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We are awaiting approval for the I-130, but my visa is expiring soon. What can we do so we aren't separated?

San Francisco, CA |

I am an American citizen and my husband is a foreign citizen. We received the acceptance notice for our I-130 and were shocked that it takes an average of 5 months to approve. When we researched and read that "visas are automatically available to spouses," we did not expect that to mean 5 months. The problem is my visa will expire, and I have no work abroad. Therefore, I must return home. On top of that, we cannot afford to have my husband out of work in America and just wait for the form to be approved. But from the research I have done, the option is that we can be together, either in America or abroad, but one of us will be unable to look for work. What are our options?

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Attorney answers 6


I suggest you set up a consultation with an Immigration attorney who can look at all your paperwork and the individual facts of your case. This is particularly true given that your visa is going to expire.

The statement made by Michael Archuleta above is based on the facts given and is not intended to be a legal opinion or advice of any kind. Any person who uses information given above should seek the opinion of a licensed immigration attorney. The above statement does not create any attorney/client relationship under any circumstance. To speak with a licensed immigration attorney contact Archuleta PLLC at 512-992-2222 to set up a consultation.


A spousal K-3 visa would allow him to come to the US while waiting and obtain work authorization as well. It's not the fastest process, but it may help in your situation. I've attached a link to the State Department page on K visas. I suggest using an attorney to avoid delays.

Please note that he information above is general in nature and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship between us. It is intended simply as background material, is current only as of its indicated date, and may not include important details and special rules that could be applicable to your case. You should consult an attorney directly before acting or refraining from action.



Now that I know about the site that shows processing times, it seems filing for k3 will actually take longer than the immigrant visa. Thank you for the suggestion though.


Obviously, your research was inadequate. Maybe you should talk with a lawyer in your town BEFORE you do anything else.



So other than being rude and insulting, does your response help provide an answer in any way? Poor form for a professional. I much appreciate the other two gentlemen who seem to have some sensitivity to the fact the process is stressful enough without the likes of you. I have already scheduled a meeting at the embassy where we can receive fair and courteous advice.

Robert West

Robert West


For some people ignorance is bliss. You came to a board to gather free information. You received the best advice you are going to get which was to go see someone instead of continuing to be uninformed. If your insulted by this, maybe you need to live somewhere else. You created your own problem as do many people, you just won't accept it. Stop crying like a baby and handle your situation like an adult.


There seems to be a very simple solution for you. FIle for adjustment of status assuming he entered legally on a visa.

For more info see link elow and contact us for help

Neil I Fleischer (513) 977-4209 Note: Neil Fleischer is an attorney licensed in the State of Ohio The below answer is provided for informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney/client relationship is created unless an Agreement is signed by the attorney and the client. Best regards, Neil Neil I Fleischer The Fleischer Law Firm, LLC 917 Main Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-1314 Direct telephone: 513 977 4209 Enjoy our Blog at


Not sure how your husband entered the US. If he entered legally, he can probably apply for Adjustment of Status (form I-485) and employment authorization (form I-765). This is if you are currently in the US. It's also not clear where you are when you say "I must return home."

This makes me think you may be abroad.

Curtis Pierce
213 327 0044


It sounds like the packet might have been prepared incorrectly. With a US citizen spouse petitioner, the immigrant can apply for a green card, work permit, and advance parole travel document simultaneously here in the United States, and in general, not have to depart the United States. I would consult with an immigration lawyer immediately to get this fixed.

(888) 275-0047 Legal disclaimer: Daniel Shanfield, Esq., with offices in San Francisco and San Jose, is a former INS trial attorney and United Nations HCR resettlement officer, with over 15 years experience in immigration law. His statements above are general in nature and should not be deemed legal counsel, as not all factual issues are known. Participants should retain an immigration lawyer to review their own legal matter. The information provided does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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