- The beneficiary must be legally married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Lawful marriage does not have to be in the U.S.
- The beneficiary must be married only to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Sponsoring U.S. citizens and permanent residents must be married to only the beneficiary.
- The beneficiary and the petitioner spouse must be in a bona fide relationship.
Yes. Spouses of permanent residents are subject to the availability of visa numbers while spouses of U.S citizens are not. Accordingly, spouses of U.S. citizens can do concurrent filing of I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and I-485 Adjustment of Status applications.
However, spouses of Green Card holders cannot file Form I-485 until the Department of State announces in the visa bulletin that there is a Green Card available. This prevents spouses of Green Card holders from concurrent filing, which results in longer Green Card processing.
Firstly, your sponsoring spouse (whether a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident) should file Form I-130. If the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen, you can file Form I-130 together with Form I-485 concurrently.
After the review of your case, you will be invited to attend an interview with the USCIS, which will then declare the result of your case.
However, as mentioned above, if the sponsoring spouse is a Green Cardholder, you cannot file Form I-130 with Form I-485 concurrently. And you need to wait to file Form I-485 until a Green Card is available in the bulletin released by the Department of State. The average wait time for a Green Card to be available is one and a half years.
If you are outside of the U.S., you must go through a process known as consular processing.
Consular processing requires you to attend a visa interview at your home country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate after your Form I-130 petition is approved. The form I-130 petition must be submitted by your sponsoring spouse in the United States. Following the approval of your visa, you will be granted an immigrant visa to come to the U.S. as a permanent resident.
A bona fide relationship is the mutual, real, and potentially long-term engagement between partners that aspire to live a couple’s life in the U.S.
A bona fide requires you not to exploit the Green Card category with sham or fraudulent relationships. USCIS is extremely meticulous while reviewing your relationship, so you should be ready for an all-around investigation into your couple’s status.
Yes. If you have a lawful same-sex marriage, you may seek permanent residency through your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.
It depends on whether the petitioner is a U.S citizen or a Green Card holder.
If the Petitioner is a Green Card holder, children who are unmarried and under age 21 are considered derivative beneficiaries.
If the Petitioner is a U.S citizen, they cannot be issued a Green Card as beneficiaries and will have to go through the application process separately.