Some people who obtain visas through work or higher education may travel to the United States alone. They enter the country, establish themselves and then seek to reconnect with their loved ones. Other people marry someone from another country despite being a United States citizen. Perhaps they have a whirlwind romance while on a trip abroad or maybe they marry someone who they got to know online.
Living in different countries can put a strain on even the strongest marital relationship. Those already living in the United States will very likely want to bring their spouse from another country to the United States so that they can live together. Is it possible to obtain a green card for a spouse?
Spousal green cards are available in many cases
For someone to bring their spouse to the United States, their foreign national spouse needs to meet certain standards. They will need to undergo a thorough background check and to provide medical records to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It will also be necessary for the spouse living in the United States to submit the appropriate paperwork.
All spousal visas require the submission of Form I-130, the Petition for an Alien Relative. There are slightly different rules for spousal green cards depending on whether someone is a citizen or a permanent resident. Whether the spouse is already in the United States or not will also influence the process.
In some cases, people need to apply for visas and then help their spouse adjust their status. There may be consular processing in the country where the foreign national spouse currently resides. People will need to provide their marriage certificates and documentation affirming their status as either a permanent resident or a citizen. After securing a green card, a spouse who enters the country will need to remain married to a United States citizen for at least two years. If the couple divorces before then, the foreign national spouse may lose their green card, as it will be conditional until two years have passed.
Seeking legal guidance to better understand the rules that determine whether a spouse is eligible for a green card can benefit those who want to close the distance between themselves and their spouse who happens to be a foreign national.