What Documents Do We Need for a Marriage Green Card?


The documents needed to apply for a green card through marriage


The documents required for a marriage green card vary by situation but generally include the following:

In the tables below, we’ll discuss which documents are required for each of the most common marriage-based green card forms and who must submit them to the U.S. government. If you can’t locate certain records, make sure to check out our detailed guide to obtaining hard-to-find immigration documents.

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Boundless prints out all your forms and documents, assembled precisely how the government prefers. We mail the whole package to your doorstep, with clear instructions on where to sign and send it to the U.S. government. Learn more about how we can help you, or get started today!


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Family Sponsorship Form (I-130)


To complete the family sponsorship form, or Form I-130 (officially called the “Petition for Alien Relative”), you must provide the following documents.

I-130 Checklist

Document TypeExamples of Acceptable DocumentsWho Needs It?
Proof of U.S. citizenshipSponsoring spouse who is a U.S. citizen
Proof of green card holder (permanent resident) status
  • Green card
  • Passport issued in another country and bearing stamp of temporary permanent residence in the United States
Sponsoring spouse who is a green card holder (permanent resident)
Proof of valid marriage

Also provide as many of the following as possible:

  • Joint lease
  • Joint bank account statements
  • Photos of the couple together
Both spouses
Proof of termination of prior marriage(s), if anyBoth spouses
Proof of official name change, if anyBoth spouses

Boundless can guide you through the entire marriage green card application process. Read more about what you get with Boundless, or get started today.


Green Card Application Form (I-485)


To complete the green card application form, or Form I-485 (officially called the “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status”), the spouse seeking a green card from within the United States must provide the following documents.

I-485 Checklist

Document TypeExamples of Acceptable Documents
Proof of nationality
Proof of lawful U.S. entry and statusBoth of the following are required:
Records of previous interactions with law enforcement, if any
Records of previous immigration violations, if any

With Boundless, you get the confidence of an independent immigration attorney who will review all of your materials and answer any questions you have — for no additional fee. Learn more about how we can help you, or get started now!


Online Green Card Application Form (DS-260)


To complete the online green card application, or Form DS-260 (officially called the “Immigrant Visa Electronic Application”), the spouse seeking a green card from abroad must provide the following documents.

DS-260 Checklist

Document TypeExamples of Acceptable Documents
Proof of nationality
Proof of valid marriage
Proof of termination of prior marriage(s), if any
Records of military service, if applicable
Records of previous interactions with law enforcement, if any, or lack thereof
Records of previous immigration violations, if any

Boundless makes it easy to complete your green card application. We turn all the required forms for your situation into simple questions you can answer in a short amount of time — typically under two hours. Learn more, or get started now!


Financial Support Form (I-864)


To complete the financial support form, or Form I-864 (officially called the “Affidavit of Support”), the sponsoring spouse (and any co-sponsors) must provide the following documents.

I-864 Checklist

Document TypeExamples of Acceptable DocumentsWho Needs It?
Proof of ability to financially support the spouse seeking a green card
  • Copy of your most recent U.S. Federal income tax return

In addition, these documents may strengthen your application:

  • Copies of your U.S. Federal income tax returns from the past 3 years
  • Pay stubs from the past 6 months
  • Letter from your employer to show proof of employment
Sponsoring spouse and financial co-sponsor (if any)
Proof of asset value (if you’re counting your assets to meet the income requirements for a marriage-based green card)If using bank/investment accounts:
  • Ownership document of stocks, bonds, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), or other investment account
  • Bank statements

If using your home:

  • Ownership document (such as title or deed)
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser or a recent tax assessment
  • A document showing the amount of every loan secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other lien on the home

If using your second vehicle:

  • Ownership document (such as title or deed) for all vehicles, including the one you’re including as an asset
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser or a statement from the dealer indicating the vehicle’s current value
  • Sponsoring spouse, financial co-sponsor (if any), and spouse seeking a green card
Sponsoring spouse, financial co-sponsor (if any), and spouse seeking a green card

Not sure if you meet the income requirements for a marriage green card? With Boundless, you get an experienced, independent attorney to answer your questions and review your application materials, including the Affidavit of Support. Ready to start?


Work Permit Application Form (I-765)


To complete the work permit application, or Form I-765 (officially called the “Application for Employment Authorization Document,” or EAD), the spouse seeking a green card from within the United States must provide the following documents.

I-765 Checklist

Document TypeExamples of Acceptable DocumentsWho Needs It?
Proof of lawful U.S. entry and statusSpouse seeking a green card from within the United States
Proof of pending marriage-based green card application
  • Receipt notice (Form I-797C, or “Notice of Action”)
Spouse seeking a green card from within the United States and married to a green card holder

(Spouses of U.S. citizens typically file their work permit and green card applications at the same time.)

