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What is the process of becoming a permanent resident through spouse?

El Paso, TX |

My husband is a Greencard holder in the US. We want to apply for my Greencard now. What are the steps to do so?

I have been in the US for past 12 years now and all on completely legal status to date!

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Attorney answers 4


It depends on a number of factors including how you entered the U.S. and whether you are in lawful nonimmigrant status. Please see

Mr. Shusterman's (former INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82) response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


He files a petition for you. If approved and when an immigrant visa is available, you apply for legal permanent residence with the support of a qualified sponsor. Please consider that the rest of your life depends on what you do next. Mistakes, even innocent mistakes, can have severe consequences. Please contact an immigration attorney to assist you. You can find one in your area at the Find a Lawyer section of this website. Good Luck.


You will not be able to process your green card in one step because the annual quota for your visa category (FP-2A) is currently unavailable. To get on the waiting list for an immigrant visa, your husband must file the visa petition (I-130). However, if you are not in lawful status either because you entered without a visa or because your status expired, you will not be eligible to adjust status in the U.S. Instead you will have to leave and process through the US consulate in your home country. And, if you have been here unlawfully for over 180 dys and depart in order to process, you will be inadmissible for 3 yrs. If you leave after unlawful status for 1 yr. or longer, you will be inadmissible for 10 years. You will need to file a request for waiver of the inadmissibility. You can qualify for the waiver based on a showing of extreme hardship to your husband. As you can see, even though you will be immigrating based on a marriage, your case can have complications. Your best action is to retain the services of an experienced immigration lawyer.

The herein content is for general informational purposes only, and may be predicated on incomplete facts. It should not be relied upon in making legal decisions or assessing your legal rights or risks. Neither does the herein reply create an attorney-client relationship.


I agree with my colleagues above and he should go ahead and file an I-130 petition for you. Further, I will hasten to add that currently there is quite a wait before visas for LPR Spouses are available. It also depends on whether you are in or outside the U.S. If you are inside, hopefully you are not accruing unlawful presence or working illegally as these may or may not affect your Adjustment of Status. You may need to consult with an immigration attorney.

This information is not to be construed as legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. It is only my opinion based on my expertise, the best advice to follow is that derived from an attorney-client relationship, not a web-based response. Good luck!

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