Are you married to a US citizen?
If you are the spouse of a US citizen, no matter where you were married, you may be eligible to apply for Lawful Permanent Residence (also called “Green Card”) through either Consular processing or Adjustment of Status as long as other conditions are met;
- 1) You are a US citizen petitioning on behalf of your spouse and financially capable to support him/her for the application;
- 2) You are an applying foreign national, and has no criminal records except for minor ones either in the U.S.A or anywhere in the World; entered the U.S legitimately on any type of visa; and, is in mentally and physically good shape as set forth in Immigration and Naturalization Act.
What documents are needed for LPR application?
Birth Certificate, Photos, Papers proving your marriage in good faith, Medical examination report (I-693), Tax Return for most recent year, passport and other documents in support of your marriage in good faith.
Documents Needed in Support of Marriage Petition to Prove Bona Fides
To support the bona fides of your marriage, please provides as many of the following documents as possible:
- Copies of ownership papers for a jointly owned business, if applicable;
- Copy of joint lease/mortgage;
- Statements of Joint Bank Accounts;
- Copies of Joint Insurance Policies-auto or otherwise;
- Employer records showing the addition of a spouse to health insurance or other documentation showing that you shared or benefited from employee benefits available to supposes;
- Copies of vehicle titles showing joint ownership;
- Copies of utility bills in both names I.e. electric, phone, cable, water, cell phone, etc..;
- Copies of joint tax filings (you may request tax summaries directly from the IRS);
- Copies of joint credit card statements or individual credit statements sent to the same address;
- Birth Certificates of any children born to the marriage;
- Affidavits from any step children from the marriage discussing the marital relationship;
- School records or other information showing that you both were listed as parents of a child or step-child;
- Copies of telephone records highlighting calls to relatives;
- Receipts from purchase of wedding rings or gifts;
- Mail received that has both or one of your names with the same address;
- Copies of tickets or reservations for a trip that you have taken together;
- Photos of you together;
- Photos of you with the other’s family (if applicable);
- Correspondence between the two of you, including email or message left for each other at the marital residence;
- Correspondence from family members (greeting cards or letters);
- Wills and trusts listing the spouse as a beneficiary;
- Hotel records or other travel records;
- Video rental records showing joint accounts;
- Membership records (health club, AOL or other internet accounts) showing joint records;
- Church membership records or church directories showing that you attended church as a family;
- Prenuptial agreement;
- Cancelled checks on joint or separate checking accounts showing a sharing of household expenses;
- Love letters with envelops;
- Post cards sent to others; and
- Medical benefit letter from employer showing spouse as a beneficiary.
- Affidavits from at least two people who know of your relationship
Q & A
Q1. My spouse is staying illegally, is s/he still eligible to apply? Maybe yes, if s/he entered the U.S legitimately and other conditions are met. INA allow the out-of-status to apply for Adjustment of Status if they are Immediate Relative (spouse, children, parents) of a US citizen.
Q2. How much do I have to earn to be financially eligible to support for LPR application for my spouse? It depends on the numbers of your family and people form whom you have sponsored so far. You need to meet the 125 % of Federal Poverty Line corresponding to the numbers of your household and people you have sponsored.
Q3. Who can be a Joint Sponsor for me? A joint sponsor must be either Lawful Permanent Resident or a US citizen who can prove to have income sufficient to support your application. The same rule applies for determining amount for eligibility as a joint sponsor.
Q4. How does Adjustment of Status work?
Please see the flow chart below.
Not Married Yet? (K1 Visa)
Then, where is your fiancé now?
1) Is she already in the United States?
Then, get married and apply for Adjustment of Status. Be on alert, you must abide by USCIS’s new 90 days Rule.
The U.S. Department of State’s 90-Day Rule
DOS developed a 90-day “rule” to assist consular officers in evaluating willful misrepresentation in cases involving an applicant who violated his or her nonimmigrant status or whose conduct is inconsistent with representations made to either the consular officer at the time of the visa application or to the immigration officer at the port of entry. The DOS 90-day rule creates a presumption of willful misrepresentation if an applicant engages in such conduct within 90 days of admission to the United States.
Although referred to by DOS as a “rule” in its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), the 90-day rule is not a regulation. It is DOS guidance to its officers, and as such, the 90-day rule is not binding on USCIS officers. However, USCIS officers must examine all of the factors in an applicant’s case. After such review, USCIS officers may find that an applicant made a willful misrepresentation, especially if the violation or inconsistent conduct occurred shortly after the consular interview or admission to the United States.  Officers should carefully assess each situation and continue to evaluate cases for potential fraud indicators. When appropriate, officers should also refer cases to Fraud Detection and National Security, according to existing procedures. (https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-8-part-j-chapter-3)
2) Is he/she still in his/her home country?
No worries, you can still bring your fiancé from his/her home country through K1 visa. You can start this process by filing Fiancé Petition in the United States on behalf of your fiancé.
If you are not married yet… and your spouse (US citizen) is in the United States,