Marriage-based Green Cards

What is a Marriage-based Green Card?


A marriage-based green card is a type of United States permanent residency that is granted to the spouse of a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. This type of green card allows the foreign spouse to live and work in the U.S. permanently.

To obtain a marriage-based green card, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsor must file a petition on behalf of their foreign spouse. The petition must be accompanied by evidence of a valid marriage, such as a marriage certificate, and other supporting documentation. The foreign spouse must also undergo a medical examination and an in-person interview with a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer.

It is important to note that USCIS scrutinizes marriage-based green card applications closely to ensure that the marriage is genuine and not just a means of obtaining immigration benefits. If USCIS finds that the marriage is not genuine, the application may be denied.


  • Top Tips for a Successful Marriage-Based Green Card Application
  • Navigating the Waves of Change: Understanding Recent Updates in Marriage-Based Green Card Policies

Guides and Workbooks


I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Use this form if you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) and you need to establish your relationship to an eligible relative who wishes to come to or remain in the United States permanently and get a Permanent Resident Card (also called a Green Card).

I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary

The purpose of this form is to collect additional information for a spouse beneficiary of Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. If your spouse is a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or non-citizen U.S. national who is filing Form I-130 on your behalf, you must complete and sign Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary, and submit it with the Form I-130 filed by your spouse. If you reside overseas, you still must complete Form I-130A, but you do not need to sign the form.

I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

If you are a U.S. citizen, you may be able to petition for certain family members to become a lawful permanent resident (get their Green Card). Becoming a lawful permanent resident is a two-part process. You must file a petition for your relative (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) and your relative must apply for adjustment of status (using Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) or for an immigrant visa through the Department of State.

I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA

Most family-based immigrants and some employment-based immigrants use this form to show they have adequate means of financial support and are not likely to rely on the U.S. government for financial support.

I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Certain noncitizens who are in the United States may file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Other noncitizens whose immigration status authorizes them to work in the United States without restrictions may also use Form I-765 to apply for an EAD that shows such authorization.

I-131, Application for Travel Document

Use this form to apply for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document, TPS travel authorization document, advance parole travel document (including parole into the U.S. for humanitarian reasons), or advance permission to travel for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) long-term residents.

If you file this form to request an advance parole document and depart the United States without having an advance parole document that is valid for the entire time you are abroad, we will consider your Form I-131 abandoned.

I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

If you are applying for adjustment status to become a lawful permanent resident, use this form to establish that you are not inadmissible to the United States on public health grounds.

A list of those health grounds can be found in section 212(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. For more information on the validity of Form I-693, see the USCIS Policy Manual Volume 8, Part B, Chapter 4.