I am a green card holder and I just got married to a Chinese national in China. How do I bring my spouse to the U.S.?

As a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR), you may file Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Relative, for your spouse, with the USCIS. The visa category for spouse of LPR is Family–based 2A. Currently visa numbers are not available for the 2A category; there will be a waiting period before your spouse can apply for immigrant visa at the US Consulate abroad.

Can my spouse obtain a visitor visa to visit from time to time when the I-130 is pending?

Highly unlikely. Consular officer may not approve or issue visitor visa to your spouse when there is an immigrant petition filed for him or her.

What other option may I have to bring my spouse to the U.S.?

Most non-immigrant visa applicants need to demonstrate strong ties with home country and maintain a residency with home country that they have no intention of abandoning. However, there are several non-immigrant visa categories that do recognize dual intent, most notably “H” or “L.” Your spouse may qualify for H or L and work for a US employer in H or L status.

What about the “V’ non-immigrant visa?

The V nonimmigrant visa provides a way for LPR’s spouse and children to travel to the United States while waiting for processing of their immigrant visa. Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may apply for V visas under these conditions:

  • Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) petitioner Must have filed the I-130 immigrant visa petition on or before December 21, 2000.
  • Priority date is at least three years old and not current.
  • Applicant is not inadmissible.

Are there any other options?

Perhaps the most effective way is for the LPR to become a naturalized United State Citizen (USC), which will make the I-130 current based on the upgraded category of Immediate Relative of USC.