Get the complete marriage green card checklist of supporting documents if both spouses are in the U.S. – all required immigration forms and evidence of good faith marriage in SelfLawyer’s guide.

Marriage Green Card Checklist

The forms and documents you need to apply for a green card through marriage, if foreign spouse is in the U.S.

If you are a spouse of a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident and you are physically in the U.S. you will need to file the following USCIS forms and supporting documents:

The documents required for a marriage green card application include the following:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Proof of sponsor’s US citizenship or lawful permanent residence
  • Evidence of termination of any prior marriage(s)
  • Proof of income
  • Proof of assets
  • Official IRS transcripts
  • Birth certificate
  • Foreign passport
  • Foreign photo ID
  • Two identical color passport-style photographs (both spouses)
  • Copy of visa(s)
  • U.S. credit score proof (if any)
  • U.S. health insurance proof (if any)
  • Public benefits usage proof (if any)
  • I-94 record(s)
  • Immunization or vaccination records
  • Bankruptcy records (if any)
  • Educational records
  • Evidence of marriage
  • Criminal records (if any)
  • Military records (if any)

Detailed description of each immigration form and supporting documents is provided in the tables below.

1. Form I-130, “Petition for Alien Relative” (mandatory)

The form’s purpose:

  • To establish a valid relationship between a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident and a foreign family member, to help them gain a green card.
  • It is the 1st step towards reserving your relative’s immigrant visa.
  • Regarding marriage visas, this petition serves as a proof that your marriage is legally valid.

Who Needs to Sign it:

  • Only a U.S. citizen, or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) can file an I-130 petition.
  • U.S. citizens can file this petition for their spouses, children, parents and siblings.
  • A green card holder can file the same for their spouses and unmarried children.

Form I-130 documents checklist:

Provide photocopies only

Document typeExamples of supporting documentsWho needs to provide it?
Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
  • Copy of U.S. birth certificate, or
  • Copy of unexpired U.S. passport, or
  • Copy of Naturalization Certificate, or
  • Certificate of Citizenship, or
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Sponsoring spouse if he/she is a U.S. citizen
Evidence of Lawful Permanent Residence
  • Permanent Residence Card (Green Card)
  • Passport of another country bearing stamp of temporary permanent residence in the U.S.
Sponsoring spouse if he/she is a lawful permanent resident
Evidence of a lawful marriage
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Court order of name change, if any.
Both spouses
Evidence of termination of any prior marriage(s), if any
  • Divorce Certificate
  • Certificate of Annulment 
Both spouses
Passport-style color photographs
  • Two identical color passport-style photographs taken recently
Both spouses
Proof of good faith marriage
  • Joint property deeds
  • Joint residency lease 
  • Joint bank account statements (credit, checking and saving accounts)
  • Joint income tax returns
  • Copies of gas, electric, telephone and other utility bills
  • Gifts receipts
  • Birth certificates of children born during the marriage
  • Adoption decrees of children adopted during the marriage
  • Court guardianship records of stepchildren
  • Witness affidavits confirming your good faith marriage
  • Joint travel records (airplane tickets, hotel room reservation, vacation expenses)
  • Photographs that show both spouses together,with family and friends (wedding, events, vacations, holidays and throughout the relationship)
  • Photo ID with a new last name (if spouse changed her/his last name after the marriage)
  • Life insurance policy where the spouse is named as beneficiary
  • Health insurance plans, which name the spouse as a member or beneficiary
  • Evidence of correspondence between spouses (letters, messages, phone calls, birthday and holiday cards, etc.)
  • Religious marriage certificate if the couple had a church wedding
  • Evidence of joint ownership of a car
  • Evidence of major purchases made together (for example, TV, refrigerator, washer, dryer, etc.)
Both spouses

 

2. Form I-130A, “Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary” (mandatory)

The form’s purpose:

  • An extension of I-130 form, used for filing marriage-based green card applications
  • Supplementary document used by the USCIS to gather additional information about the spouse beneficiary.

Who Needs to Sign it?

