How to migrate your spouse?

I am Salvadoran and live in El Salvador. My girlfriend and her parents obtained permanent residency in September 2013. They had been petitioned for many years by my girlfriend's father's sister.

We have been dating for three years and we are thinking of getting married to be together in the United States. My girlfriend is already working and wants to help me.

What do we have to do for me to be able to travel to the United States? How long would the whole process take? -Bryan M.

Bryan, a U.S. permanent resident may petition for his or her spouse and unmarried children of any age. There is no age limit for petitioning for a spouse or children.

If you and your girlfriend were to get married, your future wife could file a family petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and include evidence showing that she is eligible to petition for you. For example, she will have to prove that she is a permanent resident of the U.S., that you are married and that the marriage is bona fide.

If USCIS approves the family petition, it will assign the F2A category to your case and send your file to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. If a visa is available, the NVC will request various documents and fees to further process your case.

Eventually, your case will be sent to the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador for a consular interview. During your interview, you will have to demonstrate that you are eligible for permanent residency, including proving that you are of good moral character and that you will not be a public charge to the U.S.

Regarding how long the entire process would take, currently USCIS is taking approximately 5 months to process a family petition for a spouse of a permanent resident. In addition, the NVC is processing F2A cases that were filed with USCIS prior to September 8, 2013.

Processing times are subject to change depending on how many people are applying for immigration benefits. You can see the USCIS and NVC processing times on the following websites:

USCIS - Processing Times -

NVC - Visa Newsletter -

I recommend that you consult with an immigration attorney or a federally accredited representative before beginning any proceedings.

Do not visit notaries, immigration consultants, paper fillers or multi services because these people are not authorized to give legal advice.