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Refugee- Frequently Asked Questions

11.

Who is eligible to apply for derivative refugee status?

You may apply for derivative refugee benefits for your spouse or unmarried child under the age of 21 within two years of your admission to the U.S. as a principal refugee. If your child or spouse is already in the U.S., they may be eligible for settlement as a refugee, regardless of whether they are in the country legally or illegally.

  • You may apply for derivative refugee status for a child who was already conceived, but not yet born, on the day you were admitted as a refugee
  • You may apply for derivative refugee status for a step-child if the marriage between you and the child's parent took place before the child's 18th birthday
  • You may apply for derivative refugee status for an adopted child if the adoption took place before the child's 16th birthday and the child has been in your legal custody for at least two years
  • You may not apply for derivative refugee status for your child's mother unless she is married to you on the date of your admission to the U.S.
12.

When should I apply for derivative refugee status for my spouse or child?

You must file Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, for your spouse or child within two years of the date you were admitted to the U.S. However, this date may be extended for humanitarian purposes.

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13.

How do I apply for derivative refugee status for my spouse?

You must file the following documents with the USCIS:

  • Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition
  • Proof of your status as a refugee
  • A recent, clear photograph of your spouse
  • A copy of your marriage certificate
  • A 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 or your spouse changed your name
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