Our family-based immigration team has extensive experience helping US citizens and permanent residents sponsor their wife for a green card. In this article, we will explain the green card wife process and answer questions like “how to apply for green card for my wife”. If you are a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident married to a foreign national, you can apply for a green card for your wife. Whether your wife resides in the United States or abroad, you can petition for her to obtain a marriage-based green card.
We have compiled a comprehensive green card wife guide to all the steps you need to take to apply for your wife’s green card that we hope will help you understand the green card wife visa application process, and will provide answers to some of the frequently asked questions.
Please note that marriage to a US citizen or a green card holder does not automatically mean that you will receive a green card approval. You must meet all the requirements. We hope that the below information will help answer your questions if you are wondering, “how to apply for green card for my wife?”
Green Card Wife Frequently Asked Questions
I have a green card, can I bring my wife to the United States?
Yes, if you have a green card you can bring your wife to the United States. You can file a petition to sponsor your wife for a marriage-based green card in the F2A family-based second preference immigrant visa category. We get this question a lot during consultations with a lot of people asking whether a green card holder can apply for a wife green card. Many people incorrectly believe that only US citizens can petition for a green card for their wife. This is not true. Permanent residents may petition for their wives under the F2A visa category. So if you are wondering, “can I file for my wife with a green card?”, the answer is yes. However, you need to make sure you and your wife meet all requirements for a marriage-based green card.
My wife has a green card, can I get one?
Generally yes. If your wife has a green card, she can petition for your green card under the F2A family-based second preference green card category. You need to make sure you and your wife meet all requirements for a marriage-based green card.
How can I apply for my wife for a green card?
To apply for your wife for a green card you must make sure that both you and your wife meet all the requirements to qualify for a marriage-based green card. Then you must make sure you prepare and file all applications properly, including preparing all forms and necessary supporting documents. At your immigration interview, you and your wife will need to make sure that you provide all relevant documents and answer the officer’s questions. At the end of the green card wife process, your wife will receive a marriage-based green card.
How to File Green Card for my Wife?
The green card wife process has three steps. First, the US citizen or permanent resident petitioner has to file an immigrant petition by submitting Form I-130 with all relevant supporting documents. Second, depending on whether your wife is in the United States or abroad, your wife will submit either an Application to Adjust Status, on Form I-485, or if your wife is outside the United States, an application for an immigrant visa, on Form DS-260. In some cases, you may file the Adjustment of Status Application together with the immigrant petition. Finally, your wife will have to attend an interview and undergo a medical examination before the application can be approved. Below you will find a more detailed explanation on how to apply for a wife visa in the USA. These steps should help answer your question if you are wondering “how to file a green card for my wife?”
What are the wife visa USA requirements?
Before you start the green card wife process, it is critical that you make sure that you and your wife qualify for a marriage-based green card. In order to apply for a green card for your wife, you have to meet the wife visa USA requirements highlighted below:
- You are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- You and your wife are legally married. The marriage does not need to occur in the United States. However, it must be a legal marriage in the country in which it was entered into. A civil union or other union not recognized as a marriage, will not allow you to sponsor your wife for a marriage-based green card. If you are in a same-sex relationship, it is particulalry important to pay attention to this rule as many countries unfortunately do not allow same sex couples to legally marry. Please read our same-sex marriage green card article for more information on how to prove your legal marriage if you are in a same-sex relationship.
- Your current marriage must be your and your wife’s only marriage. If you or your wife were previously married, you must show that the previous marriage was legally terminated by divorce or death. Make sure to obtain all relevant documents before you start the green card wife process.
- You must be able to prove that your relationship is genuine and not entered into for the purposes of evading United States immigration laws. When applying for a green card for your wife, you must submit documentary evidence of the validity of your relationship. For more information on how to prove a bona fide marriage, please read our article on the topic.
- The US citizen spouse must meet at least 125% of the federal income poverty guidelines for a household of their size when applying for a green card for her/his wife. Otherwise, you will need to obtain a joint sponsor.
How to Apply for a Green Card for Your Wife as a US citizen?
