When should one start process of obtaining permenant residency? while in US or while still abroad?

Asked about 1 year ago - Lititz, PA

I am a US citizen married to a Guatemalan. We both live and work in Guatemala. We are going to move the US this year. My husband holds a US tourist visa. Should we start the permanent residency process now in Guatemala? OR, should we move to the States and then start the process? If we start now while in Guatemala, will my husband be allowed to travel between countries?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Adam Michael Solow


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This is a tough question and decision to make without more facts. Although your husband could travel here on his tourist visa, if his intent is to become a permanent resident, the proper thing to do would be to file for his immigrant visa from Guatemala. However, this would cause a delay in processing him and permitting him to immigrate here. Other attorneys might advise to enter on tourist visa, then file the adjustment from the United States. You should consult with an attorney and give more facts about your plans.

  2. F. J. Capriotti III

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Start the process now ... for being processed at the US Consul.

    Do not use the tourist visa to do more than enter on VERY SHORT trips ... expect possible problems at the border.

    PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It... more
  3. Chad Michael Brandt


    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues here. You need to consult an experienced immigration attorney. At Brandt immigration we have over 10 years experience successfully representing immigrants.

    Chad M. Brandt
    Brandt Immigration

  4. Tripti Sharad Sharma

    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Start the process at the Consulate. It is straight forward considering you want to move after one year. Once the petition is approved, he will enter as a permanent resident. Do not use tourist visa to enter if you intend to apply for U.S. residency.

    This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known.... more

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