Applying for a Green Card Through Marriage
Getting a green card through marriage is one of the methods a person can use to immigrate to the U.S. For additional info and advice, call the Law Office of Diana Levy.
In such cases, since the immigrant is already present in the US, they would need to apply to the USCIS to adjust their immigration status.
The procedure requires the U.S. citizen spouse to file Form I-130, which is the immigrant petition form for an alien relative on behalf of the applicant. Once the petition is granted, the immigrant spouse would need to file Form I-485, which is the application to adjust status. In some situations, you may be allowed to file both forms concurrently.
Once you’ve submitted all the necessary information, you’ll need to attend your biometrics appointment and green card interview as scheduled by the USCIS.
You’ll receive a decision on the success or otherwise of your application once the processing is complete. If you’re successful, you’ll receive your green card via mail after a while.
However, if you’ve been married for less than two years, you’ll receive a conditional green card/permanent residency valid for two years. You can remove the conditions on your green card by filing a petition with the USCIS 90 days before the conditional permanent residency expires.
If you need more information about this pathway to a spousal green card via a K-1 fiance visa or any other non-immigrant visa, you can contact a K-1 visa lawyer for help and guidance.
If the Immigrant Spouse Is Outside the US
If the immigrant spouse is outside the U.S., the path to permanent residency is through an IR1 or CR1 immigrant visa.
An IR1 visa is granted to foreign national spouses of U.S. citizens whose marriages are more than two years old; otherwise, a CR1 visa is granted.
These visas are obtained via consular processing. However, the U.S. citizen spouse would still need to first file Form I-130 and an affidavit of support with the USCIS from within the U.S.
Once the petition is approved, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for pre-processing. The NVC will inform you of the fees you need to pay and the documents you need to submit.
Once your file is complete, you’ll be scheduled for a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate near you. You’ll need to complete your medical examination before your appointment.
If successful, you’ll be granted an IR1 or CR1 visa, depending on your circumstances. Once you have entered the U.S., your green card will be mailed to you shortly.
Can a Marriage Green Card Be Denied?
Yes, the USCIS can deny a marriage-based green card application for a variety of reasons. The USCIS grants adjustment of status at its discretion, so being in a valid marriage doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a green card.
For example, U.S. citizen or green card holder sponsoring their spouse has to prove they have enough financial resources to support them. The USCIS typically requires that sponsoring spouse earns at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Level so their applicant spouse can qualify for a green card. A Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) and evidence such as tax returns and pay stubs can be used as proof for the sponsoring spouse.
Other reasons for denial can include particular medical issues and certain types of criminal records. Also, if a green card applicant doesn’t have a valid entry document or the USCIS believes their nonimmigrant visa was used as a way to reach the U.S. to adjust status, a green card through marriage will not be approved.
How an Experienced Immigration Attorney Can Help You Obtain a Spousal Green Card
There is a lot of documentation to handle and information to process when you seek to become a legal permanent resident in the U.S. However, working with an immigration law firm can help simplify things.
Your immigration lawyer in Los Angeles can help you with all aspects of the green card process, from filing the necessary paperwork to understanding what is required. Their familiarity with immigration laws and processes makes it easy to avoid any mistakes that could lead to a denial of your application. Consider hiring one today to improve your chances of getting a green card.
If you have further questions about spousal immigration, obtaining a green card, or any other immigration process, reach out to us at the Law Office of Diana L. Levy, P.A. We can offer immigration services and guidance, as well as handle the immigration process on your behalf, depending on your unique needs.
Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.