Obtaining a green card through a spouse is a multi-step application process and requires patience, time and money. A husband of an U.S. citizen is considered an IR-1 status immigrant and is not subject to visa wait times. Unfortunately, the husband of a Legal Permanent Resident is classified as Family Second Preference, F2 status, and is subject to visa wait times. Before application for a green card, an immigrant visa must first be obtained from an U.S. Consulate General.
File the I-130 Petition For Alien Relative with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The petition must be filed by the U.S. citizen spouse on behalf of her alien husband. The form can be found at the website of the USCIS and must be accompanied by all required supporting documents and the $420 filling fee in the form of check or money order made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Required documents include proof of your U.S. citizenship, such as a photocopy of your U.S. passport or naturalization certificate, copy of marriage certificate, copies of any divorce or death certificates, one passport style photo of both the petitioner and the alien spouse, two completed Form G-325A for both the petitioner and the alien spouse, documents showing joint ownership of a property or assets, documents proving co ownership of finances, birth certificates of children born to both the petitioner and alien spouse and sworn affidavits by witnesses testifying to your married relationship.
Gather the supporting visa documents. The national average processing time for I-130 is five months, do not continue with the process until your petition has been processed.Once the I-130 petition is approved by the USCIS, it is sent to the National Visa Center for processing. The NVC then contacts the designated U.S. Consulate General to open the visa process. The U.S. consulate will contact the visa applicant -- your husband -- to schedule an interview. The applicant will receive information on when and where to obtain the required medical examination and when to appear at the consulate. Do not contact the consulate, they will contact you. At the visa interview, the applicant must present a valid passport, completed medical examination forms, original and copy of their marriage certificate translated into English, two passport-style photographs, two copies of Form DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration (available on the web site of the U.S. Department of State) and a completed I-864 Affidavit of Support.
Attend the immigrant visa interview at the nearest U.S. Consulate General. Only spouses of U.S. citizens can obtain immediate visas for the U.S., that is, a spouse of a green card holder must wait for a visa appointment to become available. The average wait time is three to five years. At the visa interview you must have all documents available, translated, signed or notorized as required. Any discrepancy in your documents could extend the process yet further. If granted an immigrant visa to the U.S., your passport with visa will be returned to you following the interview.
Submit Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence, I-485, available from the the USCIS website, is the application to receive a green card and should be filed as soon as possible after entering the country. Documents that must accompany I-485 include a copy of your birth certificate, copies of the information pages and U.S. visa in your passport, two passport style photos, copy of the I-130 approval notice, and the $1,070 application fee in the form of check or money order made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Apply to remove the conditions from a conditional green card after two years. If you and your husband are married for less than two years at the time of filing I-485, he is only eligible for a conditional green card. If you have been married for more than two years at the time of application this condition does not apply. A conditional green card expires after two years. Before the two-year expiration, both spouses must jointly file form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence with the USCIS. The purpose of the conditional green card is to protect the system from sham marriages.