What supporting documents do you need for a U.S. Marriage Green Card?

July 24, 2020
What supporting documents do you need for a U.S. Marriage Green Card?

Summary

U.S. citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouse for a Marriage Green Card. They and their spouse will need to submit certain documents to the U.S. Government when they apply. The application process and documents you will need are different when the spouse seeking a Green Card is living inside of the United States (“Adjustment of Status”) and when they are living outside of the United States (“Consular Processing”). This guide will serve as a document checklist for both processes.

This article is not legal advice. We do not intend for it to replace the expertise of an immigration attorney. Its goal is to help you understand which documents you will need to submit when you apply for a Marriage Green Card.


Overview

Documents that all Marriage Green Card applicants will need

Documents to submit with your Form I-130, “Petition for Alien Relative“

Proof of U.S. Citizenship

If the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen they must provide proof of your citizenship. Acceptable documents include:

  • U.S. birth certificate
  • Valid U.S. passport
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad

Proof of green card holder (lawful permanent resident) status

If the sponsoring spouse is a lawful permanent resident they must provide proof. Acceptable documents include:

  • Green card (permanent resident card)
  • Passport issued in another country and bearing stamp of temporary permanent residency in the United States

Proof of valid marriage

All applicants must provide a marriage certificate. All applicants should also provide any information about:

  • joint leases
  • joint bank account statements
  • photos of you together

Proof of termination of prior marriage(s), if any

If either spouse had a previous marriage, they must provide any of the following that apply:

  • a divorce decree,
  • a death certificate of the other spouse,
  • a certificate of annulment.

Proof of official name change, if any

If either spouse has changed their legal name they will need to provide proof. They can do this by providing:

  • a marriage certificate,
  • a court order of name change,
  • adoption papers.

Passport photos of the Petitioner

The U.S. citizen or Green Cardholder (“Petitioner”) will need to provide 2 passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches) with their Form I-130 petition. These are in addition to any passport photos required by other forms you may be filing at the same time as Form I-130.

Documents to submit with your Form I-864, "Affidavit of Support"

The sponsoring spouse, as well as any co-sponsors, must provide the following documents:

Proof of their ability to financially support the foreign spouse seeking a permanent resident green card:

At minimum, the sponsoring spouse needs to submit a copy of their most recent U.S. tax return. It could also be helpful to include:

  • Copies of your U.S. Federal income tax returns from the past 3 years
  • Pay stubs from the past 6 months
  • Letter from your employer showing proof of employment

Proof of asset value (if you’re counting your assets to meet the income requirement for a marriage-based Green Card)

If using your bank/investment accounts:

  • Ownership document of stocks, bonds, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), or other investment accounts
  • Bank statements

If using your home:

  • Proof of ownership (such as title or deed)
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser
  • A recent tax assessment
  • Evidence of the amount of every loan secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other lien on the home

If using your second vehicle:

  • An ownership document (such as title or deed) for all of your vehicles
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser or a statement from the dealer indicating the current value

Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork

Documents you will need to get a Green Card through Adjustment of Status (immigrant is applying from inside of the U.S.)

Documents to submit with your Form I-485, “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status”

The foreign national spouse seeking the green card (permanent resident status) must provide the following:

Proof of Nationality

  • birth certificate from another country or
  • passport issued from another country

Proof of lawful U.S. entry and status

  • A valid U.S. (non-immigrant) Visa and
  • I-94 travel document

Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

You may submit this form together with Form I-485 or later, such as by mail when USCIS requests it or in person at your Green Card interview.

Records of any previous interactions with law enforcement (if applicable)

This includes things like court, police, and prison records.

Records of any previous immigration violations (if applicable)

This includes any deportation documents and other records of run-ins with immigration officials that you may have.

Passport photos of the Beneficiary

The immigrant applying for a Green Card (“Beneficiary”) will need to provide 2 passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches) with their Form I-485. These are in addition to any passport photos required by other forms you may be filing at the same time as Form I-485.

