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Green Card Guide: Living in the U.S. and Married to a U.S. Citizen

Green Card Guide: Living in the U.S. and Married to a U.S. Citizen

The Basics

This guide is for married couples where both spouses live in the United States and the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen.

If you haven’t already, first make sure to read our general overview of the marriage-based green card process, explained in plain language. If you have, great! In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of applying for a spouse visa (marriage-based green card) step by step.

How long does it take to get a spousal green card? 8-11 months for application processing, plus 1-2 months to schedule the interview) (more details on timing)

What is the estimated cost of a spousal green card? $1,960 ($1,760 in government fees + $200 for medical exam) (more details on cost)

Not sure if you’re eligible to apply for a green card for a spouse? You can check your eligibility through Boundless without providing any personal information. When you’re ready to apply, Boundless can guide you through every milestone of the marriage-based green card process, starting with your Form I-130 all the way to the finish line. Learn more, or get started today.

Step 1: Green Card Application

If you both live in the United States and the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen, you’re in luck! You can save time by combining two parts of the process in one “concurrent filing” that you send in a single package to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the government agency that handles these applications:

  1. Establishing the marriage relationship (Form I-130, officially called the “Petition for Alien Relative”)
  2. Applying for the green card (Form I-485, officially called the “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status”)

Attending your green card interview

Once USCIS has completed all the background processing of your visa application materials, your file is transferred to your nearest USCIS field office. (more…)

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