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How long does a I-130 immigrant visa take to process?

Los Angeles, CA |

I have married in Spain (I am from the USA) and would like to move back to the States with my Spanish wife. How long will her visa take to process? Am I correct in thinking that with the I-130 immigrant visa I don't need to file a K3? (Thank you!)

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

You are correct in that if you file only the I-130 petition that there is no need, per se, to file a K-3. If you file a K-3 petition, the first step to doing so is to file an I-130. After that, it's often a race to see which petition is adjudicated first as in many cases, they are approved simultaneously. If for some reason you wish your wife to enter the US on a nonimmigrant visa, such as the K-3, and then have her apply for permanent residence through the adjustment of status route once she is here, then you can do that. Otherwise, by filing the I-130 while she is overseas, you are basically asking for her to enter on an immigrant visa (as a visa number will be immediately available to her as the spouse of a US citizen) and then she would be a permanent resident upon entry. If you have been married less than 2 years on the day she becomes a resident, then she will be granted conditional permanent resident status for which you will need to file an additional petition in the future asking to remove the condition on her resident status. For assistance in preparing a K-3 or I-130 package, contact Amy L. Becerra, Esq.; Se Habla Espa~nol.


If the petition is well prepared and all the documentation has been provided properly, usually it takes between 4 month to one year. I would advise you to still file the K3 because you never know which one will be approved first. In addition, there is a the issue of "name check" or background check. This is why it is recommended to use an attorney so that you can navigate the immigration laws smoothly. Nonetheless, just the approval of the I130 will not get your wife here immediately. The next steps will be:

1. Dealing with the National Visa Center (NVC); and
2. Then the consulate.

Make sure you have all your doucuments ready and reviewed before you submit. Our law firm has successfully processed many of such cases and every time it is a challenge.

Good Luck
Shah Peerally
Founder and Managing Attorney of Shah Peerally Law Group PC

The Law Firm Deals in Immigration law, Bankruptcy & Debt Relief

Note: The above 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 a retainer or a fee agreement is signed by the attorney and the client.

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