U.S. Citizen: A United States citizen may apply for a green-card for her/his foreign national spouse. As the spouse of a U.S. Citizen is considered an “immediate relative*”, she/he does not have to wait for a visa number to become available. However the foreign spouse’s children from a previous marriage cannot not be included in the application and must apply separately.
Lawful Permanent Resident: A lawful permanent resident may file for a green-card for her/his foreign national spouse. The spouse of a lawful permanent resident is not an immediate relative. Current wait times can be found at the U.S. Department of State, The Visa Bulletin. Wait time to get the green-card may be long depending on the spouse’s country.
*Immediate relatives receive special priority in immigration. Unlike beneficiaries in other family-based petitions, immediate relatives do not have to wait for a visa number to become available in order to immigrate to the United States. There are no visa limits for the immediate relative category.
The above information is not legal advice, and should not be construed as such. Please contact an attorney to understand your immigration benefits.
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