It can be challenging to obtain a marriage green card for your spouse. Not only are immigration laws in the U.S. complicated, but laws and requirements change over time. If your spouse wants to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States, Kasturi Law LLC can guide you through the process of securing a green card.
What Is a Green Card for a Spouse?
A green card, also known as a permanent resident card, makes it legal for a non-citizen to live and work in the United States. After a person has had a green card for three years and they filing for U.S citizenship based on marriage to a USC, they become eligible to apply for United States citizenship.
The spouses of United States citizens are eligible for green cards, but these cards aren’t awarded automatically. To secure a spouse’s green card, both parties will have to complete specific steps.
How Do I Get a Green Card for My Spouse?
You can apply for a green card for your spouse if the two of you are legally married. The process typically takes around 6-17 months (depending on USCIS processing times) to complete, which is why it’s best to consult with an immigration lawyer in Naperville as soon as possible.
As mentioned above, a legal marriage is the main requirement for a marriage-based green card. There must be an official record of the marriage, and the marriage must be legally valid in the state or country that the marriage took place. Domestic partnerships do not meet the requirements for a green card.
To obtain a green card, you must prove that your marriage is “bona fide.” This means that the marriage must be genuine and that both parties must have the intention to build a life as a married couple.
In addition, one spouse must be a United States citizen or a permanent resident. If either partner was previously married, the marriage must be legally ended. You’ll be required to provide documents in order to approve that the marriage was no longer valid.
How To File for a Spouse Green Card?
To file for a green card, you’ll need to submit the Petition for Alien Relative Form (Form 1-130) to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form is intended to show that there is a valid marriage that qualifies for a green card.
You’ll also be asked to provide supporting documents, such as a marriage license, birth certificate, and evidence that the petitioner is a US citizen or LPR, along with the form.
The next part of the process can vary based on whether the spouse is currently living in the United States. Spouses that are living abroad are required to file an application through the National Visa Center (NVC). This procedure is known as Consular Processing.
For a spouse that is living in the United States, you’ll need to file the Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) with the USCIS. Both applications are intended to demonstrate that the spouse qualifies for a green card. If the spouse is living in the United States, the I-130 and I-485 forms can be filed concurrently, and this process is known as one-step filing.
After these steps have been completed, the couple will undergo an interview process to show that the marriage is valid. During this process, the couple will be asked a range of questions, including questions about the history of their relationship and their plans for the future. If the interviewer believes that the marriage is bona fide, the spouse will be approved for a green card.
How Much Is the Green Card for My Spouse?
There are several costs associated with obtaining a green card, and the total cost can vary based on whether your partner is currently in the United States. There is a $535 filing fee for Form I-130 and a $1225 fee to file Form 1-485. The fee is subject to change and can vary depending on the age of the beneficiary and other factors. See the USCIS Fee Calculator to determine the applicable fees.
These fees typically add up to $960 for a spouse outside the United States or $1,760 for a spouse currently in the United States. In addition to these fees, for a green card spouse, you may need to pay for a medical examination of your spouse, which typically costs several hundred dollars.
How Can Naperville Immigration Lawyers Help?
Making mistakes during the green card application process could potentially put your spouse’s green card at risk. In addition, mistakes could lead to delays and setbacks that could prevent your spouse from legally living and working in the United States.
Kasturi Law LLC can guide you through the application process and help you avoid costly mistakes. In Shobhana Kasturi, you will have a strong advocate to help with having the Green Card Approved.