When a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) marries a citizen of another country, it is possible to file a family-based petition for the spouse. In time, a newly emigrated spouse in Kentucky could seek naturalized citizen status. Not everyone knows the first step involves petitioning for a “green card,” which indicates LPR status.
Basic points about LPR status
Lawful permanent residents are not citizens, so they do not have all the rights U.S. citizens possess upon immigration. For example, green card residents cannot vote, while U.S. citizens can. However, people with LPR status can live and work anywhere in the United States indefinitely. Lawful permanent residents remain citizens of their country until they become eligible for and choose to seek U.S. citizenship.
When a citizen of another country marries a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, they become eligible for LPR status. The U.S. citizen or green card holder files the necessary petition on behalf of a spouse.
Applying for LPR status
A formal process exists for someone to petition for a spouse. Submitting a detailed application and providing supporting documentation for their immigration becomes necessary. The additional documentation could include a certified marriage certificate and proof of LPR status or citizenship, among other items. Immigration law statutes detail the evidence commonly required, and an immigration law attorney can help explain the procedure further.
Petitioners must wait for the documents to process, and the timeframe could include delays caused by backlogs. Sometimes, insufficient petitions receive requests for additional evidence. Putting together a complete application with all necessary evidence may reduce the chances of unwanted delays.
Problems with a petition could lead to a denial, although an appeal might be an option. The reason for the denial factors into whether an appeal is possible.