Can I get a US green card if we are both in Canada?
April 25, 2016 3:49 PM   Subscribe

Can I apply for an American green card if my spouse (American) and I (Canadian) are both residents of Canada? Or does my spouse need to move back to the USA before we can apply for me to get a green card?

I'm Canadian, so is our young child. My spouse is American. We currently live and work in Canada.
We want to eventually move to the USA. We have been doing research on visajourney.com but the option (?) that appeals to us the most is "we both live in Canada and I apply to get my US green card, then we all move together to the US once I have it (in almost a year)."

I could be (hopefully?) missing something but online I only found the option of my spouse living in the US while I stay in Canada during the process. With a young kid and wait times of up to 200 days, this is really unappealing to us (to put it mildly). Other countries have DCF (direct consular filing) but not Canada, so this might not apply to people who have done this from other countries.

Does it matter where my spouse is geographically as long as we can prove that we have the money to support my being there (my spouse does not currently have a job in the USA but we have the savings to cover the required $80,000 or whatever it is).

of course yanm(immigration) lawyer, but maybe you have some magical google skills that have completely failed us. Thank you
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Yes, the "tricky" part is that while your spouse can file an I-130 from abroad, the I-864 affidavit of support can generally only be provided if they are "domiciled" in the US.

The only way around this is to get an "Exception Based on Showing an Intention to Be Domiciled in the U.S.", which seems to be a little tricky in practice from what I have read.

It also seems you can start the I-130 process and not have to do the actual moving until you need the I-864, which might reduce your time some. You won't need the 864 until after your NOA2 or whatever when you need to send in the documents for the interview. (Hopefully you've already seen the guide on visajourney).

(Also processing times vary widely... visajourney showed 9-12 months for K-1 when my wife and I applied but she got her visa in only 3 months from filing...)
posted by thefoxgod at 4:27 PM on April 25, 2016


It also seems you can start the I-130 process and not have to do the actual moving until you need the I-864, which might reduce your time some

This is how we did it (UK citizen and US spouse). There was some jiggery pokery involved and we had a good lawyer who sorted it all out for us for minimal costs. Memail me if you want some more info.

We got the initial approval for the I130 and when wew ent to the second stage was when we needed to be in the US. This allowed us to get ahead of the game a bit. For reference, we spent zero time apart through the process.
posted by Brockles at 4:56 PM on April 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Glad you're connected with the visajourney community - they know their stuff and are very supportive (in my experience) - make use of the forums, there are a lot of active and knowledgeable people who respond to questions.

You mention "our young child". If he or she is entitled to American citizenship, I'd get that sorted out now. It might help with your green card application, but more importantly, it might also save him/her hassle doing it later. (You never know, you may have given birth to a future president of the USA, so get the citizenship sorted now!)
posted by finding.perdita at 2:27 AM on April 27, 2016


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