What financial factors affect whether a spouse gets a green card?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Family Immigration

Lawful permanent residents and United States citizens can potentially help their spouses enter the country and obtain the necessary paperwork to stay in the United States. Green cards are available for the spouses of permanent residents and United States citizens.

As opposed to visas that require renewal every few years and only remain valid for a set amount of time, a green card gives someone the potential right to stay in the country permanently. Those who qualify for a green card generally only have to submit paperwork to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) every 10 years to maintain their status. There are many factors that determine whether or not someone’s spouse will be considered eligible for a green card.

Household income is the primary concern

It is important for someone to be able to support themselves and their spouse without depending on the government for benefits if they want to live in the country as permanent residents. The spouse requesting the Green Card will need to fill out an Affidavit of Support. They should attest to their ability to provide for their spouse without becoming a public charge.

The USCIS will verify these claims by looking at income records. Typically, the overall household income should be at least 125% of the federal poverty level given the number of family members. Tax returns, W-2s and paystubs can all help establish that someone makes enough to obtain a green card for their spouse.

A history of state benefits

In some cases, the need for state benefits could potentially influence the outcome of a green card application. In cases involving someone receiving public cash benefits, that history could potentially influence their eligibility for a green card.

Any records of financial misconduct

Background checks are an important part of the green card application process. Individuals with significant criminal records, including a history of financial crimes, may not be eligible for a green card in some cases.

Many working adults are able to meet the financial standards established by the USCIS to help their spouse qualify for a green card. Discussing the household’s financial history and immigration rules with an experienced legal professional could help those who are hoping to secure a green card for their spouse determine if now is the time to apply.