The United States is obliged to recognize valid claims for asylum under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. As defined by these agreements, a refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of nationality (or place of habitual residence if stateless) who, owing to a fear of persecution on account of a protected ground, is unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of the state. Protected grounds include race, nationality, religion, political opinion and membership of a particular social group. Read more

The following is a basic step-by-step overview for legally adjusting your status or that of your spouse's:

1) File I-130 - This is the first step in helping your spouse migrate to the United States. The I-130 establishes your family relation to the petitioner, or person who is attempting to have you emigrate, by submitting evidence to that end. For a petition based on marriage, you must submit your marriage certificate, any birth certificates of children born to the marriage, and letters from people who know about you and your marriage. Eligible family members must wait until there is a visa number available before they can apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident. Read more