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hello -

I am american citizen and my husband is UK citizen. We are newly married couple in the UK. I would like to apply for my husband to get a green card but we probably will be stayin in the UK for at least 3 years. I often go home (US) to visit my family. When I go back next time (at the end of this year), would like to get a drivers license, SSN, and bank account for him. Is it worth applying for the greencard from abroad?
 

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Others will be along with more details, but basically, no, you can't get your spouse a greencard "in advance." When you decide to move back to the US, you'll have to file for sponsorship - showing that you have enough income to support the both of you on your return (you can use a co-sponsor if you need to). Then you get a spouse visa for your husband. And after his arrival in the US, only then can he put in for a Green Card, social security number and the works. (In most states, you need to be resident in the state in order to get a driving license.)

As far as bank accounts go, it would be far easier to add him to your US bank account (assuming you have one).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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The official US immigration site gives you all the information from soup to nuts. Read the section "after a Green Card is granted".

Your spouse will have to conduct business as UK citizen which means no social security number, drivers license is possible with B2, i94 in a few states, banking with Form W8.
 

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No, your husband cannot obtain a Green card "in advance" of planning to live in the US.

SSN, driving licence and bank account are only available by being resident in the US.
 

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No, your husband cannot obtain a Green card "in advance" of planning to live in the US.

SSN, driving licence and bank account are only available by being resident in the US.
It is no problem for non-residents to open bank accounts.

Some states issue driver's licenses to B2 holders for the duration of the I94. FL and TX I am familiar with. The site of the respective state's DMV has the details.
 

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It is no problem for non-residents to open bank accounts.

Some states issue driver's licenses to B2 holders for the duration of the I94. FL and TX I am familiar with. The site of the respective state's DMV has the details.
I do not agree that it is no problem to open a bank account for non residents. The banks have tightened up considerably as per a new colleague who, although he has renently entered the country on H1B, has had to provide umpteen documents including address, SSN, letter of employment before being eligible to open a bank account. He had to visit a number of banks before he could open an account without various onerous restrictions placed on him.

Without at least an address in the US I would think the task would be even more difficult

With regard the getting a driver's licence with a B2, the OP did not mention her husband would be obtaining one of these.
 

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There is no law not allowing to open bank accounts as non-resident. Not being informed and unfortunately often obnoxious (being the unofficial interpreter in a large market was interesting) he had an unpleasant experience. Try to open an account in Europe. Again - unless it is bank wide policy you can open an account. It may take talking to someone but a teller. My mother has had checking, savings and annuities for 30 years and no US address.

Again - it is possible to get a driver's license depending on individual circumstances.
 

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As did your mother, I've also had a bank account in the US for several decades. But the ease of gaining an account as a non-resident then is not the same as now. 'Know your customer' rules have tightened up considerably around the world, and even though it's not a legal requirement, many banks say they need a SSN, and quote some vague 'homeland security' babble if they don't want to deal with you.

The best way is to have a bank in the home country with an international reach, and use them to open the foreign account. That's how my wife opened her French account without a French address, although we have one now.
 

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As did your mother, I've also had a bank account in the US for several decades. But the ease of gaining an account as a non-resident then is not the same as now. 'Know your customer' rules have tightened up considerably around the world, and even though it's not a legal requirement, many banks say they need a SSN, and quote some vague 'homeland security' babble if they don't want to deal with you.

The best way is to have a bank in the home country with an international reach, and use them to open the foreign account. That's how my wife opened her French account without a French address, although we have one now.
this is going way OT. OP's question was is it possible. Yes, it is!
 

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Just a quick clarification on the bank account issue: Very often, when folks ask questions about transferring their bank accounts overseas, we recommend (strongly) that they keep at least one account open "back home." This is one of the classic reasons why.

It is generally far easier to add a foreign spouse to your existing account than to open a new account in the spouse's name when you are still resident abroad. Once the spouse has been a "customer" of the bank for a while, it will then be easier to open a separate account in the spouse's own name.

In most cases, however, you'll have to put in a personal visit to the bank to add the new signer to the account.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Others will be along with more details, but basically, no, you can't get your spouse a greencard "in advance."
Crawford made the same point, but I'd like to elaborate a bit.

