Who is Qualified to Apply for a Marriage-Based Green Card?
Do you consider applying for a Marriage-Based Green Card for your spouse? Signing and submitting Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) makes you the sponsor. Check this page for the requirements of the sponsor and applicant.
The most important factor when applying for a spousal visa, the marriage-based Green Card, is the fact that your marriage is a bona fide, legal and valid relationship. Proving it to the USCIS can be a difficult process, but with the right documentation and evidence, it can be a straightforward process.
I. A legally valid marriage - bona fide relationship
The USCIS will constantly review all marriage-based Green Card applications to determine whether or not they are based on a bona fide, real, genuine marriage. There are instances where couples enter into a fraudulent marriage to circumvent the immigration process to illegally provide immigration benefits. In order to overcome this notion, all marriage-based Green Card applicants and their main sponsor spouse must provide documentation, evidence, and proof of the genuine nature of the legally valid bona fide marriage.
Same-sex marriages are also valid for a marriage-based Green Card application as long as the marriage was legally valid bona fide where the marriage occurred. Should the same-sex couple be married where same-sex marriage is not legally official, then they will need to officially get married where same-sex marriage is deemed legally valid before applying for a marriage-based Green Card application.
II. Main sponsor requirement(s)
Marriage-based Green Card applications are available to foreign nonimmigrant spouses that are married to a U.S. citizen or a U.S. Green Card holder. Among other requirements, the following are additional requirements to keep in mind for the main sponsor:
- Main sponsor must be legally married to the marriage-based Green Card applicant
- Main sponsor must sponsor the marriage-based Green Card applicant financially during the application process
- Main sponsor must meet the minimum income requirement set by the USCIS
- Main sponsor must maintain residence within the United States
- Main sponsor that live outside of the United States must provide evidence of their intent to return to live in the United States
- Wait at least five (5) years since the approval of the main sponsor’s Green Card, if received through a separate marriage-based Green Card application
III. Marriage-based Green Card applicant requirement(s)
Among other requirements, the following are additional requirements to keep in mind for the marriage-based Green Card applicant:
- The marriage-based Green Card applicant must be able to pass the medical examination
- The marriage-based Green Card applicant must not have been convicted of crimes deemed by the USCIS as ineligible
- The marriage-based Green Card applicant must not have a background that would deem to be a security risk to the United States
- The marriage-based Green Card applicant must not have questionable immigration history that the USCIS deems to be:
- Fraudulent misrepresentations made to the USCIS
- Affected by removal proceedings, not adhering to 90-days rule, or other immigration violations