I Just Got Married – How do I Get a Green Card for My Spouse?
Getting married is a huge personal step in your life, and one that often confers significant benefits to you and your spouse. If you’ve married a non-citizen, one of these benefits is that your spouse is now eligible for a “Green Card,” or permanent resident status.
The Steps:So how does one go about getting a Green Card for their spouse? First, you must submit the proper forms with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The forms you must submit depends on a variety of factors, including whether you are a U.S. citizen or yourself are a Green Card holder, whether your spouse in inside or outside of the United States. These forms will all require the submission of supporting documentation, such as a copy of your marriage certificate, documents demonstrating the termination of previous marriages, and documents supporting your citizenship or permanent resident status.
Next, you will need to attend an interview in which an immigration officer will attempt to determine whether your marriage is genuine. This is a vital part of the process, and a spouse found to be in a “fraudulent” marriage will not receive a Green Card. In fact, attempting to deceive the USCIS may result in a permanent bar of entry into the United States.
The Conditional Status:Finally, if you were married for less than two years when your spouse was granted permanent resident status, his or her status will be “conditional.” To remove conditional status, you and your spouse must apply together within 90 days before the expiration date on the conditional residence card. Failure to do so can result in the termination of your noncitizen spouse’s resident status and removal from the United States.