Proof of previous authorization to work in the United StatesSpouse seeking a green card from within the United States who has been issued a previous work permit
Proof of nationality
  • Birth certificate and photo ID
  • Visa issued by the consulate of a country other than the United States
  • Other national identity document with your photo and/or fingerprint
Spouse seeking a green card from within the United States who has not been issued a previous work permit
Proof of identity
  • Two 2-inch-by-2-inch passport-style photos*
Spouse seeking a green card from within the United States

*If you are submitting (or have already submitted) a set of two passport-style photos for your green card application and an additional set for your travel permit application, you do not need to submit a third set for your work permit application. You will need to provide only two total sets. If, however, you’re married to a green card holder or if you’re married to a U.S. citizen and file your work permit application after submitting your green card application (which would be unusual), then you will need to provide a new set with your work permit application.

Boundless takes all the required government forms, including the work permit application, and turns them into simple questions you can answer online — typically in under two hours. Ready to start?


Travel Permit Application Form (I-131)


To complete the travel permit application, or Form I-131 (officially called the “Application for Travel Document”), the spouse seeking a green card from within the United States must provide the following documents.

I-131 Checklist

Document TypeExamples of Acceptable DocumentsWho Needs It?
Proof of identity (must show your name, date of birth, and photo)
  • Green card
  • Passport (photo page only)
  • Current work permit, if available
  • Valid government-issued driver’s license
Spouse seeking a green card from within the United States and married to a green card holder

(Spouses of U.S. citizens typically file their work permit and green card applications at the same time.)

Proof of present immigration status
  • Valid U.S. visa
  • Any other document issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing your present status, if any, in the United States (such as Form I-797, or “Notice of Action”)
Spouse seeking a green card from within the United States
Proof of pending marriage-based green card application
  • Receipt notice (Form I-797C, or “Notice of Action”)
Spouse seeking a green card from within the United States and married to a green card holder

(Spouses of U.S. citizens typically file their work permit and green card applications at the same time.)

Additional proof of identity
  • Two 2-inch-by-2-inch passport-style photos*
Spouse seeking a green card from within the United States

*If you are submitting (or have already submitted) a set of two passport-style photos for your green card application and an additional set for your travel permit application, you do not need to submit a third set for your work permit application. You will need to provide only two total sets. If, however, you’re married to a green card holder or if you’re married to a U.S. citizen and file your work permit application after submitting your green card application (which would be unusual), then you will need to provide a new set with your work permit application.

With Boundless, you get a professionally assembled green card application package — including the travel permit application — arranged in the precise format the government prefers. Learn more, or get started now!


Public Charge Test (I-944)


To complete the public charge test, or Form I-944 (officially called the “Declaration of Self-Sufficiency”), the spouse seeking a green card from within the United States must provide the following documents.

Note: It’s worth going through the I-944 instructions line by line to make sure you’ve included all the documents you need. In many cases, the instructions simply request “evidence” or “documentation,” rather than specific documents, so applicants have to figure out exactly what’s needed on a case-by-case basis. Remember that if you are already submitting documentation required for the I-944, such as tax return transcripts or birth certificates, in support of other forms such as the I-485, you don’t generally need to submit multiple copies.

