What’s Next After I-130 Approval for Your Spouse?

    What's Next After I-130 Approval for Your Spouse

    So you’ve received that exciting email or letter notifying you that your I-130 petition for your spouse has been approved. Congratulations! That’s a huge milestone in the green card process. However, the work isn’t over yet. There are several important next steps you’ll need to take after I-130 approval to keep the process moving forward.

    In this post, we’ll break down the 6 key things you need to do after receiving I-130 approval for your spouse. I’ll explain each step clearly and provide tips to help you navigate what comes next smoothly. By understanding the process, you can avoid delays and ensure your spouse’s green card application stays on track.

    Let’s dive in.

    6 Steps to Take After I-130 Approval for Your Spouse

    1. Submit I-485 Application to Adjust Status

    The primary next step is to submit the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This application allows your spouse to apply to become a lawful permanent resident, commonly known as receiving a green card, while remaining in the United States.

    You’ll need to fill out the I-485 form along with supporting documents like photos, birth certificate, passport, and medical exam. Be thorough and double check all details are accurate. Allow plenty of processing time, as USCIS currently estimates 6-8 months.

    Submitting I-485 is a critical step to officially starting the green card process. Make sure to do this promptly after I-130 approval to avoid any gaps between applications that could cause issues.

    2. Get Biometrics Appointment Notice

    After submitting I-485, your spouse will receive a biometrics appointment notice in the mail within a few weeks. This is when fingerprints and photo will be taken electronically. Show up on time for this mandatory appointment or it could delay the process.

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    Take the appointment notice letter when you go and bring any kids included in the application too. Make sure to check the address listed is correct, as mistakes here cause missed appointments. Come prepared for this important step.

    3. Complete Medical Examination

    You’ll need to schedule and pass a civilian medical examination to show your spouse does not have any conditions that would make them inadmissible. Look for doctors approved by USCIS near you to perform the exam and fill out Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.

    Be sure to complete the medical exam before the I-485 application interview. Medical exam results are only valid for 1 year, so timing is crucial. Mark your calendar for retakes if needed down the road.

    4. Wait for Interview Notice

    After biometrics and medical exam are complete, your spouse’s I-485 application will undergo background and security checks by various agencies. This can take several months. They’ll then schedule an interview if everything checks out up to that point.

    Stay organized during this waiting period and be ready for the interview notice to arrive on short notice. Make sure contact info is up to date with USCIS. Also use this time to gather more evidence of your bona fide marriage if needed later.

    5. Prepare for I-485 Interview

    When the interview notice finally arrives, you’ll want to be fully prepared. Re-read documentation thoroughly and compile additional evidence to backup claims made on forms like joint assets, shared activities, and photos together over time.

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    Practice answering questions together about your relationship. Come dressed professionally and politely to the interview. Bring originals and copies of all relevant forms and documents listed on the interview notice to speed up the process.

    6. Receive Green Card or other Decision

    Ideally, your spouse will receive approval on the spot after a successful interview. However, cases may require additional review too. Either way, you’ll receive a formal decision on the I-485 soon after.

    If approved, the green card will be mailed within a few weeks. If denied, you have the right to appeal. Stay positive but prepared – understanding this process thoroughly pays off in the end.

    Following these key steps after I-130 approval for spouse will allow you to be well on your way to obtaining their permanent resident status and green card. Let me know if you have any other questions! I’d be happy to provide additional tips or guidance on navigating the green card process smoothly.



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