If you are a United States citizen, you can apply for a green card for your wife under the immediate relative category. The immediate relative category has several advantages to the F2A family-based second category, the most important of which is that there is no annual cap on the amount of green cards issued in this category. Below you will find a detailed, step-by-step answer to the question “How can I get my wife a green card”:
The step-by-step process of applying for a green card for your wife
Step 1: The US citizen files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
The first step to obtaining a green card for your wife is to file an immigrant petition on behalf of your wife. This petition let’s the government know that you would like to sponsor your wife for a green card. The most critical part of the immigrant petition is to demonstrate to the government that you are in a legal, valid, and bona fide marriage. Once the immigrant petition is approved, your wife will have a green card reserved for her and the focus will turn on your wife and whether she qualifies for a green card wife approval.
Step 2: The foreign national wife applies for a green card
The second step in the process involves your wife applying for her green card. If she is inside the United States, she can apply for Adjustment of Status. To do so your wife will have to submit Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status. The purpose of this form is to establish that your wife is eligible to become a permanent resident and that she is not inadmissible on any grounds. If you are a US citizen applying for a green card for your wife under the immediate relative category, you may apply for adjustment of status concurrently with the I-130 petition as long as your wife is located inside the United States. Concurrent filings are only available for green card holders petitioning for their wife if the F2A category is current on the visa bulletin.
If you are filing for adjustment of status, your wife can also apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and for an Advance Parole Document which will respectively allow your wife to work in the United States and temporarily travel outside of the United States while the adjustment of status application is pending. Your wife will have to submit the relevant forms I-765 and I-131, together with the necessary supporting documents to qualify for employment and travel authorization.
If your wife is located outside of the United States, she can apply for an immigrant visa at a US Consulate or Embassy in her home country. As soon as her I-130 Petition is approved, she can file Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application with the National Visa Center from where the application will be transferred to the relevant US Embassy or Consulate. The purpose of this form is to establish that your wife is not inadmissible to the United States on any grounds, such as prior immigration violations, health conditions, or criminal convictions.
Step 3: Your wife attends a medical exam and immigration interview
The next step in the green card wife process is passing a medical exam for a green card. Your wife will need to attend a medical exam with a government approved physician who will sign the relevant forms for your wife to take to her interview. If you are filing for adjustment of status, the medical exam may be submitted together with the adjustment of status application or your wife may submit it at her green card interview. The adjustment of status application cannot be approved if a completed medical exam, in a sealed envelope received from the physician, is not submitted to the government.
At the end of the green card wife process, your wife will need to attend an immigration interview during which the officer will ask questions about the applications and will make sure that your wife qualifies for a marriage-based green card. If you are filing for adjustment of status, both you, the US citizen or permanent resident petitioner, and your wife will be required to attend the interview at a USCIS field office. If the case is approved, your wife will be sent her green card after the interview. If you are filing for an immigrant visa at a US Embassy or Consulate, your wife will attend the immigration interview by herself. After the interview, if approved, your wife will be issued an immigrant visa which she can use to enter the United States. Once in the United States, your wife will be sent a green card by the government in the mail.
What documents do you need to apply for a green card for your wife?
There are several documents that you will need to submit throughout your green card wife process. Below we highlight some critical documents you can expect to submit when applying for a green card for your wife. Please note, this is not a complete list as each case is different and your case may require additional documents to be submitted:
- Proof of your US citizenship or permanent resident status, such as a passport, birth certificate or green card.
- Proof of your legal marriage, such as a marriage certificate.
- Proof of termination of all prior marriages, such as a divorce decree or judgment.
- Proof that you are in a bona fide marital relationship. This includes documents proving that you live together with your wife, that you have combined your finances, that you present yourself as a married couple in public, that you file taxes together, that you have children together, and other similar evidence proving that you are in a valid marital relationship not solely entered into to obtain an immigration benefit.
- Proof that the sponsor and/or joint sponsor earns above 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for the household size.
Our Green Card Wife Services
Are you a US citizen or permanent resident wondering “How to apply for a green card for my wife?” If you are wondering how to apply for a green card for your wife, our family-based immigration attorneys can devise a custom tailored immigration strategy for your needs. Our attorneys have extensive experience with the marriage-based green card process and can help your wife obtain a green card so that you can live together as a family in the United States.
During your consultation, our family-based immigration lawyer will provide an honest assessment of your case, and a recommendation about your next steps.
Disclaimer: This blog article is provided by Pandev Law, LLC for general educational and informational purposes only. Although this article discusses general legal issues, it does not constitute legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented in this article, or elsewhere on this website, without seeking the advice of appropriate legal counsel, or other professional counsel, licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. Pandev Law, LLC expressly disclaims any and all liability with respect to any actions taken, or not taken, based on any content of this article or website. This blog article may constitute attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.