Document Checklist for Marriage Green Card Application

Updated on September 7, 2020

The process of applying for a Green Card can feel daunting.  Many people find that figuring out what and how much supporting evidence to submit to be more difficult than completing the actual forms.  Below, we will outline the documents you are required to include with a marriage-based Green Card application but be aware that the exact list of what you will need to submit will vary based on your personal circumstances.  This list is up to date as of this year, 2020.

Document Checklist for Marriage Green Card Application

Not sure if you are eligible for marriage green card? You can free check eligibility through DYgreencard without giving any personal information. Free check eligibility if you married a U.S. citizen.  Free check eligibility if you married a lawful permanent resident.

Form I-130 and I-130A:

Your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse is your sponsor.  They will file form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf.  This form requests their biographical information.  You, the foreign national spouse, are the beneficiary.  You will file the I-130A supplement, which requests biographical information about you.  Your spouse should also expect to submit information such as:
  • Filing fee $535
  • Two U.S. passport-sized photos each for you and your spouse
  • Proof of their U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status such as their state birth certificate, U.S. passport, certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship or permanent resident card (green card)
  • Termination document for any previous marriage of either of you (if applicable)
  • Evidence that proves that you have a bona fide marriage such as documentation of joint property, a lease showing both of you living together, proof of combined financial resources and birth certificates of any children you had together (if you lived together for a short time prior to filing the petition, you probably don’t have much evidence. No worry, you have chance to submit more evidence at the Green Card interview in the future.)

You will need to have these and any other documents on the checklist translated if they are in a language other than English and include the original, the translation and a certification by translator.

At DYgreencard, we can help you prepare a complete I-130&I-130A petition package. The entire petition will be fully reviewed by a skilled immigration lawyer. All you need to do is just answer a few questions and upload documents. Learn more, or get started today!

Form I-485:

Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is filed if you, the beneficiary, plan to receive your Green Card inside the U.S.  This process is known as Adjustment of Status (AOS).  This form will ask for extensive information about you.  You will need to submit supporting documents such as:
  • Filing fee $1140
  • Biometrics fee $85 if age 79 or older
  • Two additional U.S. passport-sized photos
  • Identity document such as a passport
  • Proof of legal entry into the U.S. such as your I-94 record, passport stamp or visa
  • Proof of current and past immigration status such as USCIS approval notices, I-94 record, form I-20 or passport stamp
  • Certified police and court records of criminal charges, arrests, or convictions (if applicable)
  • Waiver of Inadmissibility if you are considered inadmissible to the U.S. but wish to receive a waiver allowing your admission (if applicable)

Many of the items on the above I-485 adjustment of status checklist will also be applicable if you are receiving your Green Card through consular processing rather than AOS.  Similarly, you will need to have documents translated if they are in the language other than English, and enclose a certification by translator.

Not sure if you are eligible to adjust status to obtain a green card? You can free check eligibility through DYgreencard without providing any personal information. When you are ready, we will help you complete an I-485 adjustment of status application ready to file with USCIS. Moreover, an immigration attorney with extensive experience will review your application to secure its completeness and accuracy. Learn more, or get started today!

Form I-864:

Form I-864, Affidavit of Public Support, is required for most family-based Green Card applicants. Your spouse, as the sponsor, promises that they will support you, the beneficiary spouse, if necessary and that they have the financial means to do so.  This form asks questions about their finances. They will also have to provide documentation of their finances with evidence such as:

  • Photocopies or transcripts of their income tax returns and form supplements for most recent tax year (returns for up to three tax years can be submitted)
  • Copies of all forms W-2 or 1099 for income declared in above tax return(s)
  • Documentation of any additional assets they want considered

If your spouse’s income and/or assets do not meet the minimum sponsorship requirement, you will need a joint sponsor. The joint sponsor must be a U.S. citizen or green card holder. You must enclose joint sponsor’s own I-864 form and supporting documents in addition to your spouse’s I-864 package.

If you apply for green card through consular processing, you will need to submit form I-864 after USCIS approves the I-130 petition and the case has been transferred to the National Visa Center.

Are you confused about how to prepare form I-864 and its supporting documents? DYgreencard can help you out in such a simple way! Ready to start?

Form I-944:

(Not applicable if apply for Green Card through consular processing)

Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency, was released by USCIS in October 2019.  It requires that you, as the beneficiary, demonstrate that you can financially support yourself.  Since then, there has been a court battle about this form, with immigration advocates arguing against the new interpretation of the public charge rule that the form is based on.  Various courts have made rulings, resulting in the form sometimes being required and sometimes not, or the form being required in some states but not others.

Given the constant changes, it is impossible to predict if you will need to include this form whenever your Green Card application is filed.  Be sure to check the USCIS website before filing to see the most up to date information.  Assuming the form does need to be filed, the documents you can expect to submit include:

  • Federal income tax returns or transcript
  • Evidence of assets such as checking and savings account statements, annuities, stocks and bonds (cash value)/certificates of deposit, retirement accounts and educational accounts and net cash value of real estate holdings
  • Documentation for each liability or debt such as mortgages, car loans, unpaid child or spousal support, unpaid taxes, and credit card debt
  • Credit score and report or proof of lack thereof
  • Evidence of the resolution of bankruptcy (if applicable)
  • Proof of health insurance such as copy of policy page
  • Documentation of any application, enrollment or disenrollment for a public benefit
  • Proof of educational degrees or certifications received, such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees, and trade/professional certificates
  • Evaluation of equivalency to U.S. education or degrees for any foreign diplomas or degreeseived, such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees, and trade/professional certificates
  • Evidence of any training, licenses for specific occupations or professions, and certificates documenting mastery or apprenticeships in skilled trades or professions
  • Evidence of language certifications and study or other evidence of proficiency
  • Evidence of income from pensions, Social Security or other retirement benefits

Form I-765:

(Not applicable if apply for Green Card through consular processing)

If you, as the beneficiary spouse, want to work while your Green Card application is pending, you can file form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and submit the following:
  • Two additional U.S. passport-sized photos

Form I-131:

(Not applicable if apply for Green Card through consular processing)

If you, as the beneficiary spouse, want to travel outside the U.S. while your case is pending, you will need to submit form I-131, Application for Travel Document along with:

  • Two additional U.S. passport-sized photos

If USCIS approves your I-131 application, you will obtain Advance Parole.  Be careful to travel abroad with Advance Parole if you have ever been out of status for more than 180 days in the United States. Learn more about it in our article Advance Parole Travel While I-485 is Pending with USCIS.

With DYgreencard, you can apply for or renew a work permit (EAD) or Advance Parole (AP) separately. You can also apply for or renew them together to get a combo EAD/AP card.

Form I-693:

(Not applicable if apply for Green Card through consular processing. However, the beneficiary spouse still needs to obtain an immigration medical exam report prior to the Green Card interview at a U.S. consulate.)

You, as the beneficiary spouse, will need to submit form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record as part of your Green Card application. It can be submitted together with the form I-485 or at the future Green Card interview.  The doctor who does the exam will provide you with a sealed envelope that will need to be submitted to USCIS.  This envelope will contain the form and any necessary medical and vaccination records.  Submit the envelope as is, do not break the seal!

You can learn more about immigration medical exam in our article What to Expect at an Immigration Medical Exam?

Filing a Green Card application requires extensive documentation.  Getting copies of everything you need ahead of time can prevent filing delays.  Be sure to keep both the original documents and copies in a safe space, you will be expected to bring both the original and a copy of any item you submitted to your Green Card interview.

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