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Pricey Sophie: Ideas for submitting for a inexperienced card for my soon-to-be partner

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Right here’s one other version of “Pricey Sophie,” the recommendation column that solutions immigration-related questions on working at expertise firms.

“Your questions are important to the unfold of information that permits folks everywhere in the world to rise above borders and pursue their desires,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration lawyer. “Whether or not you’re in folks ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d like to answer your questions in my subsequent column.”

Additional Crunch members obtain entry to weekly “Pricey Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Pricey Sophie:

My fiancé is within the U.S. on an H-1B visa, which is about to run out in a couple of yr and a half.

We had been initially planning to marry final yr, however each he and I need to have a ceremony and social gathering with our households and buddies, so we determined to carry off till the pandemic ends. I’m a U.S. citizen and plan to sponsor my fiancé for a inexperienced card.

How lengthy does it usually take to get a inexperienced card for a partner? Any ideas you may share?

— Sweetheart in San Francisco

Pricey Sweetheart:

Congratulations! It’s so fantastic to listen to you’re planning to take the subsequent step along with your beloved. I perceive wanting to attend to have a giant wedding ceremony and social gathering. Nonetheless, to keep away from the danger that your husband-to-be must depart the U.S., I like to recommend that you just get married in a civil ceremony as quickly as doable and instantly file for a inexperienced card.

Make sure you try the podcast that my legislation companion, Anita Koumriqian and I posted on the ins and outs of making use of for a fiancé visa (in case your fiancé resides outdoors of the U.S.) or a marriage-based inexperienced card.

In case your husband has already been sponsored for a inexperienced card by his employer and he’s solely ready for his precedence date to develop into present, his employer may be capable to renew his H-1B visa past six years, which might imply he received’t have to go away the U.S. whereas he waits for both inexperienced card to come back via. Remember that attributable to COVID-19 restrictions and a rise in filings, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers (USCIS) is going through important delays in processing all immigration instances. Presently, USCIS could take greater than a yr to course of marriage-based green card petitions.

To reply your second query, listed here are my ideas for getting a marriage-based inexperienced card to your soon-to-be husband:

Ask for employer help

On condition that your fiancé’s employer may benefit by retaining him with out going via (or needing to finish) the lengthier and extra expensive course of for an employer-sponsored inexperienced card, your fiancé ought to ask his firm to cowl the authorized and submitting prices for the marriage-based inexperienced card. Your fiancé’s employer may even most likely nonetheless should submit an H-1B visa renewal on his behalf.

For a good-faith marriage, marriage-based inexperienced playing cards typically are faster, much less document-intensive and cheaper than getting an employer-sponsored inexperienced card. In case your fiancé is from India or China, he would face a considerably longer look forward to an employee-based inexperienced card as a result of annual numerical and per-country caps.

There are not any numerical or per-country caps on marriage-based inexperienced playing cards for speedy family. Due to this, it is possible for you to to file Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), which establishes your relationship to your partner, and Form I-485 (Utility to Register Everlasting Residence or Regulate Standing) for the inexperienced card on the similar time (concurrent submitting).

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Picture Credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

Rent an immigration lawyer

Submitting a petition to sponsor a partner for a inexperienced card sounds easy, but it surely requires extra than simply filling out the suitable kinds. Many {couples} come to us after going it alone and working into issues or getting denied.

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