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Application Procedures: Getting Derivative Refugee or Asylum Status for your Spouse

If you entered the United States as a refugee within the past 2 years or were granted asylee status within the past 2 years, and are applying for derivative refugee or asylum status for your spouse, you must submit:

  • Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition
  • Proof of your status as a refugee or asylee
  • Recent, clear photograph of your spouse
  • Copy of your marriage certificate
  • Copy of any divorce decrees, death certificates or annulment decrees if you or your spouse have been previously married
  • Any evidence of legal name change if you changed your name or your spouse changed his or her name

You must file a Form I-730 petition for your spouse within 2 years of the date you were granted asylum status or within 2 years of admission to the United States as a refugee. This time period may be extended for humanitarian purposes.

No appeal is available for a denial of a Form I-730 petition. See the “Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition” link to the right for more information about this petition. No fees are required to submit Form I-730.

Spouse Application Responsibilities

  • If your spouse is outside the United States, he or she will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing. 
  • If your spouse is currently inside the United States, USCIS will notify your spouse if the application is approved by sending you Form I-797, Notice of Action.

Note: A spouse who receives derivative refugee or asylum status cannot file a Form I-730 petition on behalf of any other relatives.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/03/2009