Marriage is a beautiful union between two individuals. With the proper paperwork, it can bring you closer to your dream of living in the United States.
Getting a green card through a union can be a complicated and time-consuming process, but with the proper guidance, it can also be easy and less straining.
If you are applying for a green card through marriage but need to figure out what to expect in the process, then this article is for you.
In this guide, you can explore the steps and requirements for obtaining green card through marriage.
What Is a Marriage Green Card?
A marriage visa green card, also referred to as a spousal visa, is legal proof that allows a foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen to live and work in the United States permanently.
To obtain a marriage green card, the foreign national spouse must complete a multi-step process involving the application and interview and meeting eligibility criteria such as proof of a valid marriage and financial support.
The marriage green card provides a path to citizenship for the foreign national spouse and can be a powerful means for family reunification.
Eligibility Requirements for A Green Card Through Marriage
To seek eligibility for a green card through marriage, the foreign national spouse must be married to a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. The union should be bona fide or must have proof of validity.
The law further requires the couple to meet financial requirements and pass criminal and security background checks.
Marriage to a U.S. Citizen Or Permanent Resident
The foreign national spouse must have wedded a U.S. citizen or permanent resident to qualify for a green card through a valid marriage.
Validity of Marriage
The couple must provide evidence of an honest and valid relationship to prove that the marriage is not fake. This may comprise proofs such as joint bank statements, photos, and other documents validating a life together.
The sponsoring spouse must demonstrate that they can financially support the spouse applying for a green card and that they are not relying on government benefits.
Criminal and Security Background Checks
Both spouses will undergo criminal and security background checks to ensure they are not a threat to national security or public safety.
Any previous criminal convictions, immigration violations, or other red flags may result in rejecting the green card application.
Benefits of a Getting a Green Card Through Marriage
Green card application through marriage presents several benefits for the foreign national spouse, including granting the same rights as that of a permanent resident.
- Permanent residency. A green card provides permanent residency status in the United States, allowing the foreign national spouse to live and seek employment without resident restrictions.
- Access opportunities. With a green card, the foreign national spouse can take advantage of employment and education opportunities in the U.S.
- Travel without limitations. A green card holder can travel in and out of the U.S. without restriction if they do not stay outside the country for an extended period.
- Citizenship: After holding a green card for a certain period, the foreign national spouse may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.
- Reunion with family members. A green card allows the foreign national spouse to live and build a life in the U.S. with their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse and any children they may have.
- Access to government benefits. Green card holders may be eligible for government benefits.
- Protection from removal or deportation. A green card protects you from removal or deportation from the U.S.
- Stability. Obtaining a green card through marriage provides peace and security for spouses and their families.
How Do You Apply for a Marriage Green Card?
To apply for a marriage green card, an individual must first be married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and follow the steps outlined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
STEP 1: Submit Form I-130 and supporting documents
The sponsoring spouse must file Form I-130, or the Petition for Alien Relative, along with supporting documents such as proof of U.S. citizenship, proof of the validity of the marriage, and financial support documentation.
STEP 2: Submit your green card application (Form I-485 or Form DS-260)
Once the I-130 petition is approved, the foreign national spouse must submit a green card application, either Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) or Form DS-260 (Online Immigrant Visa Application), along with supporting documents and fees.
STEP 3: Attend your green card interview and receive your green card
Finally, the foreign national spouse must attend a green card interview at a USCIS office and, if approved, will receive their green card in the mail.
The green card grants permanent residency status and allows the foreign national spouse to live and work in the U.S indefinitely.
These steps can get overwhelming and confusing when you are done individually. Get a consultation from our experts at the Law Offices of Fadel A. Ibrahim, PLLC, so that you can follow a smooth and convenient process.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Marriage Green Card?
The process of green card application through marriage varies from person to person. The pace typically depends on the requirements submitted and other issues that may arise during the process.
If all conditions are appropriately presented, you can expect several months to one year of completion.
Processing Times for Applicants Living in the U.S. With a U.S. Citizen Spouse
The total processing time can take several months to a year if the foreign national spouse is living in the U.S. and married to a U.S. citizen.
Processing Times for Applicants Living in the U.S. with a Permanent Resident Spouse
The total processing time can take several years if the foreign national spouse is living in the U.S. and married to a permanent resident.
Processing Times for Applicants Living Abroad with a U.S. Citizen Spouse
If the foreign national spouse is living abroad and married to a U.S. citizen, the total processing time can take several months to a year, including consular processing.
Processing Times for Applicants Living Abroad with a Permanent Resident Spouse
If the foreign national spouse is living abroad and married to a permanent resident, the total processing time can take several years, including consular processing.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Marriage Green Card?
Getting a marriage green card can be expensive as several fees are involved, including the cost of Form I-130, Form I-485, or Form DS-260, biometrics fee, and attorney fees (if you choose to use one).
The cost of a marriage green card ranges from $1,500 to $3,500, depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
Additionally, some applicants may need to pay additional fees for medical exams, translation services, or other expenses.
What Happens If USCIS Denies Your Marriage Green Card?
If USCIS denies your marriage green card application, you will receive a written notice explaining the reasons for the denial.
You can either appeal the decision or file a new application if you believe the denial was made in error or your circumstances have changed.
However, it is essential to consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your possibilities and determine the best action.
Talk to our lawyer at the Law Offices of Fadel A. Ibrahim, PLLC, to know more about your options.
When Should You Work with a Lawyer To Get a Marriage Green Card?
Working with a lawyer can be beneficial when applying for a marriage green card if facing complex immigration issues, such as a prior immigration violation or criminal history.
An effective and reliable immigration lawyer can help you understand the eligibility requirements, provide guidance on the application process, and represent you in front of USCIS.
Additionally, a lawyer can help you avoid common mistakes and ensure that your application is processed proficiently and correctly.
Get the Best Green Card for Marriage Lawyer
Getting the services of top-notch professionals can make your dream of getting a green card a step closer.
We at Law Offices of Fadel A. Ibrahim, PLLC, can assist you on how to get a green card in USA with marriage by providing support and guidance all throughout the process, from filing for green card through marriage to attending the green card interview.
As a full-service immigration law firm with expertise in marriage-based green card applications, our lawyer can handle your case effectively.
Our marriage immigration lawyer in Houston, Texas can also help you understand the eligibility requirements and complete the necessary forms. We guide you in gathering all required documentation to avoid common mistakes and ensure that your application is processed efficiently and correctly.
Having a lawyer can give you peace of mind and help you navigate the often-complex immigration system with confidence.
Book a consultation with the Law Offices of Fadel A. Ibrahim, PLLC today and get started with your green card application today!
Last updated on May 2, 2023