The U.S. citizen sponsor can and should file USCIS Form I-130 (including a pair of Form G-325As and one Form G-1145) any time well prior to moving. Once Form I-130 is approved the file moves to the U.S. National Visa Center. The NVC will close the file after 12 months of inactivity, but the file can be kept open (and "on ice") simply by contacting the NVC at least once every, say, 11 months. I recommend that both spouses set calendar reminders to make sure this gets done.

There doesn't seem to be any practical limit to how long you can keep an approved I-130 on ice. At least, I haven't heard any reports of a limit. Considering that the NVC is dealing with approved USCIS petitions that then go into multi-decade waits in some cases (for visa allocations, e.g. for adult foreign siblings of U.S. citizens), obviously the NVC knows how to keep old files on file.

If you have an approved I-130 on file, "on ice," then you've avoided a few months of waiting time at USCIS when you're ready to move. You've still got roughly a couple months to obtain the CR-1 or IR-1 visa itself, but that's a lot better than 6 to 12 months if you're just starting from scratch.

Anyway, the direct answer to your question is no, you cannot get a green card in advance, but I did want to point out that you can effectively lop off a few months of waiting time if you get an approved I-130 on file.
 

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I'd also like to add a couple bits of advice on foreign non-U.S. resident spouses and U.S. bank accounts. Here are a couple ideas:

1. In many states you can add what's called a "Payable on Death Beneficiary" to financial accounts. A POD beneficiary does not have day-to-day access to the account but, just as the name suggests, the account passes to the beneficiary if you were to predecease him/her. It's then a streamlined process that doesn't have to go through probate, so it's quicker. I believe in some states you can name "Legal Spouse" as your POD beneficiary. According to U.S. federal law certain accounts such as IRAs must be paid to your legal spouse upon your death unless your spouse specifically, him/herself, opts out.

2. I think it's a sensible idea to obtain a supplementary credit card for your spouse and to have that credit card balance automatically paid in full each month. Some financial institutions may want you to obtain an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) for your spouse if he/she doesn't have a Social Security Number, but that's not usually required to issue a supplementary credit card in his/her name. My current favorite U.S. credit card for this purpose is the no annual fee version of the Capital One Quicksilver credit card, though there are other options as well. Your spouse can then use that card for emergency spending, for example. Some credit card issuers let you set a separate lower spending limit for that additional cardholder if you wish. Your spouse can then start to build a basic U.S. credit history just having the card issued -- that's true of cards from Capital One, Chase, and Wells Fargo at least, as examples. You are of course still responsible for full payment since it's still your account with your sponsorship. Some U.S. credit card issuers call this type of credit card an "Authorized User" credit card. That's Capital One's term for it, for example. Do not pay any fees for an Authorized User credit card -- it's completely unnecessary since there are many card issuers with no annual fee credit cards, including no annual fee Authorized User credit cards.

You should explain the basics of how to operate a U.S. issued credit card. In particular, like most card issuers, U.S. issuers often require "travel notice" before you use the card in any particular country outside the United States. You can show your spouse how to do that by phone, for example. (Many voice over IP services, e.g. Skype, can call U.S. toll free numbers free of charge, so that's a good way to contact the credit card issuer. Authorized Users have their own, limited access to cardmember services, including the ability to set travel notices.)

Credit cards are expensive for cash needs, so you and your spouse should have other, lower cost means of obtaining emergency cash.

3. Some U.S. banks let you obtain an "Authorized User" debit/ATM card, but that's much less common. Debit cards do not generate any U.S. credit history, so I recommend a free, low cost (no foreign currency fee, in particular) Authorized User credit card if your credit history permits.

4. Be aware there's an annual U.S. gift limit to non-resident foreign spouses. Spending from "your" funds counts toward the gift limit unless the spending is not considered a gift (per the IRS definition). Gifts in excess of the limit are reportable and count against your lifetime exclusion. Both the annual gift limit and lifetime exclusion are quite high numbers that most people never have to worry about, but they're important to some couples.
 

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Change accounts from Mrs to Mrs AND Mr and they will not go to probate.

Tax for gift to spouses falls into immediate interest and future interest. Not knowing OP's financial situation she may want to consult a CPA.
 

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Sure, that's called a joint bank account, and most people are familiar with them already. Sometimes that's not a good idea, e.g. tax and financial reporting reasons, and sometimes it's not even possible.
 
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