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Spouse of USC

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Green Card for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

To promote family unity, immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for certain qualified relatives, known as immediate relatives to come and live permanently in the United States such as a spouse.

Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.

Get a Green Card While Inside the United States

One Step Process
Certain people are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) while inside the United States. An immediate relative relationship allows you to apply on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to become a permanent resident at the same time your U.S. citizen petitioner files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

Two Step Process
You still have the option to file your I-485 application any time after your petitioner files a Form I-130, for you, as long as it has not been denied. Generally, you will need to submit a copy of Form I-797, Notice of Action, with your Form I-485, that shows the Form I-130 petition is either pending or approved.

Step One – Your U.S. citizen immediate relative must file the Form I-130 for you and it must be either pending or approved.

Step Two – After you receive Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing that the Form I-130 has either been received by us or approved, then you may file Form I-485. When you file your I-485 application package, you must include a copy of the Form I-130 receipt or approval notice (the Form I-797).

Get a Green Card While Outside the United States

If you are currently outside the United States and are a spouse of a U.S. citizen, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when USCIS works with the Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available. You may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a U.S. port of entry. For more information on consular processing for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, see the “Consular Processing”  The Department of State will notify you when you are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa.  If you do not apply for an immigrant visa within one year following notification from the Department of State, your petition may be terminated.


CSC I-130 Priority Date Retention Request Procedures, Read more

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Documents Needed

List of Documents Needed:

Documents Needed to Show That You Are a U.S. Citizen
1. If you were born in the United States, a copy of your birth certificate, issued by a civil registrar, vital statistics office, or other civil authority.
2. A copy of your naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship issued by USCIS or the former INS.
3. A copy of Form FS-240, Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States, issued by a U.S. Embassy or consulate.
4. A copy of your unexpired U.S. passport; or
5. An original statement from a U.S. consular officer
verifying that you are a U.S. citizen with a valid passport.
6. If you do not have any of the above documents and you were born in the United States, please see instructions below "What If a Document Is Not Available?"

Documents Needed to Show Spousal Relationship
1. A copy of your marriage certificate
2. If either you or your spouse were previously married, copies of documents showing that "all" prior marriages were legally terminated, such as certified final divorce decree(s).

Documentation to show the bona fides of your marriage
1. Documentation showing joint ownership or property; or
2. A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence; or
3. Documentation showing co-mingling of financial resources; or
4. Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) born to you, the petitioner, and your spouse together; or
5. Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship. (Each affidavit must contain the full name and address, date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit, his or her relationship to the petitioner of beneficiary, if any, and complete information and details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage); or
6. Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union.

Passport Photo
1. A passport-style color photo of yourself, and
2. A passport- style color photo of your husband or wife

All foreign language documents must be accompanied by a full English translation, and by the translator's certification that he or she is competent to translate the foreign language into English.

What If a Document Is Not Available?
In such a situation, submit a statement from the appropriate civil authority certifying that the document or documents are not available. You must also submit secondary evidence, including:
A. Church record: A copy of a document bearing the seal of the church, showing the baptism, dedication or comparable rite occurred within two months after birth, and showing the date and place of the child's birth, date of the religious ceremony, and the names of the child's parents.
B. School record: A letter from the authority (preferably the first school attended) showing the date of admission to the school, the child's date of birth or age at that time, place of birth, and names of the parents.
C. Census record: State or Federal census record showing the names, place of birth, date of birth, or the age of the person listed.
D. Affidavits: Written statements sworn to or affirmed by two persons who were living at the time and who have personal knowledge of the event you are trying to prove. For example, the date and place of birth, marriage or death. The person making the affidavit does not have to be a U.S. citizen. Each affidavit should contain the following information regarding the person making the affidavit: his or her full name, address, date and place of birth, and his or her relationship to you, if any, full information concerning the event, and complete details explaining how the person acquired knowledge of the event.




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