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Getting a Green Card for a spouse

Many permanent residents of the United States may want to bring their spouses to the country. There are several things people need to understand about getting a Green Card for their spouse. 

People need to make sure their significant other fits the definition of a spouse. According to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, a spouse has to be legally married to a resident of the U.S. Sometimes people may be able to get a Green Card for a common-law spouse. However, this depends on the laws of a person’s country of origin. 

What documents do people need?

People need to submit several documents in order for their case to be complete. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, people need to include a copy of their marriage certificate in the Green Card application. They also need to fill out Form I-130 and pay the fee. If spouses changed their names after the marriage, they need to provide documentation of this name change. They may do this through a marriage certificate or a court judgment. If this is not someone’s first marriage, they may also need to provide documentation showing that their previous marriage is over. This may be a death certificate for a deceased spouse or a divorce decree. 

People also need to provide evidence of their status in the U.S. If people have U.S. citizenship, they may submit a copy of their citizenship certificate or a copy of their passport. If people have a Green Card, they should provide a copy of either their foreign passport or their Green Card. Additionally, people need to include photographs of themselves and their spouses. 

When can spouses come to the U.S.?

Spouses can either remain abroad or come to the U.S. If spouses choose to come to the U.S., they may need to fill out an application for a nonimmigrant visa so that they can live and work in the U.S. while they wait for the decision on their case.