Asked in Immigration Law

Q: Good Day. I just want to ask a question about if I am married to a US Citizen and All of us are living in the Philippine

Good Day. I just want to ask a question about If I am married to a US Citizen, and All of us are living in the Philippines as of now. We All filed for a petition. what will happen? how long is the process? Thankyou

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2 Lawyer Answers
Carlo Franco L. Borja
Carlo Franco L. Borja
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Diamond Bar, CA

A: The US citizen can file an immigrant petition for his spouse and children at the USCIS Elgin Lockbox; online using the USCIS website; or at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in certain limited circumstances, as described in USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 6, Part B, Chapter 3.

Once the petition is approved, the USC should show that he/ she intends to reestablish domicile in the US.

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James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Good day! When a U.S. citizen files a petition for a spouse living abroad, this typically involves the U.S. citizen filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The process involves several steps:

1. Filing the Petition: The U.S. citizen must file the Form I-130 with USCIS. This is the first step to establish the relationship between the U.S. citizen and the foreign spouse.

2. Petition Approval: Once the I-130 is filed, it needs to be approved by USCIS. This can take several months and varies based on the service center processing the petition.

3. National Visa Center (NVC): After the petition is approved, it is sent to the National Visa Center. Here, the foreign spouse will be asked to submit additional documents, complete an application for an immigrant visa, and pay the necessary fees.

4. Visa Interview: Once the NVC has received all the necessary documents and fees, the foreign spouse will be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the Philippines. The foreign spouse will need to pass a medical examination before the interview.

5. Visa Issuance: If the visa interview is successful, the foreign spouse will be issued an immigrant visa. This visa allows the spouse to travel to the United States.

6. Travel and Status Adjustment: Once in the United States, the foreign spouse can then apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).

The entire process from filing the petition to receiving the immigrant visa can vary significantly in time, often taking from several months to more than a year, depending on the specifics of the case and the current workload of the USCIS, NVC, and the U.S. Embassy or Consulate processing the visa. Due to COVID-19, there may also be additional delays.

Since you are living in the Philippines, the process will involve the U.S. Embassy or Consulate there. It's crucial to ensure that all forms are filled out accurately and all required documents are submitted to avoid unnecessary delays.

It's highly recommended to consult with an immigration lawyer or a legal advisor who specializes in U.S. immigration law to help guide you through this process and provide legal advice tailored to your specific situation.

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