What are my options for helping my foreign girlfriend get a U.S. green card?

I have been living in Vietnam with my girlfriend for the past 2 years, and now we are traveling around the U.S. to visit my family members. She has been a great companion and we decided that we want to get married and settle down here. She is has 10 years of experience in education and owns her own English language education center in Vietnam and wants to continue her teaching career in the U.S. As I have been out of the country for 2 years and have not spent 3 years with my current employer, I do not meet the requirements to sponsor her. We also do not have anyone willing to co-sign on her behalf yet. From my understanding, there are 2 options for helping her immigrate: either get married and find a co-signer or I stay in the U.S. for 2-3 years working for 1 employer until I qualify to sponsor her myself. She is also considering studying abroad in the U.S. so she can teach at a k-12 school or university. Are there any other options for us?

Asked on September 27, 2017 under Immigration Law, Wisconsin


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I'm not sure why you don't think you can sponsor her.  If your income and/or your assets are sufficient for purposes of signing the affidavit of support, then you can be a sponsor.  You can also ask any of your relatives, friends, etc. to act as a joint sponsor.  There is nothing that says you have to work for the same employer for 2=3 years in order to qualify as a sponsor.  It is basically whether or not your income is sufficient and/or your assets are sufficient.

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