Whether you just recently moved to the U.S. or are here only temporarily for work, many immigrants seek to maintain their newfound life in America. Because of that, many seek to bring over family members to help with this process. This is especially true if an individual does not want to return to their home county to visit loved ones.
In order to bring a spouse over to the U.S., there are some eligibility requirements. To begin, a person must either be a U.S. citizen or a green card hold in order for his or her spouse to live in the United States as a green card holder. For U.S. residents, regardless if their spouse in inside the U.S. through lawful admission or they are currently outside the U.S., he or she must file form I-130, which is a petition for alien relative. This same form is required for green card holders as well.
Whether you are a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, one must demonstrate this status before they can complete the process. This is typically done by providing a copy of a U.S passport, birth certificate, naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship or a copy of a green card.
For those married less than two years, when a spouse is granted permanent resident status, this will be on a conditional basis. The conditions can be removed by both applying by using Form I-751. One must apply for this removal within a 90 period before the expiration of the conditional resident card. Failure to do so could cause a spouse to be subject to removal.
Keeping loved ones close, especially a spouse, is important for many immigrants that have relocated to the U.S. However, this can be a process, and it is not always easy and straightforward. Because of that, it is important to understand all applicable laws, what the application process entails and what steps you can take to protect your rights.
Source: Uscis.gov, "Bringing Spouses to Live in the United States as Permanent Residents," accessed Dec. 18, 2017