  • Must be completed by the spouse seeking the green card, if he/she is in the U.S.
  • If spouse is abroad, form must still be complete but foreign spouse does not have to sign it

Form I-130A documents checklist:

Same as Form I-130.  You do not need to provide any additional supporting documents with Form I-130A.

 Make sure you submit all required documents with Form I-130.

3. Form I-485, “Adjustment of Status” (mandatory)

The form’s purpose:

  • Apply for lawful permanent resident status if foreign spouse is in the United States

Who Needs to Sign it?

  • Only a foreign spouse who is physically present in the U.S. can fill this form, to apply for permanent residence.

Form I-485 documents checklist: 

Provide photocopies only

Document typeExamples of supporting documentsWho needs to provide it?
Passport-style photographs
  • Two recent identical color passport-style photographs (white background)
Foreign spouse seeking green card
Government issued ID
  • ID should be issued by a government and contain a photograph
  • Passport (expired is acceptable)
  • Driver’s license
  • Military ID
Foreign spouse seeking green card
Birth Certificate
  • Birth certificate issued by the appropriate civil authority 
Foreign spouse seeking green card
Proof of lawful U.S. entry
  • Passport page with admission or parole stamp
  • Passport page with nonimmigrant visa
  • Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record
  • If filing concurrently: Form I-130 itself, or I-797, Receipt Notice of Form I-130
  • If filing after Form I-130 was approved: Form I-797, Approval Notice
  •  
Foreign spouse seeking green card
Proof of maintaining a lawful status in the U.S. (spouses of lawful permanent residents only)
  • Form I-797 approval notices for all extensions and changes of nonimmigrant status
  • Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status (if applicable)
  • Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1) Student Status (if applicable)
  • Form DS-2019 (formerly IAP 66), Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (if applicable)
Foreign spouse seeking green card
Police and court records (if any)

If you have any criminal charges, arrests, or convictions anywhere in the world:

  • Police and court records
Foreign spouse seeking green card
Records of previous immigration violations (if any)

If you have been ever deported from the U.S.:

  • Deportation (removal) order

Note: we strongly suggest you to seek an experienced licensed U.S. immigration attorney help if you have had any previous immigration violations. You can contact us to discuss your case.

 

 

4. Form I-864, “Affidavit of Support” (mandatory)

The form’s purpose:

  • To show that the intending immigrant (foreign spouse) has proper financial support and will not rely on the U.S. government for receiving public benefits (“public charge”).

Who Needs to Sign it?

  • It must be signed by sponsor(s), who meet the following requirements:
    • U.S. citizen(s), or green card holder(s), and
    • should have an income of 125% over the poverty guidelines.

Form I-864 documents checklist: 

Provide photocopies only

Document typeExamples of supporting documentsWho needs to provide it?
Tax records

Provide records for the most recent tax year.

However, it’s recommended to provide records for the last 3 tax years:

  • A copy of sponsor’s individual Federal income tax return, including W-2s for the most recent tax year
  • Copy of Form 1099 (if applicable)
Financial sponsor 
Evidence of Joint Asset Value
  • Existing bank account statement details (all)
  • If you’re using a home:
  • Ownership document, like title or deed
  •  A recent appraisal, or a recent tax assessment
  •  Loan or mortgages details about home
  • Using a second vehicle
  • Ownership document
  • A statement depicting the vehicle’s current value
Financial sponsor(s) and spouse seeking green card.

5. Form I-944, “Declaration of Self Sufficiency” (mandatory)

The form’s purpose:

  • It checks whether the green card applicant is financially competent enough to support themselves, so as to not be inadmissible based on ‘public charge’ grounds.
  • You must file this form along with your Form I-485.

Who Needs to Sign it?

  • It must be submitted by all marriage-based green card applicants, who use the ‘adjustment of status’ (Form I-485) procedure, from within the U.S.

