In order to bring your spouse (husband or wife) to live in the United States as a Green Card holder (permanent resident), you must be either a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder:
- If you are a U.S. citizen and your spouse is inside the United States (through lawful admission or parole), you must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, at the same time.
- If you are a U.S. citizen and your spouse is outside the United States, you must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
- If you are a Green Card holder (Permanent resident) and your spouse is inside the United States (through lawful admission or parole), you must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. After a visa number becomes available, apply to adjust status to permanent residency using Form I-485. Unless the beneficiary (your spouse) had an immigrant visa petition or labor certification pending prior to April 30, 2001, the beneficiary must have continuously maintained lawful status in the United States in order to adjust status.
- If you are a Green Card holder (Permanent resident) and your spouse is outside the United States), you must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
To complete the process, the petitioner must submit:
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (signed with proper fee), with all required documentation, including:
- A copy of your civil marriage certificate
- A copy of all divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees that demonstrate that all previous marriages entered into by you and/or your spouse were terminated
- Passport style photos of you and your spouse
- Evidence of all legal name changes for you and/or your spouse (may include marriage certificates, divorce decrees, court judgment of name change, adoption decrees, etc.)
If you are a U.S. citizen, you must demonstrate your status with:
- A copy of your valid U.S. passport OR
- A copy of your U.S. birth certificate OR
- A copy of Consular Report of Birth Abroad OR
- A copy of your naturalization certificate OR
- A copy of your certificate of citizenship
If you are a Green Card holder (permanent resident), you must demonstrate your status with:
- A copy (front and back) of Form I-551 (Green Card) OR
- A copy of your foreign passport bearing a stamp showing temporary evidence of permanent residence
Conditional Residence and Removing Conditions
If you have been married less than 2 years when your spouse is granted permanent resident status, your spouse will receive permanent resident status on a conditional basis. To remove the conditions on residence, you and your spouse must apply together using Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. You must apply to remove conditional status within the 90-day period before the expiration date on the conditional resident card. If you fail to file during this time, your spouse’s resident status will be terminated and he or she may be subject to removal from the United States.
Can My Spouse Come to the United States to Live While the Visa Petition Is Pending?
If you are a U.S. citizen, once you file Form I-130, your spouse is eligible to apply for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa. This will entitle him or her to come to the United States to live and work while the visa petition is pending. To petition for this benefit, file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).
My Petition was Denied: Can I Appeal?
If the visa petition you filed is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal and when you must file the appeal. After your appeal form and the required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals.