Following to Join Benefits for Spouse
Important: This section is only applicable to lawful permanent residents who did not gain their LPR status as an immediate relative (parent, spouse, or unmarried child under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen.

If you were married before you became a lawful permanent resident, and your spouse did not physically accompany you to the U.S., your spouse may be eligible for following-to-join benefits. This means that you do not have to submit a separate Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for your spouse, and your spouse will not have to wait any extra time for a visa number to become available. In this case, you may simply notify a U.S. Consulate that you are a lawful permanent resident so that your spouse can apply for an immigrant visa.

Your spouse may be eligible for following-to-join benefits if your relationship still exists and if one of the following is applicable:
  • You immigrated on diversity lottery
  • You immigrated through employment based immigration
  • You immigrated based on your relationship to your U.S. citizen sibling
  • You immigrated based on your relationship to your U.S. citizen parent when you were already married

If you fall into one of these categories, please submit the following information to the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:
  • Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition
  • A copy of the original application or petition that was used to apply for your immigrant status
  • A copy of the I-797, Notice of Action, for your original application or petition
  • A copy of your green card

If the I-824 is approved, the USCIS will notify a U.S. consulate that you are a lawful permanent resident so that your spouse can apply for a following-to-join immigrant visa. Your spouse must then contact the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing. More detailed information about U.S. consulates in India.

You should file the I-824 at the USCIS office that took the most recent action on your case.

If you are in the U.S. and have filed for an adjustment of status, you can file I-824 for your spouse. If you are in the U.S. and have not yet filed for an adjustment of status, you can file I-824 concurrently with I-485 and in that case, it does not require any supporting documentation.

Following to join benefits for children
Important: This section is only applicable to lawful permanent residents who did not gain their LPR status as the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen.

If you had children before you became a lawful permanent resident, and your children did not physically accompany you to the United States, and you would now like your children to join you in the United States, your children may be eligible for following-to-join benefits. This means that you do not have to submit a separate Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for your children, and your children will not have to wait any extra time for a visa number to become available. In this case, you can simply notify a U.S. consulate that you are a lawful permanent resident so that your children can apply for immigrant visas. If, however, you immigrated to the U.S. as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen who did not or could not petition for your children, you will need to file a separate I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

Your children may be eligible for following-to-join benefits if:
  • You immigrated on the basis of a fiancè(e) petition
  • You immigrated on the basis of a diversity immigrant application
  • You immigrated on the basis of an employment-based petition
  • You immigrated on the basis of a petition filed by your brother or sister
  • You immigrated on the basis of an immigrant petition filed by your U.S. citizen parent(s) when you were married or when you were unmarried and over 21 years of age
  • You immigrated on the basis of your relationship with your lawful permanent resident parents when you were unmarried

Also, for your child to be eligible for following-to-join benefits, he or she must:
  • Be unmarried and
  • Be under 21 years of age and
  • Have been a child from a marriage of yours (the marriage must have existed at the time of your admission to the U.S.) or
  • Have been a stepchild from a marriage of yours (the marriage must have existed at the time of your admission to the U.S.) or
  • Have been legally adopted prior to your admission to the U.S., and otherwise qualify as an adopted child under the immigration law.

If you fall into one of the categories above, please submit the following to USCIS:
  • Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition
  • A copy of the original application or petition that you used to apply for your immigrant status
  • A copy of the I-797 Notice of Action for your original application or petition
  • A copy of your green card
  • Proof that the child meets the appropriate criteria for Following-to-Join Benefits
You should file the I-824 at the USCIS office that took the most recent action on your case.

If you are in the U.S. and have filed for adjustment of status, you can file I-824 for your child. If you are in the U.S. and have not yet filed for adjustment of status, you can file I-824 concurrently with I-485 and in that case, it does not require any supporting documentation.

If the I-824 is approved, the USCIS will notify a U.S. consulate that you are now a lawful permanent resident so that your children can apply for immigrant visas. You must then ask your children to report to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing.