Bringing Spouses to Live in the United States as Permanent Residents
In order to bring your spouse (husband or wife) to live in the United States as a green card holder (permanent resident), you must be either a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
How to Bring your Spouse to the United States
If you or a member of your family is in the U.S. military special conditions may apply to your situation. For information and additional resources, see the “Military” section of our website.
To complete the process, the petitioner must submit:
Conditional Residence and Removing Conditions
If you have been married less than 2 years when your spouse is granted permanent resident status, your spouse will receive permanent resident status on a conditional basis. To remove the conditions on residence, you and your spouse must apply together using Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence. (Note that Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card, is not used for this purpose.)
You must apply to remove conditional status within the 90-day period before the expiration date on the conditional resident card. If you fail to file during this time, your spouse’s resident status will be terminated and he or she may be subject to removal from the United States. For more information, see the “Remove Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage” page.
To check the status of your visa petition, see the “My Case Status” page.
Can My Spouse Come to the United States to Live While the Visa Petition Is Pending?
If you are a U.S. citizen, once you file Form I-130, your spouse is eligible to apply for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa. This will entitle him or her to come to the United States to live and work while the visa petition is pending. To petition for this benefit, file Form I-129F. Note that you are not required to file Form I-129F. Your spouse may wait abroad for immigrant visa processing. However, seeking a K-3 visa can be an additional method for him or her to come to the United States. For more information, see the “K-3/K-4 Nonimmigrant Visas” page.
If you are a permanent resident and you have filed Form I-130 for your spouse and/or minor children on or before December 21, 2000, your spouse and/or children may be eligible for the V visa classification if more than three years have passed since the I-130 was filed. For more information on V visas, see the “V Nonimmigrant Visas” page.
My Petition was Denied: Can I Appeal?
If the visa petition you filed is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal and when you must file the appeal. After your appeal form and the required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals. For more information, see the “How Do I Customer Guides”.
This section is for beneficiaries who became permanent residents through a preference classification.
If you had children who did not obtain permanent residence at the same time you did, they may be eligible for follow-to-join benefits. This means that you do not have to submit a separate Form I-130 for your children. In addition, your children will not have to wait any extra time for a visa number to become available. In this case, you may simply notify a U.S. consulate that you are a permanent resident so that your children can apply for an immigrant visa.
Your children may be eligible for following-to-join benefits if:
If your family member (child) falls into this category and you adjusted to permanent residency in the United States, you may submit the following:
If you are in the United States and have not yet filed to adjust your status to permanent resident, you can file Form I-824 for your child overseas with your Form I-485. When concurrently filing Form I-824, it does not require any supporting documentation.
If you received the immigrant visa overseas, you may contact the National Visa Center (NVC) for follow-to-join information. Direct such inquiry by sending an e-mail to NVCInquiry@state.gov or by writing to the National Visa Center, ATTN: WC, 32 Rochester Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801-2909.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/08/2012
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