Start to Finish: Green Cards for Spouses of U.S. Citizens Living in the United States
Eligibility Exceptions and Issues
Generally, the green card application process is open to any spouse of a U.S. citizen who is now living in the United States, and who entered the United States using a valid visa.
But there are exceptions where such spouses are not eligible for a marriage-based green card.
EXCEPTIONS WHERE THE SPOUSE IS NOT ELIGIBLE
These exceptions include:
- Spouses who entered the United States on a J-1 exchange visitor visa are required to spend two years in their home country after their time in J-1 status. They must satisfy this requirement before they can apply for any other type of visa, unless they obtain a waiver of this residency requirement.
Spouses who entered the United States on C-1/D crewman visas are ineligible to apply for adjustment of status.
Spouses are ineligible if they have a criminal conviction that makes them inadmissible to the United States. For example, a conviction for murder, kidnapping, or drug trafficking will make a person ineligible for a green card.
Spouses are ineligible to file a green card application with USCIS if they are currently in removal proceedings.
Spouses are ineligible if they originally entered the United States on a K-1 fiancé visa sponsored by a different partner, but did not marry that person.