U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) can apply to get a green card for their foreign spouses.
The process of getting a green card for your spouse begins with preparing your supporting documents for Form I-130.
Preparing for Form I-130
The following are the steps you can take to prepare to file the form:
1. Make copies of documents that prove your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency (green card)
To prove your U.S. citizenship, you can make a copy of one of the following:
- Your U.S. birth certificate
- Your U.S. passport
- Your U.S. naturalization certificate
- Your U.S. citizenship certificate
- Your Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
If you don’t have any of the above, you may be able to submit an original statement from a U.S. consular officer that confirms that you are a U.S. citizen with a valid passport
To prove your U.S. permanent resident status, you can make a copy of the front and the back of your green card. If you haven’t received your green card yet, you can make a copy of your passport biographic page, your immigrant visa, and the U.S. stamp showing you entered the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident.
2. Make copies of documents that prove your marriage
To prove you are legally married, you can make a copy of your marriage certificate. If either you or your spouse was previously married, you should also make copies of documents that show that your previous marriages ended.
To prove other aspects of your marriage, you can make copies of any documents that prove that your marriage is real and you did not get married to get immigration benefits. Some of the types of documents that prove your marital union:
- Documents showing that you have children together
- Documents showing that you and your spouse live at the same address together
- Documents showing the property that you own together
- Documents showing that you share your finances
- Sworn affidavits by people who have personal knowledge about your marriage and can confirm that your marriage is real
3. Get two identical color passport-style photographs of yourself and your spouse
Within 30 days before filing your Form I-130 application, you should get passport-style photos of yourself and of your spouse (if he or she in the U.S.). The photos should be taken on a white to an off-white background, be unretouched and be printed on thin, glossy paper.
You can get these photographs professionally taken at your local pharmacies, U.S. passport offices or mailing/shipping stores, such as FedEx and UPS.
4. Complete and file Form I-130
Form I-130 should be typed or printed in black ink. You should carefully and accurately complete all the questions that apply to you and your spouse’s situation. If a question doesn’t apply to you, then you can type or print “N/A”.
Once your form is complete, you can gather your form, all your supporting evidence, and your filing fee and file your entire application package with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).