Documents to submit with your Form I-765, "Application for Employment Authorization Document”

The foreign national spouse seeking the green card (permanent resident status) must provide the following documents if they are also applying for work authorization:

Proof of lawful U.S. entry and status

  • I-94 travel records
  • Valid U.S. visa
  • Passport issued in another country

Proof of your pending Marriage Green Card application

  • Receipt notice (Form I-797C, “Notice of Action”) or
  • Your form I-130 if your are filing concurrently

Proof of your previous U.S. Work Authorization or proof of your nationality

You should submit your prior work permit If you have received a US work permit in the past. If you have never had a U.S. work permit, you should submit the following documents as proof of your nationality:

  • Birth certificate and photo ID, or
  • Visa issued by the consulate of a country other than the United States, or
  • Other national identity document with your photo and/or fingerprint

Passport photos of the Beneficiary

The immigrant applying for a Green Card (“Beneficiary”) will need to provide 2 passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches) with their Form I-765. These are in addition to any passport photos required by other forms you may be filing at the same time as Form I-765.

Documents to submit with your Form I-131, "Application for Travel Document"

If the spouse seeking a green card from within the United States is applying for an advance parole travel permit, they must provide the following documents:

Proof of identity

  • Passport (photo page only)
  • Current work permit, if available
  • Valid government-issued driver’s license (must show name, date of birth, and photo)

Proof of current immigration status

  • Valid U.S. visa
  • Any other document issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing your present status in the United States.

Proof of your pending marriage-based green card application

  • Receipt notice (Form I-797C, “Notice of Action”) or
  • Your form I-130 if your are filing concurrently

Passport photos of the Beneficiary

The immigrant applying for a Green Card (“Beneficiary”) will need to provide 2 passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches) with their Form I-131. These are in addition to any passport photos required by other forms you may be filing at the same time as Form I-131.

Documents to submit with your Form I-944, "Declaration of Self-Sufficiency" Public Charge form

To complete the I-944 Public Charge form, the spouse seeking the green card must provide the following:

Proof of income

  • The applicant and any other household member whose income are being considered must include their IRS tax return transcripts for the most recent tax year.
  • Applicants and household members who lived outside of the United States and did not file a US tax return for the most recent tax year must include foreign tax transcripts for the most recent tax year.
  • Applicants who were not required to file their taxes in the last three tax years must include either a
  • Form W-2 or
  • Social Security Statement
  • Any applicant who received income not listed on their US or Non-US Tax transcripts must include the evidence of their non-taxable income, such as:
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Child support records
  • Pension/retirement benefit checks

Proof of assets (if applicable)

  • Evidence of home-ownership:
  • Deeds or other evidence of your ownership
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser
  • Evidence of any mortgages or loans secured against the home
  • Evidence of other assets:
  • Proof of ownership for bank accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, and financial instruments
  • Proof of ownership and valuations for any other easily liquidated assets
  • Account statements covering the prior 12 months for any checking or savings accounts

Proof of liabilities and debts (if applicable)

All applicants and their household members must provide evidence for each debt or liability. This includes mortgages, car loans, unpaid taxes or child support, or credit cards. You can do so by providing the following:

  • Contracts or loan agreements
  • Account statements
  • Letters from financial institutions or government agencies

All applicants must provide any evidence of the following (if applicable):

  • Evidence of bankruptcy resolution, court papers or other documentation showing that any prior bankruptcies have been fully resolved  

Proof of good credit

Applicants that already have a US Credit Score:

  • Include a free credit report from one of the three nationwide reporting agencies
  • If there is an error in your credit report, you must provide proof that you have notified the agency of the error and that is being investigated

Applicants that do not have a US Credit Score:

  • Provide documentation from a U.S. credit bureau confirming that no report or credit score is available
  • For proof of good credit, provide evidence of continued payment of bills, such as account ledgers, bills and receipts, or other records  

Proof of the ability to pay for medical treatment

Applicants with medical insurance should provide proof by including the following documents:

  • A full copy of a health insurance policy, detailing the type of coverage and individuals covered
  • A letter from an insurance company confirming your enrollment and detailing the type of coverage
  • A copy of IRS Form 1095-B or 1095-C confirming your health coverage
  • Your health insurance card is not enough for proof unless marked with your policy’s effective and expiration dates

Additionally, applicants with medical insurance can provide:

  • Documentation showing your annual deductible or premium
  • Documentation showing the policy’s expiration or renewal date

Applicants that used Affordable Care Act tax credits for health insurance coverage must provide:

  • A transcript copy of IRS Form 8963, Report of Health Insurance Provider Information
  • A transcript copy of IRS Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit
  • A copy of Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement

Applicants whose insurance plan has not started yet should provide details of their pending coverage:

  • A letter from your health insurance company showing that you have enrolled, or have a future enrollment date, for an insurance policy. Make sure that this letter includes the terms, type of coverage, individuals covered, and the policy start date.

