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Helping My Spouse Become an Asylee or Refugee

Posted by attorney Carl Shusterman
Filed under: Marriage and prenups

How Do I Apply to Get Derivative Asylum or Refugee or Status for my spouse?

If you want to help your spouse get derivative refugee or asylee status, you need to file Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. You will need to include all supporting documents listed in the form instructions. Form I-730 is available on our website here.

If my application is approved, how is my spouse notified of the decision?

If your spouse is outside the borders of the United States, your spouse will be notified to go to their local U.S. consulate to complete the processing. If your spouse is currently inside the borders of the United States, USCIS will notify you if the I-730 petition is approved by sending you an approval notice.

Is there a time limit on when I have to file the I-730? Yes, you must file a Form I-730 petition for your spouse within two years of the date you were admitted to the U.S. as a refugee or within two years of the date you were granted asylee status. However, this deadline may be extended for humanitarian purposes.

If my spouse becomes a refugee or asylee as a derivative, can he/she file the I-730 later for another family member? No, a spouse who receives derivative asylum or refugee status may not file a Form I-730 petition on behalf of other family members.

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