A spousal visa is a green card that allows the spouse of a United States citizen to live in the country legally, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The visa is either conditional or permanent, depending on how long the couple has been married.
If the couple has been married less than two years, the immigrant spouse can be issued a permanent resident status on a conditional basis, states the USCIS. Then the couple would have to apply to have the residence conditions removed within the 90 days prior to the expiration of the conditional permanent resident status.
Anyone applying for a spousal visa must submit a Form I-130 to the USCIS and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to the U.S. Department of State. Once that form is filed, it is possible for the spouse to apply for a non-immigrant K3 visa, which allows working and living in the U.S. while the actual visa application is pending, notes the USCIS. This is optional, but those opting to do so would file a Form I-129F.