Have you applied for a marriage green card recently? If you moved abroad while your application is still pending, there are a few things you should know to avoid jeopardizing your spouse’s chance at starting a new life in the U.S.
For couples that apply for a marriage green card through consular processing, the sponsoring spouse must prove to the U.S. government that they reside in the United States. Before temporarily moving out of the country, you must provide Immigration Services with a domestic address for any communication within ten days. If not, there will be no way to hear from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding your application.
Sponsoring spouses who lost their residence or no longer have an address in the U.S. where they can receive mail can provide the USCIS with a friend’s or relative instead. To do this, you can log into your immigration account. If you don’t have one, an immigration attorney in Los Angeles would advise you to submit Form AR-11 (address change form) via mail or online.
Although this seems time-consuming, this is an integral part of the process, especially if you’re planning for a green card. Last year, 85% of 7.47 million immigration applications got accepted by the USCIS. Alongside the applications, they received over 700,000 for family-based green cards; 95,000 for an adjustment of status, according to Boundless.
What Happens After Form I-130 Gets Approved?
When the family sponsorship form (Form I-130) gets approved, the USCIS will send the green card application to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing before sending it directly to the spouse’s native country. The USCIS will also send a notice to the sponsor.
Should the sponsor not provide an updated address by this point, they will receive an email notification and send a letter to their previously listed address. We encourage all sponsors and green card applicants to set up a USCIS online account to check their status and access an electronic paper trail should something go wrong.
After the NVC confirms the sponsor’s application, they must send an updated U.S. address through a Public Inquiry Form. That is a big step for you and your wife or husband! If you have questions about temporarily moving abroad or how to manage your green card application before you depart, call 213-388-1821.