US citizens and permanent residents can sponsor foreign national spouses through a petition for a Green Card by marriage. US citizens can sponsor spouses as “immediate relatives.” For immediate relatives, visa numbers are available immediately, which means that there is no need to wait for a visa number to become available. As soon as the U.S citizen’s petition is approved, a visa number is made available and the foreign spouse can apply for a US Green Card.
On September 18, 2017, in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed to modify a current Department of Homeland Security system of records titled, “Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection-001 Alien File, Index, and National File Tracking System of Records.” The new rule will be implemented on October 18, 2017 after a public comment period.