Document typeRequired DocumentsWho needs it?
Proof of incomeIRS tax-return transcripts for the most recent tax yearApplicant and any other household members whose income is being considered. If you were included on someone else’s tax return as a dependent, include their tax transcript with your application, too.
Foreign tax transcripts for the most recent tax yearApplicant and household members who resided outside the US during the past tax year, and didn’t file a US tax return
Form W-2 or a Social Security StatementApplicants who weren’t required to file a federal tax return during the prior three years.
Evidence of non-taxable income, such as:
  • Unemployment benefit records, such as Form 1099-G
  • Child support records
  • Pension or retirement benefits Checks, pay stubs, or other records
Applicants who received U.S. or non-U.S. income not included in their tax transcripts
Proof of assetsEvidence of home ownership:
  • Deeds or other evidence of ownership
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser
  • Evidence of any mortgages or loans secured against the home
Applicant or household members
Evidence of other assets:
  • Proof of ownership for bank accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, and financial instruments
  • Proof of ownership and valuations for any other easily liquidated assets
  • Account statements covering the prior 12 months for any checking or savings accounts
Applicants and household members
Proof of liabilities and debtsEvidence for each debt or liability, such as mortgages, car loans, unpaid taxes or child support, or credit cards. Documentation could include:
  • Contracts or loan agreements
  • Account statements
  • Letters from financial institutions or government agencies
Applicants and household members
Evidence of bankruptcy resolution, court papers or other documentation showing that any prior bankruptcies have been fully resolvedApplicant
Proof of good creditA free credit report from one of the three nationwide reporting agenciesApplicants who already have a U.S. credit score or credit history
Evidence relating to any errors in your credit report:
  • Copies of correspondence with the credit agency confirming that you reported the error and that it’s being investigated
Applicants who have errors in their U.S. credit record
Other evidence of good credit:
  • Documentation from a U.S. credit bureau confirming that no report or credit score is available
  • Evidence of continued payment of bills, such as account ledgers, bills and receipts, or other records
Applicants who don’t yet have a U.S. credit score or credit history
Proof of ability to pay for medical treatmentEvidence of coverage, including at least one of the following:
  • A full copy of a health insurance policy, detailing type of coverage and individuals covered
  • A letter from an insurance company confirming your enrollment and detailing the type of coverage
  • A copy of IRS Form 1095-B or 1095-C confirming your health coverage
  • Health insurance cards are not acceptable as evidence, unless marked with the policy’s effective and expiration dates
Applicants who have health insurance coverage
Additional details of health insurance coverage:
  • Documentation showing the annual deductible or premium paid
  • Documentation showing the policy’s expiration or renewal date
Applicants who have health insurance coverage
Details of insurance tax credits:
  • A transcript copy of IRS Form 8963 (Report of Health Insurance Provider Information)
  • A transcript copy of IRS Form 8962 (Premium Tax Credit)
  • A copy of Form 1095-A (Health Insurance Marketplace Statement)
Applicants who used Affordable Care Act tax credits for health insurance coverage
Details of pending coverage:
  • A letter from your health insurance company showing that you have enrolled, or have a future enrollment date, for an insurance policy. The letter must include the terms, type of coverage, individuals covered, and policy start date.
Applicants whose healthcare coverage has not yet started
Evidence regarding medical conditions, which could include:
  • A letter from a doctor regarding the applicant’s condition, prognosis, and ability to work or study
  • A letter from other medical specialists regarding the applicant’s condition
  • Additional evidence that the applicant has the resources to pay for medical treatment
Applicants with medical conditions that could affect their ability to work, attend school, or care for themselves, or that might require costly treatment
Evidence regarding use of public benefitsA letter or agency document from the benefit-granting agency containing the applicant’s name, the agency’s name, the type of benefit, and the start and end date of the benefit.Applicants who have sought or received any public benefits
Evidence (such as official correspondence) documenting the dis-enrollment or withdrawal from benefits, or the agency’s receipt of the applicant’s request to dis-enroll or withdraw.Applicants who have disenrolled from benefits, or withdrawn an application for a public benefit
Evidence of military service from the authorizing official of the service member’s executive department.Service members who are exempt from public benefit receipt consideration
Form DD-1173 (U.S. Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card – Dependent).Spouses and dependents of service members who are exempt from public benefit receipt consideration
If applicable, either:
  • A statement showing that treatment was due to an emergency medical condition
  • Documentation that it was funded through Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or a school-based service; or
  • A letter from a medical professional verifying that the recipient is pregnant, and stating the duration of the pregnancy.
Recipients of federally funded Medicaid benefits who are exempt from public benefit receipt consideration
Evidence that the recipient is the child of U.S. citizens and eligible for citizenship. (See Form N-600 for details.)Children of U.S. citizens who are exempt from public benefit receipt consideration
Other evidence that the benefit recipient was exempt, such as:
  • An approval notice (I-797) or travel record (I-94) confirming the recipient’s exempt immigration status
  • Official documentation showing that the recipient received a waiver of public charge inadmissibility
Applicants otherwise exempt from public benefit receipt consideration
If applicable, official notification from government bodies showing that the applicant does not qualify for public benefits due to their income levels, immigration status, or other grounds.Any applicant
Evidence regarding fee waiversAny documents or evidence showing that the applicant’s circumstances have changed since requesting a fee waiver. This could include:
  • Pay slips
  • Employment contracts
  • Health records
Applicants who have formerly received or sought waivers of immigration fees
Evidence of caretaking duties
  • Evidence that the applicant is the primary caretaker, such as a legal guardianship order.
  • Evidence that the individual being cared for lives with the applicant, such as a shared lease, financial or medical documents showing their address, etc.
  • Evidence of the individual’s age (such as a birth certificate) or of a medical condition requiring care.
Applicants who are unable to work because they are the primary caretaker of a child or an elderly or disabled person
Evidence regarding educationEvidence of degrees or certifications, such as:
  • Transcripts
  • Diplomas
  • Degree certificates
  • If no other documentation is available, a letter from the educational institution explaining the absence of other evidence
All applicants with educational degrees
Evidence of occupational skills, such as:
  • Training certificates
  • Professional licenses
  • Documentation of apprenticeships or other qualifications in skilled trades
  • If no other documentation is available, a letter from the educational institution explaining the absence of other evidence
All applicants with occupational skills or training
A formal evaluation of equivalency comparing foreign educational achievements to a U.S. education or degreeAll applicants with foreign education or training
Evidence of language training or proficiency, in both English and native languages, such as:
  • Transcripts showing language or literacy classes
  • High school diplomas or college degrees
  • Certificates showing current or completed language classes
All applicants

Special Considerations


Unavailable documents

If you have trouble locating certain documents, you may be able to obtain official copies. If you cannot access copies, you will need to provide notarized statements from yourself and one or two other people. Boundless has a guide on providing secondary evidence when primary evidence (the documents listed above) is not available.

Documents in a foreign language

If some of your documents are written in a language other than English, you will need to obtain certified English translations and attach these to your documents.

With Boundless, you get the confidence of an independent immigration attorney who will review all of your materials and answer any questions you have — for no additional fee. Learn more about how we can help you, or get started now!



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