New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

What Documents Do I Need To File Green Card Through Marriage?

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova

After a US citizen marries a non-citizen, if non-citizen desires to receive an Immigration status while in the US, the couple will need to submit certain application forms and supporting documents to the USCIS so that the non-citizen can adjust status to become a permanent resident or a green cardholder. This is true for those couples where a non-US citizen can actually adjust. If a person can adjust, is a vast topic, and this article is not covering it. This article is focusing on the forms that a person needs to submit to the USCIS for a successful application. For example, it is important to know that if a non-citizen entered the country illegally she/he will need a waiver of unlawful presence to be able to receive a green card. A non-citizen also may face a bar to adjustment due to criminal convictions, previous Immigration issues, and more. Read more on waivers here »

The most common documents and forms needed to be filed for adjustment of status based on marriage are:

  • I-130
  • I 130A
  • I-485
  • I-693 (Medical exam: no charge)
  • I-864 (Affidavit of Sponsor: no charge)
  • I-765 (Employment Authorization: no charge if a fee is paid for I-485 form)
  • I-131 (Travel Document: no charge if a fee is paid for I-485 form)

Now, if a joint sponsor is used, he/she will have to submit a form I 864 as well, with all necessary attachments. At times, a form I 864A will be used as well for members of the sponsor’s household.

One will be able to find these forms at The forms themselves are free. But there are filing fees one will need to submit to the government together with the complete package. One should read instructions to each form to make sure all supporting documents are produced.

For example, supporting documents include:

For form I 485(Adjustment Of Status) (On Behalf Of The Alien)

  • A copy of the birth certificate (translated) (at times, a birth certificate is non-existent, then a person must follow instructions and submit documents that can substitute it).
  • A copy of passport
  • A copy of the US visa
  • Copy of I -94 FRONT and BACK (latest one)
  • Copy of the document regarding the entry if other than I 94 (fore example: parole)
  • Photos
  • Medical exam in a sealed envelope
  • Copies of disposition for all arrests (hopefully, you don’t have them)

With I -130 (Petition For Immediate relative) (On Behalf Of The US Citizen)

  • Copies of documents proving US citizenship (US Passport or birth certificate; certificate of citizenship or naturalization)
  • a copy of marriage certificate
  • if previously one/both were married – copies of judgment of divorce confirming that both spouses’ all previous marriages were terminated
  • a US passport style photo of US citizen
  • documents confirming real marriage (joint ownership of property; tenancy in common residence; co-mingling of funds; birth of kids; affidavits of friends; photos and etc.)
  • Federal Income tax return for the most recent tax year (transcripts or photocopy, if photocopy - + W2 and 1099).

Now, this list may vary depending on the circumstances. For example, for those who need to restore their arrival/departure record form I 94, they will need to submit a form I 102 and pay an appropriate fee for it. Those who need a waiver, will also have to submit it with a fee.

After the imposition of the public charge rule, until it is abolished, a person who is filing for an adjustment of status in the USA, will also have to submit an extensive list of documents regarding the public charge factors, along with the form I 944.

This list is not complete, and each case has to be evaluated separately. All the documents have to be neatly put together and with a cover letter mailed to the USCIS to the correct address. At the Law Office of Alena Shautsova, P.C., New York Immigration lawyer base din Brooklyn, NYC, we help clients to navigate complex waters of the Immigration. If you need a consultation for your adjustment of status case, please call us to reserve it at 917-885-2261.

02 March 2013
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