Permanent Residency – spouse

A U.S. citizen who is married to a foreign national who is currently in the United States can often apply for the foreign national spouse to “adjust status” and become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). Most often, a foreign national spouse will be able to become a green card holder without leaving the United States.

The petitioner of the Green card application must be a U.S. citizen. To adjust status, the foreign nation spouse must be present within the United States, and must have entered the United States legally. If your spouse is not within the United States, a consultation with an immigration attorney is recommended.

The first stage in obtaining lawful permanent residency requires the U.S. citizen spouse to apply for an immigrant visa for the foreign national spouse.

The U.S. citizen spouse will also be required to sponsor the foreign national spouse for adjustment of status. The U.S. citizen will be required to demonstrate an ability to financially support the foreign national. When the adjustment of status application is submitted, the foreign national can also apply for employment authorization and advanced parole to travel internationally.

Once the adjustment of status application is filed, the foreign national will be required to attend a biometrics appointment where he or she will be required to provide fingerprints to the USCIS. Additionally, the foreign national and U.S. citizen must also be required to attend an interview at a local USCIS field office. After the interview, the USCIS will issue the foreign national spouse a permanent residency card. If the couple has been married for less than two years, the foreign national will be granted conditional permanent residency. Two years after being granted conditional permanent residency, the foreign national will be required to apply for the removal of conditions to permanent residency.

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