How can I sponsor my spouse for a Green Card?
If you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident then you can sponsor your spouse for a marriage -based Green Card. However there are some legal requirements for a marriage-based Green Card. The requirement is that spouse must prove that you are legally married, you are in a bona fide marriage, you are a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. citizen, neither your spouse nor you are married to anyone else.
If you are a U.S. citizen and your spouse is outside the United States, the your spouse is called “immediate relative”, because of which getting a marriage-based green card is smooth, there is no long waiting periods.
There are two choices for your spouse to get the marriage-based Green Card.
1. Your spouse completes all the application process overseas and enter the United States with full rights as a green Green Card holder.
2. Your spouse can enter the United States on a K-3 visa and then later adjust status to permanent resident. An important thing to note here is that, if you were married lees than two years when your spouse arrive th United States on a K-3 visa or approved for the marriage-based Green Card, then your spouse will only be given a conditional Green Card valid for two years. Those two years will be a testing period and your spouse will need to remove the conditions on Green Card within 90 days of its expiration by filing the Form I-751. Then USCIS will review the file and if required USCIS may conduct an interview to check whether the marriage is real.
Please note that if you are lawful permanent resident then your spouse falls under preference relative. Visa availability for preference category is limited, because of which, spouse of a lawful permanent resident may need to wait outside the United States until the priority date comes current.
There are four major steps involved in obtaining a marriage-based Green Card.
1. You have to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
2. Fill out the forms sent by the NVC and pay the necessary fees.
3. Then NVC transfers your file to the U.S. consulate, where your spouse will be interviewed and if approved your spouse will receive the immigrant visa. 4. Your spouse has to present the immigrant visa at the U.S. border, where it will be examined and if everything goes smoother then your spouse’s passport will be stamped for U.S. residency.
If you are a U.S. citizen and if your spouse is in the United States, then I-130 and I-485 can be concurrently filed. I-485 is the form used for adjusting status to lawful permanent resident.
If you are a lawful permanent resident and your spouse is outside the Unites States then there are five major steps involved in obtaining a marriage-based Green Card.
1. You need to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
2. Your file gets transfered to the NVC and you need to wait until the priority dates become current.
3. Once the priority date is current then NVC send the forms to be filled.
4. Your spouse attends the interview at a U.S. consulate, if approved obtains a immigrant visa.
5. Your spouse has to present the immigrant visa at the U.S. border, where it will be examined and if everything goes smoother then your spouse’s passport will be stamped for U.S. residency.
If you are a legal permanent resident and if your spouse entered the United States legally, then your spouse can stay in the United States (if the immigrant visa lasts long enough to get through the waiting period) and then he or she can adjust the status to permanent resident. If the visa does not lasts to get through the waiting period then your spouse can leave the United States and wait overseas until the priority date becomes current and then apply for a marriage-based Green Card. at a U.S. consulate.