Eligibility for VAWA: All You Need to Know

The prospect of reuniting with a loved one is a powerful motivator for many immigrants in the United States. If you’re working in the USA and looking to sponsor your spouse to join you, understanding the time requirements is essential. In this article, we will explore immigration sponsorship, and delve into the duration you generally need to work in the USA before you can sponsor your spouse.

Immigration Sponsorship through Affidavit of Support
As a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder), you have the ability to sponsor certain family members, including your spouse, for a green card, which grants them legal permanent residency in the United States. This sponsorship process is typically initiated through the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. You will also have to file a Form I-864 Affidavit of Support.

U.S. Citizenship vs. Green Card Holder
The duration you need to work in the USA before sponsoring your spouse varies depending on your immigration status and employment history:

U.S. Citizens

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor your spouse immediately. There is no specific work duration requirement. However, you must meet income and financial criteria to prove your ability to support your spouse.

Green Card Holders

As a green card holder, you can also sponsor your spouse. The key difference is that there may be a waiting period.

Financial Requirements

In both cases, whether you are a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, you will need to meet specific financial criteria to sponsor your spouse. This includes demonstrating that your income is sufficient to support your spouse at 125% of the federal poverty guidelines. If your income does not meet this threshold, you may need a joint sponsor who meets the financial requirements.

Consult with an Immigration Attorney

Sponsoring your spouse for a green card is a complex process, and the timing can vary depending on numerous factors, including visa availability, country of origin,