Immigration Forms to Submit in a One-Step Marriage Based Green Card Application
If you are a foreign national and have entered the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, and you are now married to a U.S. citizen, you and your spouse can prepare what is commonly called a "one-step" packet to USCIS in order for you to obtain your green card based on that marital relationship.
What the U.S. Spouse FilesA petition for green card always starts with the person with the U.S. status (if based on a family relationship) or the employer in the U.S. (if based on employment). Here, we focus on the U.S. citizen spouse. The U.S. citizen spouse must prepare and execute the Petition for Alien Relative, on USCIS form I-130. Additionally, all petitioners must demonstrate he/she is willing to support the beneficiary (the foreign national) and not allow the beneficiary to become a public charge. For that promise, the U.S. spouse prepares and executes an Affidavit of Support, USCIS form I-864.
What the Foreign National Spouse FilesTypically, a foreign national outside the country would have to wait for the U.S. spouse's petition to be approved before he/she can take action to obtain an immigrant visa. If the foreign national spouse is already in the U.S., he/she may file an Application to Adjust Status, form I-485. The benefit to being married to a U.S. citizen is that a visa is readily available, and there is no per country quota, as the case may be for other basis for green card. Therefore, the foreign national may simultaneously submit his/her adjustment of status application at the same time as the U.S. citizen spouse's Petition for Alien Relative (see above section). The foreign national may want to consider also a simultaneous submission of an application for an employment authorization card, USCIS form I-765, to enable him/her to work, and an advance parole, USCIS form I-131, to enable him/her to travel out of the country without abandoning the adjustment of status application (otherwise, the applicant must remain in the United States during the pendency of the adjustment of status process).
Other Supporting DocumentsThe above generally discusses the required forms for the "one-step" packet. Preparing and executing the USCIS forms are just the beginning steps of the process. It is always recommended that an experienced and competent immigration attorney be consulted for such an important process, to ensure that all required forms and evidence are prepared correctly for the USCIS's officer's review. In the event you want to proceed without an attorney, be sure to review all instructions and provide at a minimum the "initial evidence."