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The fastest way to bring a foreign spouse to US while the I-130 is being filed

San Francisco, CA |

I'm a US citizen dan recently got married to an Indonesian wife. I went to the US embassy only to find out that, I have to apply for I-130 in the U.S first, & leave my recently wedded wife alone in Indonesia. If I get this right, I'll have to apply for the I-130 first in US, then wait for the approval, then apply the K-3 Visa so that she can come over to US while the green card is being processed, correct? How long does it usually take? The thought of not being with the wife for so long really bothers me. I researched, and find answers like 4+ months..I have a friend who got married 2 years ago (same case as mine), and they were able to go over to US without having to leave the wife in Indonesia, and without filing the I-130 first. Did the rules change?How can we go to US, together? Thx

I asked them the procedure on how they were able to go over to United States together, they claimed that they both went to US embassy, then asked for "petition for spouse green card" (which I assumed is the form I-130). After they received the marriage certificate in Indonesia, they go back to the embassy and not long after, are able to leave Indonesia together. Am I filing a different thing? What did they do, that I'm not doing? ---------------------------------- To Sarah: Thanks for your clear answer. So you're saying even if I apply the K3 visa, she will still have to wait until the process is actually done? (4-6 months) I thought that the K3 was made so that she can stay over in US while the I-130 is being processed? Thanks again

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Attorney answers 1


The process they probably used was Direct Consular Processing. Newer legislation makes DCP less common and much more difficult to obtain. At a minimum, to qualify to DCP the US citizen spouse needs to be legally resident in the foreign country for at least six months. There are some exceptions for emergencies, but they normally must be an extreme hardship (a serious medical emergency for instance (not pregnancy). Unfortunately, our immigration system is slow (but faster then most other countries), processing millions of petitions every year. Each month USCIS office process over 1/2 million new petitions just to give you an idea. Right now, the process is moving faster than in the past due to streamlining at the service centers as well as other issues. To bring your wife you will need to file an immigrant visa petition (the I-130) on her behalf. The K-3 is optional and may or may not save you time on initially bringing her to the US. Even though the application is free to file the overall process of the K-3 is substantially more expensive as she will have to file for adjustment of status after entering the US. I recommend consulting with an attorney to get a better understanding of the two options and to make sure that you avoid any additional delays caused by incorrectly completing and filing the paperwork. Finally, 4 months is a completely unrealistic time estimate. Normally initial processing takes about 4-6 months, NVC and consular processing add an additional 2-4 months.

Sarah M. Cross
The Law Office of Sarah M. Cross
6984 Challis Rd
Brighton, MI 48116
800-681-2311 or 810-225-0953 email

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