Can I marry a girl from Canada and bring her over as a greencard holder?

I am a greencard holder and will be eligible to apply for the US citizenship in 2 1/2 years. Can I marry a girl from Canada or from Iraq now and bring her over? How long does this process take? What are my other options to do so?

Asked on October 22, 2011 under Immigration Law, Texas


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

As a green card holder, you can petition for a wife, regardless where she is from, but you cannot confer any immediate immigration benefits upon her, meaning she would not be able to come to the US until either the priority date becomes current (it's about 2-3 years now for a spouse of a green card holder) or until you become a US citizen and upgrade your petition on behalf of your wife to that of an immediate relative.  However, if your intended wife can enter the US on her own, as a student or through employment, that would be a much faster option for her and then you can petition for her as your spouse once you become a US citizen.

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