Marriage Green Card - (in the U.S.)
What is a Marriage Green Card?
A marriage green card allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen or green card holder to live and work anywhere in the United States. A green card holder will have “permanent resident” status until they decide — if they wish — to apply for U.S. citizenship, for which they become eligible after three years.
The green card through marriage process explained
Obtaining a permanent residence / green card through marriage can often times be the fastest way to obtain residency in the US, however approval is not guaranteed or automatic.
It is very important to be aware that these marriage green card petitions are scrutinized to ensure that the marriage is bona fide (legitimate) and that it was not entered into for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration benefits.
Our firm has significant experience in successfully filing marriage green card petitions. We work with clients nationwide who are seeking marriage based green cards and other family visas.
We have successfully handled hundreds of marriage green card cases and we can guide you through the current policies and prevent delays due to mistakes.
If both the U.S. Citizen and Foreign National Spouse are in the U.S., the U.S. Citizen may apply for the Foreign National Spouse’s Permanent Residence through Adjustment of Status with the USCIS.
Who qualifies for the green card through marriage to a US Citizen:
- Must be legally married to a US Citizen (USC) or US Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)
- Marriage must be bona fide (not done to get a green card). Any prior marriages must be terminated BEFORE your current marriage
- Foreign Spouse must have entered the US legally (I-94, visa, etc.) and still have proof of legal entry. NOTE: Canadian Citizens are usually not required to show proof of legal entry, but if they do have proof, they will need to provide it for the filing.
- USC/LPR: Must not have any arrests / convictions involving violence or sexual offenses against a minor
- Foreign Spouse: Must not have committed any Crimes of Moral Turpitude.
- Any U.S. Citizen in the United States with a Foreign National Spouse who entered the U.S. legally with a visa or a visa waiver.
- It is OK if the visa or I-94 has expired.
- Canadian Citizens are not required to show proof of legal entry.
An overview of the marriage green card Process:
Once the marriage has taken place, the couple files the following with USCIS:
- Petition for Alien Relative (USCIS Form I-130)
- Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary (USCIS Form I-130A )
- Application to Register Permanent Residence (USCIS Form I-485)
- Affidavit of Support (USCIS Form I-864)
- Permission for Work Authorization (Optional) (USCIS Form I-765)
- Medical Examination Results (USCIS Form I-693)
- Request for Travel Documents (Optional) (USCIS Form I-131)
- The appropriate supporting documents
- The USCIS Filing fees are $1,760 (over 14) and $1,285 (under 14)
The USCIS will first contact you first regarding the Biometrics Appointment.
The USCIS will then issue the work authorization and permission to travel approximately 5-7 months after filing.
The USCIS will contact you next to schedule the marriage green card interview. Processing time at USCIS varies greatly from state to state – average is 15-18 months after filing the initial application.
Following a successful interview, USCIS will mail the Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) (approx 4-8 weeks after the successful interview).
The Conditional Status may be removed by applying for Removal of Conditional Status (USCIS Form I-751) within 90 days of the 2 year anniversary of the granting of Conditional Permanent Residency.