Form I-944 documents checklist: 

Provide photocopies only

Document typeExamples of supporting documentsWho needs to provide it?
Proof of liabilities and debtsYou need to provide evidence of all your debts, like mortgages, loans, or unpaid taxes (if any).
  • Both, applicants and household members
Proof that you can resolve bankruptcy (if any)Legal documents like court papers or others, showing that you can fully recover bankruptcy situations
  • Applicant
Proof of Medical Insurance

The evidence should include at least one of the following documents:

  • Health insurance policy, or
  • Letter from the health insurance company showcasing your enrollment, or
  • A copy of IRS Form 1095-B or 1095-C, confirming your health coverage.
Applicants with Health Insurance

 

6. Form I-693, “Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record” (mandatory)

The form’s purpose:

  • This form reports the results of all medical examinations required by the USCIS to allow an immigrant into the United States.
  • Through this, the USCIS ensures that the spouse seeking green card, through Form I-485 does not possess any “health conditions” that might pose a risk to the U.S. citizens.

Who Needs to Sign it:

  • Applicants filing for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident must submit this form, completed by a designated civil surgeon.

Form I-693 documents checklist: 

Provide photocopies only

Document typeExamples of supporting documentsWho needs to provide it?
Documents while going to the medical exam
  • Latest version of Form I-693
  • Medical history
  • Records of vaccinations (if any)
  • Any prior conducted chest X-rays (if you can)
  • A letter from your regular doctor discussing any health problems, or treatment for an ongoing problem
Immigrant applying for green card visa

 

7. Form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization” (optional but recommended)

The form’s purpose:

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can work in the U.S. without special permissions. However, nonimmigrants need to take permission from the USCIS. So, certain foreign nationals are granted work authorization by the USCIS, using this Form I-765.

  • It allows an immigrant in the U.S. to request for an employment authorization and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
  • It also lets green card applicants legally work before becoming lawful permanent residents.

Who Needs to Sign it?

  • Marriage and family-based green card applicants can apply for work permits while waiting for their adjustment of status applications.

Form I-765 documents checklist: 

Provide photocopies only

Document typeExamples of supporting documentsWho needs to provide it?
Proof that you are lawfully allowed in the U.S.
  • I-94 travel form (front and back), or
  • Passport or other travel document
  • Initial work permits, if any
  • A copy of your last EAD (if applicable)
Spouse seeking green card visa
Identification
  • Two identical passport-style photographs  
  • Birth certificate
  • If you were not previously issued an EAD, you must submit a copy of a government-issued identity document
Spouse seeking green card visa

 

8. Form I-131, “Application for Travel Document” (optional but recommended)

The form’s purpose:

  • This travel document allows non-U.S. citizens to travel abroad, without letting their green card applications cease.
  • This means it allows the individual’s ability to re-enter the U.S..
  • In a nutshell, this form can be used to apply for a Reentry Permit, Refugee Travel Document or Advance Parole.

Who Needs to Sign it?

  • Anyone applying for a Reentry Permit, Refugee Travel Document or Advance Parole.

Reentry Permit:

Green card holders are not restricted to travel abroad. However, spending more than a year’s time outside of the U.S. may lead to problems with their green card status. 

Hence, by requesting a ‘Reentry Permit’, the permanent resident is allowed to maintain their U.S. residence when traveling abroad for periods of up to 2 years. 

Refugee Travel Document:

A person with refugee or asylum status who wishes to travel outside the United States needs this document to return to the U.S.

Advance Parole Document:

‘Parole’ allows an alien to physically enter into the United States for a specific purpose. Certain people in other immigration statuses can use Advance Parole as permission to reenter the United States after traveling abroad.

Form I-131 documents checklist: 

Provide photocopies only

Document typeExamples of supporting documentsWho needs to provide it?
Identity proof

An official photo identity document showing your photo, name, and date of birth.

  • Current EAD ( if available)
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Passport identity page
  • Green card (Form I-551)
Immigrant applying for green card visa
Reentry Permit
  • Form I-551 (front and back side), or
  • Biographical pages of your passport, or evidence that you are a lawful permanent resident, or
  •  Form I-797, Notice of Action, approval notice of an application for replacement of your Form I-551 or temporary evidence of lawful permanent resident status
Green card holder
Refugee Travel Document
  • Proof of refugee or asylee status, issued by the USCIS
Refugee
Advance Parole Document 
  • A copy of any document showing your current status in the United States.
  • An explanation or other evidence showing circumstances the warrant issuance of an advance parole document.
Alien