Green Card by Marriage
Filing Petition for your Husband / Wife:
File papers for your Husband / Wife for you at Low Fees. Just send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
What Is a “Spouse”? A spouse is a legally wedded husband or wife.
- Merely living together does not qualify a marriage for immigration.
- Common-law spouses may qualify as spouses for immigration purposes depending on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurs.
- In cases of polygamy, only the first spouse may qualify as a spouse for immigration.
The First Step toward an Immigrant Visa: Filing the Petition
The first step is to file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for your spouse (husband or wife) to immigrate to the United States.
In certain circumstances, a U.S. citizen living abroad can file an immigrant visa petition outside of the United States. Review Filing Immigrant Petitions Outside the United States to learn more
U.S. Sponsor Minimum Age Requirement
There is no minimum age for a U.S. sponsor (petitioner) to file a petition for a spouse. However, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a residence (domicile) in the U.S. before you can sign the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864 or I-864EZ). This form is required for an immigrant visa for a spouse and other relatives of U.S. sponsors.
Is Residence in the U.S. Required for the U.S. Sponsor?
Yes. As a U.S. sponsor/petitioner, you must maintain your principal residence (also called domicile) in the United States, which is where you plan to live for the foreseeable future. Living in the United States is required for a U.S. sponsor to file the Affidavit of Support, with few exceptions. To learn more, review the Affidavit of Support (I-864 or I-864EZ) Instructions.
If You Were an LPR and Are Now a U.S. Citizen: Upgrading a Petition
If you filed a petition for your spouse when you were a lawful permanent resident (LPR), and you are now a U.S. citizen, you must upgrade the petitionfrom family second preference (F2) to immediate relative (IR). You can do this by sending proof of your U.S. citizenship to the National Visa Center (NVC). You should send:
- A copy of the biodata page of your U.S. passport; or
- A copy of your certificate of naturalization
If you are now a U.S. citizen, you must file separate immigrant visa petitions for each of your children. If you upgrade a family second preference (F2) petition for your spouse and you did not file separate petitions for your children when you were a lawful permanent resident (LPR), you must do so now. A child does not receive derivative status in an immediate relative (IR) petition. This is different from the family second preference (F2) petition where a child is included in his/her parent’s F2 petition. A child is not included as a derivative in his/her parent’s IR petition.
Children born abroad after you became a U.S. citizen may qualify for U.S. citizenship. They should apply for U.S. passports. The consular officer will determine whether your child is a U.S. citizen and can have a passport. If the consular officer determines your child is not U.S. citizen, the child must apply for an immigrant visa if he/she wants to live in USA