Spouse of U.S. Permanent Resident
Spouses of U.S. permanent residents are often eligible to obtain permanent residency in the United States. Although the process is rather long, qualifying spouses are able to become permanent residents and partake in all the benefits available to U.S. permanent residents, including the ability to work lawfully.
Like other family-based immigration petitions, the first step for a spouse of a U.S. permanent resident is to prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that the familial relationship exists and was entered into in good faith. Once that relationship is established, the spouse must wait for a visa to become available. Currently there is a backlog for visas in the second preference category, of which the spouses of permanent residents are a part. To see where the second preference category currently is, please visit the Department of State’s Current Visa Bulletin.
After Obtaining Permanent Residency:
Citizenship: After five years of permanent residency, a green card holder may be eligible to become a naturalized U.S. Citizen.
Work Authorization: After obtaining permanent residency, the spouse of a U.S. permanent resident may become authorized to work in the United States.
Travel Abroad: After obtaining permanent residency, a spouse of a permanent resident may be able to freely travel abroad. However, care must be taken to ensure that the permanent resident does not “abandon” his or her permanent residency by staying abroad for a significant amount of time.
For More Information:
For more information, please visit the USCIS website. If you are a spouse of a U.S. permanent resident, please contact Gafner Law Firm to learn whether you are eligible for permanent residency.