You’ve probably heard that the option to get a green card through marriage is the most common way an immigrant can obtain permanent resident status. And it’s true. But as a result, there is a lot of marriage fraud happening, and the USCIS is scrutinizing these applications more than ever before.
All things considered, a foreign spouse has easier access to get a green card through marriage compared to a non-related, unmarried individual. We’ve gone ahead and broken the process down for you as follows:
Get A Green Card Through Marriage Step 1: File Petition for Alien Relative
Filing form I-130 is the very first step you need to take. It establishes your relationship (marriage) to the person applying for residency, and both of you will need to submit various details and biographical information (Form G-325A). It’s your responsibility to convince the agency that your marriage is not a fraud, so you’ll also likely need to submit evidence of your marriage – marriage certs, birth certs, wedding announcements, wedding photos, bank account statements showing joint accounts, and so on.
Get A Green Card Through Marriage Step 2: Adjustment of Status
Processing times vary, and are subject to the USCIS administrative process. However, as soon as your I-130 and G-325A are filed, you can go ahead and file for an adjustment of status by submitting the I-485, Medical report, Affidavit of Support, employment authorization document (EAD), and Advance Parole (aka- Travel Document), your photographs, and all associated fees. Phew, that’s a lot!
If all documents are filled out correctly, and properly submitted, your spouse will then be sent for biometrics (i.e. fingerprinting). Your interview should be scheduled sometime after that, in the nearest USCIS center to your address. If all goes well, you will be granted your permanent resident status at the interview and issued a temporary card. Your actual card will arrive in the mail shortly after.
Does Your Spouse Already Have Children?
They will need to apply for permanent residence separately. This means filling out the I-130 for each of them, but sending the whole package in together. You want them all reviewed at the same time, by the same person; packaging them together is the only way to make sure this happens.
Side Note: Petitioning Prior To The Two-Year Green Card Through Marriage Requirement
In the case where you petitioned the government for a green card before your two year anniversary, the green card you received at the time was likely conditional. This means you may be required to petition again at your two year anniversary.
You will both be required to come in for an interview at either an immigration or consular office. Upon successful completion of this interview, your conditions will be removed and your residency becomes permanent.
The interview serves two primary purposes for the government. First, it establishes that you really have been living together for the past two years. And second, your marriage is genuine, and was not designed as a means to scam the government into granting permanent residence to a foreign national.
Feeling Overwhelmed As You Seek To Get A Green Card Through Marriage? We Can Help.
For a complimentary, confidential consultation about applying to get a green card through marriage, call the Lee Law Firm at (404) 892-8300 now.