How to Get My Wife a Green Card

By Brandi Palkoner
husband and wife image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com

A United States citizen or permanent resident may sponsor his wife's permanent residency, also known as a green card, through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Immediate family members, including a spouse, are not required to wait for a visa number to apply for an adjustment of status, and permanent residency is effective once granted by the USCIS. Issuance of a green card requires approval of financial sponsorship by a qualifying citizen or lawful resident based on income and assets. The USCIS also verifies the current marriage and prior divorces, as well as legal entry and presence in the U.S. of both individuals.

Request the required forms electronically through the USCIS website or by calling 800-870-3676. Provide your name, mailing address and the specific forms, as well as the quantity required. Current forms and instructions are also available at the USCIS website to download and print.

Complete the petition for an alien relation (I-130), an affidavit of support (I-864) and a biographic information sheet for both you and your spouse (G-325A).Your wife must complete the application to adjust her status on form I-485.

Schedule an appointment for your wife with a civil surgeon in your area to conduct a medical checkup. Have your wife bring her photo ID and form I-693 to her appointment. The form must be completed by the physician following the examination and signed by your wife in the presence of the doctor.

Make copies of both sides of your permanent resident card, your marriage certificate and divorce decrees for any prior marriages. Copy your wife's birth certificate, visa and I-94 arrival and departure record.

Gather supporting documentation of the marriage and finances, including income and assets. The marriage must be validated by documentation of joint ownership of property, a lease or the birth certificate of you and your wife's child. If you are unable to provide one of these documents, an affidavit attesting to the validity of the marriage may be completed by a third party

Make check or money order payable to the Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services in the amount of the total of all filing fees. As of 2011, the cost of filing an I-130 is $420 and $985 or a I-485 form, as well as an $85 biometrics fee.

Provide two passport-size photos (2 by 2 inches) of you and two of your wife. Photos must be recent, within the last 30 days, and clearly display your face against a white or light background.

Enclose the completed forms, supporting documents, photos and applicable fee in an envelope.

Mail the application packet to the USCIS Chicago lockbox as required for simultaneous submission of the I-130 and I-485 forms.

Check your mail for receipt of your application, as well as further instructions. You may be advised to provide additional documents or fingerprints at a local application support center. Attend the interview as scheduled and bring any requested paperwork.

Follow up on the status of your application by visiting the USCIS website and choosing the "My Case Status" page. Enter the application number listed on the receipt notice from USCIS to find your current status and any further instructions.

About the Author

Brandi Palkoner brings a refreshing voice to the world of freelance writing. She is a member of Freelance Writers Association. Her lifelong love affair with words began at the early age of 3, when she first learned to read.