Are you looking for the best way to help your husband or wife get a green card?

If you are married to someone who isn’t a United States citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to help them with the immigration process so that you can live together in the United States. Keep in mind that marriage to a United States citizen does not guarantee that your spouse will be able to get a green card. Both you and your spouse will need to submit the correct forms and supporting documents to the government to prove that your spouse is eligible for a green card. In addition, your spouse must meet all of the other requirements for becoming a permanent resident or will need to get a waiver to overcome any obstacles.

The two main marriage based immigration paths are adjustment of status and immigrant visas. You can learn more about both of these options below.

Marriage Based Adjustment of Status

If your spouse is already in the United States, then adjustment of status may be an option for you. Adjustment of status is a way to obtain a green card while completing the entire immigration process in the United States. This means that your spouse will not need to travel overseas to do an interview at an embassy or consulate.

But, not everyone qualifies for adjustment of status. It is very important to make sure that you and your spouse qualify for this process before you submit any forms to the government. If you apply but don’t meet all of the qualifications, you risk facing deportation. You should always discuss your specific situation with an immigration lawyer before you begin the adjustment of status process.

Marriage Based Immigrant Visas

If your spouse is not already in the United States or does not qualify for adjustment of status, you should explore whether an immigrant visa is an option for your family. The immigrant visa process involves applying for an immigrant visa and doing an interview at an embassy or consulate overseas. If all goes well at the immigrant visa interview, your spouse will receive an immigrant visa. When your spouse enters the United States using the immigrant visa, he or she will become a permanent resident.

If your spouse in in the United States and you apply for an immigrant visa, it is very important to make sure that he or she meets all of the requirements for an immigrant visa before departing the United States. After all, you don’t want your spouse to travel overseas and then not be able to return to the United States because they don’t qualify for an immigrant visa. Again, it is very important to check with an immigration lawyer to make sure that there won’t be any surprises during the interview.

Learn more about marriage based green cards

To help you better understand marriage based green cards, I've collected answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that I run into as an Idaho immigration lawyer:

Frequently Asked Questions About Marriage Based Green Cards