do not retain a lawyer to help you, you can use the instructions for each form you will be filing for guidance on what needs to be submitted. You can find info on USCIS's website.
    - Immigration usually does not check credit reports, and having a bad credit, generally, has no negative effect. It is the truth about the income declared and the taxes being filed that matter from the petitioner's stand point.

    Ismail T. Shahtakhtinski, Esq.
    Attorney & Counselor at Law
    I.S. Law Firm, PLLC
    1199 N Fairfax St., Ste 702
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    Tel: (703) 527-1779
    Fax: (703) 778-0369
    ismail@islawfirm.com

    The information provided in this answer is designed to provide useful information and background materials about I.... more
  2. Kristina A. Gasson

    Contributor Level 12

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There is no specific time of "courtship." Obviously, it's not the best to get married very shortly after meeting but you just need to show that the marriage and relationship are bona fide or in good faith. It is difficult to give you a timeline based on the information you have given. We would need to know more about your immigration status first. You should consult with an immigration attorney who can help you sort out your numerous questions.

    www.gassonlaw.com - Disclaimer: This a general answer to your legal question. Unless you have a signed engagement... more
  3. Irene Vaisman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . no such thing as "how long". Everyone has a different story. To help things go smoother and have clarity of the process, work with an experienced immigration attorney. You can look on avvo or AILA.org to help you find one.

    This is not legal advice and a client attorney relationship is not created. For a free consultation call (718)234-5588.
  4. Katie Ann DeGrio

    Contributor Level 4

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . There is no specific timeframe required for dating or courtship. It all depends on the couple and their personal situation. USCIS will look for information to be submitted that shows that it is bona fide (good faith) marriage and that the sole intent was not for immigration purposes.
    The immigrant visa petition cannot be filed until the couple is legally married.
    The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen, legally free to marry, and not have any criminal convictions that preclude filing under the Adam Walsh Act.
    Yes, USCIS can check credit reports, but those are usually checked in connection with looking at the bona fides of the marriage -to see if the petitioner is telling the truth about prior addresses, who the petitioner has taken out loans with (if applicable), etc.
    Ensuring that a case goes smoothly has to do with good case preparation. Be sure to work with an experienced attorney. I would be happy to discuss your case with you further as I have handled numerous cases like this.

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