If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident or a U.S. Citizen you can petition for your spouse, who is in the United States or outside of the U.S.
Adjustment of Status
If your spouse is in the U.S., your spouse will need to adjust their status to obtain a Green Card and become a permanent resident.
If your spouse is outside of the U.S., they will need to go through consular processing, apply for a visa at the embassy or consulate, once their spouse petition is approved. Then after they come to the U.S., they will get the Green Card.
Bona Fide Marriage
To have your spouse petition approved, you must establish that your marriage is a real marriage and you live together.
Adjustment of Status While in Removal Proceedings
If you have a case before the Immigration Court and you get married while it is still pending, you may be eligible for relief through adjustment of status.
Contact us to learn more about spouse petitions and obtaining a Green Card based on marriage to a Permanent Resident or U.S. Citizen.
Why a Spouse Petition Lawyer
- Preparation and submission of an extensive application packet, including forms, affidavits, and other documents establishing a bona fide marriage.
- Detailed attorney cover letter outlining the legal requirements and how the Petitioner and Beneficiary meet all the requirements.
- Strategic advice from beginning to end on how to meet the requirements and attorney provides assistance and oversees every single piece of evidence.
Requirements for Spouse Petition Application
You must be a U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder, be married to your spouse, and be able to establish a Bona Fide Marriage through sufficient documentation.
Benefits of Spouse Petition
- Can have your spouse stay and live in the U.S. with you;
- Through adjustment of status, can file for a work and travel permit at the same time;
- Through consular processing, your spouse will get the Green Card after arrival in the U.S.;
- It is a relatively straightforward petition as long as there are no inadmissibility issues; and
- Your spouse will be eligible for citizenship after three years of having a Green Card when married to an U.S. Citizen.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
No. You can petition for your spouse if you are a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) or a U.S. Citizen.
As a U.S. Citizen, your spouse is considered an immediate relative. If they are in the U.S., as soon as the spouse petition is approved, they can adjust their status and get a Green Card. If they are outside the U.S., as soon as the spouse petition is approved, they can apply for a visa, come to the U.S., and get a Green Card. Additionally, as a U.S. Citizen, if your spouse is in the U.S., instead of waiting for the spouse petition to get approved first and then applying for the Green Card, you can file both petitions concurrently. You can also file for a work permit and a travel permit.
If you are a Permanent Resident, and your spouse is in the U.S., you will need to wait for the spouse petition to be approved before you can file for the Green Card application. You will also not be able to apply for a work permit until the spouse petition is approved and you file the Green Card application. If your spouse is outside of the U.S., your spouse will need to wait until a visa becomes available to them (their priority date becomes current) even if the spouse petition gets approved before that. They cannot apply for a visa until their priority date becomes current. The wait period is much longer if you are a Permanent Resident instead of an U.S. Citizen.
If you become a U.S. Citizen while the spouse petition is pending, you can update your application and the spouse petition will be processed as application of a U.S. Citizen instead of a Permanent Resident. This means you will not have to wait for a visa to become available (priority date to be current) if your spouse is outside the U.S., and you will be able to apply for a visa as soon as the petition is approved. If your spouse is in the U.S., you will be able to apply to adjust your spouse’s status to get a Green Card as soon as possible.
You can petition for your unmarried minor children and stepchildren (under the age of 18 at the time of your marriage to their parents) at the same time as you petition for your spouse.
If you are an U.S. Citizen, you can file a work authorization application for your spouse at the same time that you file an adjustment of status application to get the Green Card. This will allow your spouse to work while the spouse petition is pending.
If you are a Permanent Resident, you cannot file a work authorization application for your spouse and your spouse cannot work while the spouse petition is pending. Once the spouse petition gets approved and an adjustment of status application is filed, your spouse can file a work authorization application.
If you are an U.S. Citizen, you can file a travel permit application for your spouse at the same time that you file an adjustment of status application to get the Green Card. This will allow your spouse to travel while the spouse petition is pending.
If you are a Permanent Resident, and you do not have an adjustment of status application pending, you cannot apply for a travel permit until you become eligible and apply for adjustment of status.
If you get divorced, and you no longer want to petition for your spouse, you can withdraw your petition.
If your spouse petitioned for you and then you separated or divorced due to abuse, you may still be eligible to adjust your status and obtain a Green Card through a VAWA (Violence Against Women’s Act) Petition.
You may be eligible to adjust your status through a widower petition.