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I am in a high risk country and I can't leave my wife here. Can a lawyer help me expedite my i-130 petition?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am a US Citizen and I moved to Yemen (my birth country) for a job opportunity a few years ago. I married my wife (a Yemeni citizen) in 2008.

In 2012 the security situation in Yemen became increasingly unstable and I started getting emails from the US embassy advising US citizens to leave Yemen asap. I don't have financial means to move to another country at the moment as it would entail huge expenses without a job. So, the only viable solution was to go back home to the US and petition for my wife to come with me.

I made an I-130 petition for my wife on August 23rd (4 months ago) but still no sign of NOA2 and I read the other day that it may take much longer.

Do I qualify for expedited processing and what's the process and how long will it take??

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Attorney answers 5


Keep in mind that everybody wants their case processed asap and there are thousands and thousands of cases that were filed prior to yours; however with that said, yes, if circumstances warrant one can receive expedited processing of a case. But it isn't easy to get, and if it were then everybody would request it.

Here is the basic reasons for an expedite:
1. Severe financial loss to company (provide evidence);
2. Extreme emergency situation (i.e., recent earthquakes);
3. Humanitarian (reviewed on cases by case basis; if based on medical, provide physician statement);
4. Nonprofit status of requesting organization in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States
5. Department Of Defense or National Interest (request must come from US government entity and state the delay will be detrimental to US government);
6. Service error
7. Compelling interest of the Service

Perhaps her situation might fall under 2 or 3? Consult with your attorney to discuss the details of any factors which may be relevant, the odds of success (in obtaining the expedite), how to go about making the request, etc.

Best of luck.

Matthew Udall - Attorney



The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.


Unlikely to be expedited. You can try but Plan on waiting it out.

Due to the nature of this forum, I often do not have all the information required to provide legal advice. Accordingly, my responses on Avvo are intended as general and not legal advice.


Expedite process is difficult to get but could be done. Have you made a request for it yet? You can call USCIS and make the request over the phone.

Due to a longer waiting time on I-130 now, some folks will also file the I-129F K3 visa (after getting the receipt for the filed I-130) request to bring their relatives to the US as soon as possible. I-129F with an expedite request may (or may not) help your case.

Information provided here are for general purposes only. No implied nor express relationships are established.

Matthew David Jesse Udall

Matthew David Jesse Udall


During the recent K visa teleconference, USCIS said that they "marry up" (no pun intended) the I-130 and I-129f (K-3) cases and will process them together. That means if the I-130 is slow at the Service Center, the I-129f (for the K-3) is slowed down too. And the U.S. Consulate is not going to process a K-3 visa if the I-130 has arrived or is soon to arrive. So effectively, at least under current procedures, the K-3 is a total waste of time.


In May, 2012, the USCIS issued a policy memorandum allowing certain I-130 petitions filed by U.S. citizens to be filed and adjudicated at the U.S. Department of State Consulate instead of USCIS. The memorandum is available online. It specifies that the Consulate can adjudicate the I-130 in cases where there is a threat to the petitioner's or beneficiary's personal safety. While USCIS takes many months to process I-130 petitions domestically, and then months more to transfer it to the State Department Consulate, in cases where the Consulate can do the I-130 and consular processing together the timeline can be drastically shortened. It isn't an expedite really, but rather allowing the Consulate to do all the adjudication from start to finish. This requires USCIS permission, as outlined in the policy memorandum. Apart from this procedure, however, I have heard of many cases in Yemen being held up for "Administrative Processing" even after the I-130 is approved, and this type of delay is not so easily remedied. You should review the policy memorandum with an attorney to see if it might be applicable to you.