Green Cards through Marriage

Green Cards Through Marriage

While marriage is a legal union between two loving individuals, it is also a legal path to permanent residency in the United States if one of the spouses is a U.S. citizen. In fact, marriage is often referred to as the “fast track” to permanent residency. However, there are certain guidelines that must be met when applying for residency after marriage to a U.S. citizen.

If you are legally wed to a U.S. citizen, the experienced immigration attorneys at Legalize Me can help you obtain a green card and seek permanent residency.

The Bona Fide Marriage Requirement

The most important requirement in obtaining a green card through marriage is that you must have entered into a bona fide marriage. Below are some popular and perhaps the most effective ways for your immigration attorney to prove a bona fide marriage exists:

  • A wedding reception attended by the U.S. citizen spouse’s close relatives, especially parents and siblings
  • Owning joint property
  • Filing joint income tax returns
  • Having a child a together

How the Process Works

Filing for permanent residency in the U.S. through marriage to a U.S. citizen is generally divided into two separate categories, depending on whether the foreign-born spouse lawfully entered the U.S. or entered without inspection. But regardless of which category the spouse falls into, the first step is for the U.S. citizen spouse to submit a form I-130 visa on behalf of the foreign-born spouse.

Lawful Entry Into the U.S.

If the foreign-born spouse legally entered the U.S., he or she may file for adjustment of status, by filing the I-485 packet, without the need to leave the U.S. If there are no other complications, the foreign-born spouse will typically receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) within 90 days and may qualify for eligibility status to travel abroad.

Entry Into the U.S. Without Inspection

If the foreign-born spouse illegally entered the U.S., he or she may have to go abroad to apply for a green card. In some cases, with the help of an experienced immigration attorney, they may be able to apply for a provisional waiver to remain in the United States while applying for permanent residency.

Limitations on Green Cards Obtained Through Marriage

If residency is granted to a foreign-born spouse who has been married less than two years, the green card will have a two-year limit. Within 90 days prior to the expiration of the green card, the couple must submit form I-751 in order for the foreign-born spouse to obtain a ten-year green card.

In situations where the couple gets divorced before celebrating their two-year anniversary, the foreign-born spouse will need to apply for a “good faith marriage waiver” by filing form I-751.

Our immigration attorneys will help you through this process by guiding you in completing the necessary forms in a timely manner. The last thing you want to do is to miss this important deadline and lose your opportunity to obtaining the much-coveted ten-year green card.

Contact Legalize Me For Successfully Getting a Green Card Through Marriage

Legalize Me is dedicated to offering the most experienced immigration support for all of our clients. For more information about obtaining a green card through marriage or to schedule a free consultation with our immigration attorney Michael S. Carrillo to discuss your immigration needs, call us toll free at 626.799.9379.

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