List of Documents for Green Card through Marriage

Would you like to sponsor your spouse for a Green Card through marriage? In this guide, I will list the necessary documents you and your spouse must submit. If you have any questions, you may call us at +1-818-741-1117 or you may request a free consultation by clicking this link.

 

Necessary documents to apply for a Green Card from within the United States:

 

Both you and your spouse must prove your identity, citizenship and relationship to each other.  You, the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, are the petitioner.  Your spouse is called the beneficiary.

 

Forms and evidence submitted by you (the petitioner):

 

1. Form I-130 and I-130A supplement – This form proves the relationship between you and your spouse.  Form I-130 mostly asks for information about you and the I-130A supplement asks for information about your spouse.  You must also submit:

  • Evidence that you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident such as your:
    • Birth Certificate
    • Naturalization Certificate
    • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
    • Unexpired Passport
    • Both sides of your Permanent Resident Card
  • Proof of your marriage
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Divorce Decree or Death Certificate of prior spouse if you or your spouse were previously married
    • Proof that your marriage is bona-fide (real) such as:
      • Documentation of joint ownership of property such as a mortgage or land deed
      • Lease showing that you both live at the same address
      • Documentation of combined financial resources such as bank statements or bills in both your names
      • Birth certificates of children you had together
      • Affidavits from people who have knowledge of your relationship
      • Photos of you together
      • Copies of texts, emails or cards sent to one another
  • Two passport-style photos of you and your spouse

 

2. Form I-864 – This form proves that you are financially able to support your spouse.  You must also submit:

  • Proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Most recent Income Tax Return (optional: three years of income tax returns)
  • Most recent Form W-2 or 1099 (optional: Form W-2 and 1099 for past three years)
  • Optional: six months of paystubs
  • Optional: Employment confirmation letter
  • Additional Evidence – depending on individual circumstances, you may need to submit additional evidence.  This could include proof of military status, evidence of not being required to file income taxes, assets, and proof of spouse’s income

 

Forms and evidence that must be submitted by your spouse (the beneficiary):

 

1. Form I-485- This form proves your spouse’s eligibility for a Green Card.  They must also submit:

  • Two passport style photos
  • Photo ID such as:
    • Passport (most common)
    • Driver’s License
    • Military ID
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Proof of Legal Entry into the U.S. such as:
    • Passport Stamp
    • Visa
    • Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record
  • Proof of maintaining legal immigration status such as:
    • Form I-797 approval notice
    • Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record
    • Form I-20 (for those with F or M visas)
    • Form DS-2019 (for those with J visas)
    • Passport Stamp
  • Additional Evidence – depending on your spouse’s individual circumstances, they might need to submit additional evidence.  This could include documents such as arrest records or waivers.

 

2. Form I-944 – This form proves that your spouse can support themselves financially.  They must also submit:

  • Income Tax Returns or Transcripts for all household members
  • Proof of assets such as:
    • Property deed and appraisal
    • Bank account statements
    • Annuities
    • Stocks and bonds /certificates of deposit
    • Retirement and Education accounts
  • Proof of Liabilities/Debts such as:
    • Mortgages
    • Car loans
    • Unpaid spouse or child support
    • Unpaid taxes
    • Credit card debt
  • Credit score and report
  • Proof of bankruptcy (if applicable)
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of use of public benefits such as:
    • Any federal, state, local, or tribal cash assistance program
    • Supplemental Security Income
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    • Food Stamps
    • Section 8 Housing or Rental Assistance
    • Medicaid
  • High School or College Diplomas
  • Occupational Certificates or Licenses
  • Proof of English or other language skills

 

Optional forms and evidence that can be submitted by your spouse (the beneficiary):

 

1. Form I-765 – This form is used to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which will allow your spouse to work while their case is pending.  They must also submit:

  • Two passport-style photos
  • I-485 Receipt Notice if they are applying after submitting their I-485 application
  • Passport
  • Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record
  • Front and Back of previously issued EAD card (if applicable)

 

2. Form I-131 –   This form is used to apply for advance parole, which allows your spouse to travel outside of the U.S. while their case is pending.  They must also submit:

  • Two passport-style photos
  • I-485 Receipt Notice if they are applying after submitting their I-485 application
  • Photo ID with date of birth such as:
    • Passport
    • Driver’s License

 

Points to keep in mind:

 

  • The above forms and evidence can all be submitted together in one package
  • Do not submit original documents unless specifically instructed to do so.  You might not get them back!
  • All documents in a language other than English must include both a copy of the original document and a certified translation.
  • You do not need to submit the same document multiple times in the same package, even if required for more than one form.

 

You and your spouse will both be required to appear for a Green Card Interview at a local USCIS field office.  Your spouse will need to bring:

  • The interview Notice
  • Photo ID
  • Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record completed by a designated doctor and in a sealed envelope
  • All immigration documents ever issued
  • All travel documents used to enter the U.S.
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Supporting evidence of your relationship
  • Birth Certificates for all children
  • Your birth Certificate
  • Proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Any other documents that were previously submitted as part of your spouse’s application

 

Bring both originals and copies of all documents to the Green Card interview.  Be sure to include document translations if necessary.

Necessary documents to apply for a Green Card based on marriage from outside the United States

 

1. Form I-130 and I-130A supplement – The same documents listed in the I-130 section above apply here too, except the passport-style photo of your spouse is not required if your spouse is outside the U.S.

 

2. Form I-864- The same documents in the I-864 section listed above will also apply here.

 

3. Civil Documents for the DS-260 and National Visa Center (NVC)- Your spouse will need to upload the following, though exact documents can vary somewhat from country to country:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Court or Prison Records (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificate for all marriages
  • If previously married, proof that prior marriage(s) ended such as:
    • Divorce Decree
    • Death Certificate
    • Annulment Papers
  • If you were previously married, proof that prior marriage(s) ended such as:
    • Divorce Decree
    • Death Certificate
    • Annulment Papers
  • Military Records (if applicable)
  • Passport
  • Police Certificates for your spouse’s country and every country where they lived for a year or more after age 16.

 

4. Green Card interview- Your spouse will schedule an interview at a U.S. consulate in their home country.

  • Visa Appointment Letter
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record completed by a designated doctor and in a sealed envelope
  • Original or certified copies of all documents that were uploaded to the NVC.  Documents must be translated if they are in a language other than English or the language spoken in the country where the consulate is located.
  • Passport valid for at least six months
  • Two passport-style photos
  • DS-260 confirmation page

 

Conclusion

 

Even though the process is somewhat different, the list of documents required to apply for your Green Card based on marriage is quite similar no matter if you apply from inside or outside the United States. 

 

If you have any questions on any of the information discussed in this guide, feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer, I’m very responsive via email, and I would be happy to help you.

 

Resources:

 

I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA

I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency

I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

I-131, Application for Travel Document

I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

Immigrant Visa Process – Begin NVC Processing