If you fail to go through the Green Card Renewal process by not completing Form I-90, an Lawful Permanent Residents who got married before obtaining a Green Card are not required to file an Immigrant Petition on behalf of their spouse (or any children born before becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident). A spouse and eligible children of a Lawful Permanent Resident in this category may apply for a Green Card without having an approved Immigrant Petition. This process is known as "accompanying" or "follow to join." Lawful Permanent Residents who have "adjusted" to Lawful Permanent Resident status in the U.S. must file Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition in order to notify the appropriate consulate that their spouse will "accompany" or "follow to join."
Lawful Permanent Residents who got married after obtaining a Green Card must file a Form I-130 Immigrant Petition on behalf of their spouse in order to sponsor them for Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card) status.
Before the spouse of a Lawful Permanent Resident in this category can apply for the "Green Card," two things must have happened. First, the I-130 Immigrant Petition must have been approved. Second, the foreign spouse's "Priority Date" must be current. Click here to find out more about what a Priority Date is and how long you might have to wait for a Priority Date to become current.
Does your spouse already have an Approved Immigrant Petition? Check the Visa Bulletin to find out if the Priority Date is current so that you can proceed to the next step. If your spouse is already in the U.S., the next step will be to file Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident. If your spouse is outside the U.S., he or she will have to go through the Immigration Visa process.