Immigrating with Your Spouse: What to Know

Love knows no bounds, language, race, nor does it discriminate. When love hits a person, they will do all that it can to fulfill it. When a Green Card holder plans to bring their husband or wife to live in the US, they have to follow certain protocols.

How To Bring Spouse to the US

A US citizen needs to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-485 or the Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status if their spouse is living inside the US. If the spouse you’re petitioning for is outside the United States also needs to fill up the form I-130. When the form is approved by the authorities, it will be processed by the consulate or embassy. Then they will provide a notification about its status.

Green Card holders who are petitioning for a spouse inside the US also need to fill up Form I-130. When the visa number becomes available, they need to apply to adjust their status to permanent residency using I-485. If the spouse has had an immigrant visa petition or labor certification that was pending before April 30, 2001, they must have continuously kept lawful status in the US so that they can legally adjust their status.

What are the Requirements?

Along with the proper fee and a filled out Form I-130, a copy of the following documentations are required:

  • Civil marriage certificate
  • All divorce decrees, death certificates, or any annulment decrees that show that all previous marriages have been terminated
  • Passport style photos of both the applicant and their spouse as indicated in the Form I-130
  • Any necessary evidence for all legal name changes for the applicant and their spouse

As a US citizen, you also need to demonstrate your status with a copy of the following including your valid US passport, US birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship. For Green Card holders, they must provide a copy of Form I-551 or a copy of their foreign passport that bears a temporary stamp that shows evidence for permanent residence.

Ruby Powers Law

We specialize in immigration law and can guide you through the many avenues of the US Immigration System. We are easy to reach and are always available to provide you with expert and professional assistance in reuniting with your family in the country.

Can the Spouse Come Live in the US while the Visa Petition is Still Pending?

For US citizens, their spouses are eligible to apply for a nonimmigrant visa (K-3). This will enable them to work and live in the US while awaiting for the visa petition. Looking to get a K-3 visa can be an additional method for them to come to the US.

Permanent residents who have filed the Form I-130 for more than three years can have their spouse and/or children eligible to the V visa classification.


An immigration lawyer can provide ample information if you plan to petition your spouse to obtain citizenship in the US. For more information, contact our Houston immigration lawyers today.