United States Immigration
United States Immigration Lawyers
Apply for a
Green Card

The process starts when a U.S. citizen files a petition for Alien Relative (form I-130) to immigrate to America with the appropriate immigration Field Office of the USCIS. In certain cases the initial paperwork can be filled at a U.S. consulate or embassy, usually when an American citizen lives in a foreign country

American immigration laws consider a spouse to be:

A spouse is a legally married husband or wife, and simply living together does not constitute marriage in the eyes of the law. So called "common-law" husband or wife may sometimes be considered spouses, but only if the law of a specific country where they occurred, gives the the same rights, obligations and protections, that lawful marriages have. In countries where it is possible to have more then one spouses, only the first spouse (wife) will be considered for immigration.

there is no formal age requirement to file a petition for a husband or wife to immigrate to the U.S., but in order to sign and file an Affidavit of Support on form I-864, a U.S. citizen must be 18 years old and live in the States.

The National Visa Center processing.

Approved by the USCIS office in the United States petitions are transferred to the National Visa Center - NVC which will conduct the following actions:

It will assign a unique case number.
Will send form DS-3022 to in order to select the so called Agent which can be anyone including the applicant and choose the Address. All future correspondence from National Visa Center regarding immigrant visa will be sent to the Agent.
Will send the bill to pay all processing fees to the person who petitioned for the immigrant.
After receiving the appropriate fees NVC sends Affidavit of Support to the petitioner.
Sends the bill for immigrant visa processing fee.
Next NVC will send a package with instructions to the agent (after visa processing fees are paid).
Will conduct final reviews of the application to insure it is complete.
Finally it will send the petition the the appropriate American consulate or embassy where a spouse will apply for immigrant visa.

Fees for the National Visa Center (NVC) Services.

Note, that during the process NVC sends two separate bills. First for processing of Affidavit of Support. This bill is send to the petitioner, the second bill for processing immigrant visa is send to the Agent.

If you filed a petition for your spouse when you were a lawful permanent resident.

In some cases a spouse applied for an immigrant visa for a husband or wife when the person was a permanent resident in the U.S. and later become a citizen. Such application should be upgraded to immediate relative status form its original "family second preference(F2 status). It can be archived by sending proof of the citizenship status in the United States to the National Visa Center.

Child status.

A child can be included in his or her parent petition but can not have so called "derivative status". If a U.S. citizen files a petition for a spouse, the person must also file separate immigrant visa paperwork for each child. It is different in case when a person had a child born in a foreign country after they become a U.S. citizen. Such child may qualify to be a U.S. citizen as well. A U.S. embassy representative will advice and make a determination if a child is a U.S. citizen or not, and they can apply for U.S. passport or an immigrant visa if they wish to immigrate to America.

Conditional green card.

Usually in all cases when people were married for less then 2 years the green card status will be considered conditional (less then 2 years from when the marriage took place to the moment a spouse comes to the United States on immigrant visa) Spouses should apply for removal of conditional status within 90 days of the second anniversary of the date when the immigrant husband or wife came to the U.S. It should be filed with local USCIS office.

Certain conditions makes an applicant ineligible for an immigrant visa to the United States:

Drug trafficking.
Having HIV/AIDS.
Overstaying a previous visa.
Practicing polygamy.
Advocating the overthrow of the government.
Submitting fraudulent documents.

US Immigration