Document Checklist for a Green Card Through Marriage

By Cassandra Mathers
Many couples hire a lawyer to assist with the Green Card application process.

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If an American citizen legally marries a Foreign National, that Foreign National can apply for American citizenship, and a U.S. Green Card. However, to gain American citizenship this way, the couple must prove the legitimacy of their marriage and file paperwork to apply for the Green Card. This application process is lengthy and complex, and requires both spouses to submit documents.

Documents for the U.S. Citizen

The spouse that is already a current U.S. citizen must first file the Petition for Alien Relative, USCIS Form I-130. This can be done concurrently with other documents filed on behalf of the Foreign National Spouse, or before the spouse begins the Green Card application process. Later, the American spouse will file the Affidavit of Support, USCIS Form I-864.

Documents for the Foreign National Spouse

The Foreign National Spouse, who is seeking the Green Card, must file a number of documents to the U.S. Government. First, he must submit the Application to Register Permanent Residence, USCIS Form I-485, and receive approval. Then, he will submit Biographic Information, USCIS Form G-325A, the Permission for Work Authorization form, USCIS Form I-765, and his Medical Examination Results, USCIS Form I-693. The U.S. government may then request additional supporting materials.

After the Paperwork

After submitting the necessary forms to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department, the Foreign National Spouse will need to be fingerprinted. After months of consideration, both spouses will be interviewed, and after passing the interview, the Foreign National Spouse will be classified as a Conditional Permanent Resident until she is sent her Permanent Resident Card, or Green Card.

About the Author

Cassandra Mathers has been writing for eHow since 2009. She graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, earning a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and anthropology. She also holds an M.A. in political science from the University of London and is finishing her Ph.D. in Islamic anthropology. She specializes in religion, politics, culture and Islam.

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