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Immigration Corner | Why is it taking so long for me to be with my husband?

Published:Tuesday | March 12, 2019 | 10:11 AM
Dahlia Walker Huntington
Dahlia Walker Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I got married two years now to an American citizen and until now, I can’t be with him in America. He is 72 years old and I am 43.

Concerned

Dear Concerned,

You didn’t indicate what is preventing you from migrating to America to be with your husband.

As an American citizen filing for his spouse, the petition is considered an immediate relative petition and it normally takes nine months to a year for the spouse in Jamaica to be scheduled for an interview at the US Embassy in Kingston. If there are issues with the petition that have caused it to be delayed, you need to identify what they are and address them quickly.

All spousal applications are subject to high scrutiny, as the presumption is that the only reason the couple got married was for a green card. The burden is on the couple to prove that their marriage is legitimate from its inception. The US government looks at how the couple holds themselves out to the public, how they treat their assets and their debts, and in a case such as yours, how the couple communicate and support each other, and how much time they have spent together. When there is a significant age difference, as in your case, almost 30 years, the presumption that the marriage is not real increases, and you and your husband must be prepared to have substantial evidence of the validity of your marriage.

It could be that your case is waiting for your action and you might be mistakenly waiting on the US government for notification. There are also times after the interview that, the case is held for administrative processing (AP), which can take significant time. There is currently no time limit on how long the US government can hold a case for AP.

You and your husband should consult an immigration attorney to assist you with your case, to ensure that an issue is not going unaddressed.

Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington, esq, is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal and international law in Florida. She is a mediator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida. info@walkerhuntington.com