Visa and Greencards > Family > I-130 Immediate Relatives
I-130 Marriage-Based Green Card
US citizens and US permanent residents are able to sponsor their spouses for permanent residency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to petition for a green card for their spouses?
US citizens or US permanent residents.
Can you get a green card through marriage?
Yes – spouses of US citizens or green card holders are eligible to apply for a green card.
Who qualifies for an I-130?
US citizens can use an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative to apply for a green card for their spouse, unmarried and married children, their siblings or their parents. Green card holders can use Form I-130 to petition on behalf of their spouses or unmarried children.
How do I get a green card after marriage?
The first step in the green card process is submitting Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS. Once this is approved, the applicant will either apply for their green card through an Adjustment of Status, if within the US, or for an Immigrant Visa from a US consulate abroad.
How do I apply for a green card for my spouse?
You must file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS. After approval, you must then either file an Adjustment of Status application with USCIS or apply for an Immigrant Visa through consular processing.
How long does it take to get a marriage-based green card?
It depends. Typically, applicants receive their green cards around 18 months after beginning the green card application process. However, processing times are subject to change.
However, expedited processing through a US Consulate is available in certain circumstances if the US petitioner and spouse are currently living overseas. In these cases, green card applications can typically be processed in 3 months or less.
What documents are needed to apply for a marriage-based green card?
For a marriage-based green card application, you must submit evidence of your marital relationship and biographical information regarding the petitioner and applicant. To evidence the spousal relationship, you must submit a copy of your marriage certificate, any prior divorce decrees and evidence of your “bona fide” marriage. This includes documents showing your cohabitation, combined financial resources, children’s birth certificates (if applicable), affidavits from friends and family regarding your relationship, and any other evidence to show your ongoing marriage.
How long does it take for the I-130 to be approved?
It depends. As of August 2020, the I-130 processing times for the spouse of a US citizen are approximately 6 to 12 months. For permanent residents applying for their spouses, the processing times are significantly longer.
What happens after the I-130 is approved?
Congratulations! If your I-130 Petition is approved, this means that USCIS agrees that your spouse qualifies for a green card. The next step is to apply either for an Adjustment of Status, if your spouse is within the US, or for an Immigrant Visa from a US consulate overseas.
What does an I-130 approval mean?
The I-130 Petition is the first part of the marriage-based green card application. If this is approved, it means that USCIS has agreed that your spouse qualifies for a green card and that you have provided the necessary documents to evidence your spousal relationship.
It also means that you can move forward with the second part of the process, either applying for an Adjustment of Status or for an Immigrant Visa from a US consulate.