Applicants with medical conditions that will affect their ability to work, attend school, or provide care for themselves must include:

  • A letter from a doctor regarding the applicant’s condition, prognosis, and ability to work or study
  • A letter from other medical specialists regarding the applicant’s condition
  • Additional evidence that the applicant has the resources to pay for medical treatment

Evidence regarding the use of public benefits (if applicable)

Applicants who have sought or received any public benefits should provide:

  • A letter or other document from the benefit-granting agency containing the applicant’s name, the agency’s name, the type of benefit, and the start and end date of the benefit.

Applicants who have disenrolled from benefits, or withdrawn an application for a public benefit

  • Evidence documenting the dis-enrollment or withdrawal from the public benefit(s).
  • The agency’s receipt of the applicant’s request to dis-enroll or withdraw.

Applicants who are service members that are exempt from public benefit receipt consideration

  • Evidence of military service from the authorizing official of the service member’s executive department.

Spouses and dependents of service members who are exempt from public benefit receipt consideration

  • Form DD-1173, U.S. Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card – Dependent.

Recipients of federally funded Medicaid benefits who are exempt from public benefit receipt consideration (if applicable):

  • A statement showing that treatment was due to an emergency medical condition
  • Documentation that it was funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or a school-based service, or
  • A letter from a medical professional verifying that the recipient is pregnant, and stating the duration of the pregnancy.

Children of U.S. citizens who are exempt from public benefit receipt consideration

  • Evidence that the recipient is the child of U.S. citizens and eligible for citizenship.

Applicants otherwise exempt from public benefit receipt consideration (as applicable):

  • An I-797 Approval Notice or I-94 Travel Record confirming the recipient’s exempt immigration status
  • Official documentation showing that the recipient received a waiver of public charge inadmissibility

All applicants (If applicable):

  • An official notification from a government body displaying that the applicant does not qualify for public benefits due to income level, immigration status, or some other reason.

Evidence regarding fee waivers (if applicable)

Applicants who have formerly received or sought waivers of immigration filing fees should provide any documents or evidence showing that their circumstances have changed since requesting a fee waiver.

  • Pay slips
  • Employment contracts
  • Health records

Evidence of care-taking duties (if applicable)

Applicants who are unable to work because they are the primary caretaker of a child or an elderly or disabled person should provide evidence that:

  • The applicant is the primary caretaker
  • The individual being cared for lives with the applicant, such as a shared lease, financial or medical documents showing their address, etc.
  • The individual’s age (such as a birth certificate) or of a medical condition requiring care.

Evidence regarding education

All applicants with educational degrees

  • Transcripts
  • Diplomas
  • Degree certificates
  • If no documentation is available, you should attach a letter from the educational institution explaining the absence of other evidence

Evidence regarding occupational skills

All applicants with occupational skills or training

  • Training certificates
  • Professional licenses
  • Documentation of apprenticeships or other qualifications in skilled trades
  • If no other documentation is available, a letter from the educational institution explaining the absence of other evidence

Evidence of foreign education or training

All applicants with foreign education or training

  • A formal evaluation of equivalency comparing foreign educational achievements to a U.S. education or degree

Evidence of English proficiency

All applicants should provide evidence of language training or proficiency, in both English and native language:

  • Transcripts showing language or literacy classes
  • High school diplomas or college degrees
  • Certificates showing current or completed language classes

Applying for a Marriage Green Card through Adjustment of Status can be complicated. ImmigrationHelp.org can help you prepare your application paperwork for free with our simple online application. Click the button below to get started.

Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork
Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork
Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork
Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork
Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork
Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork
Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork
Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork
Prepare Your Marriage Greencard Paperwork

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