United States allows its citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their immediate relatives for lawful status in the United States. Similarly they can sponsor their spouses. Unlike other categories of relatives, immediate relatives such as a spouse need not wait for a visa number to become available, to apply for adjustment of status. However, Green Cards will be granted to the beneficiaries only after the sponsors agree to sponsor the beneficiaries financially. Your spouse will become eligible for permanent resident status, if you are a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident and you may sponsor your spouse for permanent resident status in the United States through family-based immigration.
Filing Form I-130
If you are a US citizen and if your spouse is in the United States on some other non-immigrant visa, you may file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, at the same time while filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. If you seek to sponsor your spouse who is outside the United States, you will have to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. After the immigration petition filed by you is approved by the USCIS, it will then be forwarded to the overseas US embassy or consulate for consular processing.
If you are a Green Card holder and if your spouse is in the United States on some other non-immigrant category, you will have to wait until a visa number becomes available, after you file Form I-130. Your spouse may then file Form I-485, to apply for adjustment of status.
To sponsor your spouse, as a petitioner, you need to complete and file Form I-130. You will have to submit certain supporting documents such as your marriage certificate, divorce decrees, etc, along with Form I-130. You must also submit, separate G-325A forms, for you and your spouse. You must not fail to submit passport style photographs of you and your spouse, according to the specifications along with your application. You must file the application with the appropriate filing fees.
- If you are a US citizen, you need to submit copies of your valid US passport, US birth certificate, naturalization certificate or a copy of your citizenship certificate.
- If you are a lawful permanent resident, you will have to submit copies of your Green Card or a copy of your passport from your home country with the stamp to prove that you are a permanent resident.
If you have been married for 2 years or less at the time of sponsoring your spouse, your spouse will be granted conditional permanent resident status, valid for two years. At the end of the two-year conditional period, you and your spouse must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. This petition to remove conditions on residence must be filed 90 days ahead of the date of expiration of the conditional status. The conditional resident status of your spouse may be terminated and your spouse may be deported, if you and your spouse fail to file Form I-751, together. After you file Form I-751, and after the petition is approved, your spouse will receive a Green Card valid for ten years.