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USCIS application procedures: Marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Permanent Residence in the USA

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USCIS application procedures: Marriage to a U.S. Citizen
Marriage to a US Citizen

(Permanent Residence in the USA)

An immigrant visa through marriage falls under the Immediate Relative category. Immediate relatives of US citizens are given special preferential treatment and they are allowed to immigrate in unlimited numbers.

Spouses of U.S. citizens, along with their unmarried children (under 21 years of age) and parents all fall under this Immediate Relative category.

Who Can Apply?

  • In order to petition for a Immigrant Visa for your wife or husband, your relationship with your Spouse must be duly established. A petition cannot be filed for a spouse until the marriage ceremony has taken place. Spouses of U.S. Citizens will fall under the Immediate Relative Category, which do not have a visa quota.

How do I Apply?
  • The first step in applying for an immigrant visa is for the U.S. citizen (petitioner) to file an immigrant visa petition with Form I-130, with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and US immigration Services (USCIS).
  • While the petition is pending and if the petitioner is a U.S. Citizen, your spouse can apply for a non immigrant K-3 visa which will enable her to live and work in the United States
  • For Green Card Holders petitioners, this process can be done through the V Visa.
  • Case 1:If the Petitioner is a US Citizen
    If you are a U.S. citizen, your spouse is considered an immediate relative and is immediately eligible for an immigrant visa if your petition is approved.
  • Case 2:If the Petitioner is a Permanaent Resident
    If your spouse is legally inside the U.S. when your visa petition is approved and when an immigrant visa number becomes available, he or she may use the Form I-485 to apply to adjust his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident.
  • Note On the conditional Residence: Your spouse will receive permanent resident status on a conditional basis only if you have been married less than two years.

    In order to remove the conditional status, both you and your spouse must apply to within 90 days before the 2nd year anniversary of the date of your spouse's conditional legal permanent resident status.

What do I do Now?
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