Applying for a green card? Make sure you have these 10 documents ready

Find out what paperwork you’ll need in order to apply for a green card of any type.

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What's Inside

What's Inside

Getting your green card, or permanent residency, in the U.S. is an important step to establishing a long-term presence. This process, while complex, can be made smoother with the right information and preparation. And of course, you can get a lot of help when you have an experienced attorney on your side. 

In this blog post, we made a list of the most important documents you need in order to apply for a green card.

Here’s a breakdown of what you need:

  1. Form I-485: This is the core document titled “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.” It’s your official request for permanent residency.
  2. Passport-style photos: You’ll need two recent photos.
  3. Birth certificate or proof of birth: This is critical to verify your age and nationality.
  4. Valid ID: You can use a copy of your passport or any other government-issued ID, like a national ID card.
  5. Arrival/Departure record (I-94): This documents your entries and exits from the U.S.
  6. U.S. visas: You’ll need to provide copies of your current and any previous U.S. visas.
  7. Marriage certificate: If you’re applying for a green card based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen, you’ll need to submit this.
  8. Proof of relationship: This could be in the form of photographs or other documents that show you and your spouse live together.
  9. Financial documents: These should demonstrate your ability to support yourself and your dependents without public benefits.
  10. Medical exam and vaccination records: You’ll need to provide a report from an authorized doctor confirming your health status, as well as giving a history of your vaccinations. 

Along with these, you’ll also need to ensure you have the application fee ready. It’s also a good idea to know which category you’re applying under, since a “skilled worker” green card may require paperwork that a “spousal” green card doesn’t. 

Make sure you’re prepared

Applying for a U.S. green card is an elaborate process, and as you can tell from the list above, there’s a lot to consider. To make the process easier on yourself, pay careful attention to what documents you need to have at the ready. 

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Disclaimer: This article is provided as general information, not legal advice, and may not reflect the current laws in your state. It does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not a substitute for seeking legal counsel based on the facts of your circumstance. No reader should act based on this article without seeking legal advice from a lawyer licensed in their state.

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