US citizens can sponsor their spouses, children, siblings and parents. Lawful permanent residents can sponsor their spouses and children. Spouses, minor children under 21, and parents of a US citizen are considered "immediate relatives" by the immigration law and are not subject to any annual numerical limitations - there is no wait for these individuals except for the amount of time these applications take to process. In these cases, we can file a "one-step" application. For marriage cases in the US, there is almost always an interview that both spouses must attend. The spouses should bring joint marital documents as proof that their relationship is not just for papers.
All other family categories are subject to numerical limitation set by Congress and must "wait in line" for an available immigrant visa (green card). Each month, the visa bulletin comes out with new dates showing who is eligible to process. Individuals waiting for a visa must either wait outside the US or must maintain a different independent lawful immigration status in the US (in some cases, waivers are available or exceptions apply).
Helpful information to begin your case:
- List of Marriage Documents
- Consular Marriage
- Consular Processing Document List
- Cosponsor List of Documents
Spousal Abuse: the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Ms. Effron Sharma is deeply committed to helping victims of abuse. Our office has filed numerous petitions for immigrants under VAWA (which also includes abused MEN). We take time and care to find out if a potential victim of abuse can meet the standards to qualify. VAWA includes both physical abuse by a US citizen spouse and "extreme cruelty" (severe emotional abuse). Of the cases that Ms. Effron Sharma has filed, ALL have been approved by immigration. To those that have been abused or know someone who has, the most important thing to know is that there is a way out. Many immigrants who marry US citizens or permanent residents and are subsequently abused feel trapped in the situation because they are dependent on their spouse for their legal status or "papers" in the US. VAWA was passed by Congress to prevent this. No one should have to remain in an unsafe situation or one of abuse. If you or someone you know needs assistance, contact us.