Mesadieu Law Firm


Discover the Game-Changing Hacks for a Smooth Marriage Green Card Application

Discover the Game-Changing Hacks for a Smooth Marriage Green Card Application

Starting the process to get a Green Card through marriage is a big step, and it can be a bit complex. This article breaks down the ins and outs of adjusting your status, explaining what you need to do and what’s required. We’ll cover everything from making sure you’re eligible to putting together a strong application. Our goal is to make the adjustment of status process for marriage-based Green Cards easy to understand and navigate.

What is Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of Status (AOS) for a marriage-based Green Card is the process through which a foreign national spouse already residing in the United States can transition from a temporary immigration status to a lawful permanent resident. This path is designed for couples in which one partner is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder), and it allows the foreign-born spouse to establish permanent residency in the U.S.

Are You Eligible?  

To qualify for adjustment of status through marriage, the foreign-born spouse must be legally married to a U.S. citizen or a Green Card holder and must have entered the U.S. legally.  Once you determine that you are eligible to apply for adjustment of status through marriage, there are several application forms that are typically required.  Here’s a list of the primary forms needed for the Adjustment of Status process:

  1. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative:
    • This form is filed by the U.S. citizen or Green Card holder spouse to establish the qualifying relationship with the foreign-born spouse.
  2. Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status:
    • This is the main form for Adjustment of Status. It is used to apply for lawful permanent resident status.
  3. Form I-864, Affidavit of Support:
    • The sponsoring spouse must submit this form to demonstrate their ability to financially support the foreign-born spouse.
  4. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (Optional):
    • If the foreign-born spouse wishes to work while the Green Card application is pending, they can file this optional form.
  5. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (Optional):
    • If the foreign-born spouse plans to travel outside the U.S. while the Green Card application is pending, they can file this optional form.

Gathering Required Documents

Now, let’s talk paperwork.  It may sound daunting, but don’t worry.  So, let’s dive into the details:

  1. Proof of Marriage:
    • Marriage certificate: A copy of the official marriage certificate issued by the relevant authority.
    • Wedding photos: Include pictures that document the wedding ceremony and other events.
    • Affidavits: Sworn statements from friends, family, or acquaintances attesting to the authenticity of the marriage.
  2. Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Green Card Holder Status (for Sponsoring Spouse):
    • Copy of the sponsoring spouse’s U.S. passport, birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, or Green Card.
  3. Proof of Legal Entry into the U.S.:
    • Copy of the foreign-born spouse’s visa or entry stamp on their passport.
  4. Joint Finances Documentation:
    • Joint bank statements, joint tax returns, or other financial documents that demonstrate shared financial responsibilities.
  5. Form I-864, Affidavit of Support:
    • This form requires income documentation, such as tax returns, W-2 forms, and recent pay stubs, to demonstrate financial support.
  6. Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record:
    • A completed and signed medical examination form by an approved civil surgeon, ensuring that the foreign-born spouse doesn’t pose a health risk to the U.S. population.
  7. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (Optional):
    • If the foreign-born spouse wishes to work while waiting for the Green Card, this optional form can be submitted along with supporting documents.
  8. Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (Optional):
    • If the foreign-born spouse plans to travel outside the U.S. while the Green Card application is pending, this optional form can be submitted.
  9. Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) from Joint Sponsors (if applicable):
    • If the sponsoring spouse’s income is insufficient, a joint sponsor may submit Form I-864 to provide additional financial support.
  10. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (if applicable):
    • If the foreign-born spouse submits Form I-765 for employment authorization, include the EAD as part of the documentation.
  11. Any Additional Supporting Documents:
    • Depending on individual circumstances, additional documents may be necessary to address specific issues or concerns raised by USCIS.

The Biometrics Appointment

Biometrics? Don’t worry; it’s not as sci-fi as it sounds. We’ll explain what happens during this appointment.  I promise, it’s a breeze compared to planning a wedding.

Going to the biometrics appointment is an important part of getting your marriage-based green card. At this appointment, an official from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will take your fingerprints, a photo, and some other information to make sure you are who you say you are and to check your background. It’s like a security check to make sure everything is okay for your green card.

Here’s what you can expect during the biometrics appointment:

  1. Appointment Notice: You will receive an appointment notice from USCIS indicating the date, time, and location of your biometrics appointment. It’s important to go to this appointment as scheduled.
  2. Documentation: Bring the appointment notice and a valid photo ID (such as a passport or driver’s license) to the biometrics appointment. The USCIS officer will use this information to confirm your identity.
  3. Biometric Data Collection: At the appointment, your fingerprints will be digitally scanned, and a high-resolution photograph will be taken. This information is used to conduct background checks and ensure the accuracy of your immigration records.
  4. Efficient Process: The biometrics appointment is typically a straightforward and efficient process, often taking only about 15-30 minutes. It’s important to arrive on time and be prepared with the required documents.
  5. No Need to Stress: While the term “biometrics” might sound technical, the actual process is routine and non-invasive. It’s a standard procedure aimed at maintaining the integrity and security of the immigration system.
  6. Waiting for Further Processing: After the biometrics appointment, USCIS will continue processing your adjustment of status application. The information collected during biometrics helps officials confirm your identity and conduct necessary security checks.

The Interview: A Not-So-Scary Chat

Think of the interview as a casual conversation about your relationship. We’ll discuss common questions, how to get ready, and what you can anticipate. Just remember, it’s an opportunity for immigration officials to understand you better, nothing to be scared of.  So, some of the commonly asked questions, include but not limited to the following:

Personal Background:

    • How did you and your spouse meet?
    • When and where did you get married?
    • Can you share details about your spouse’s background (education, work, family)?

Daily Life:

    • Describe your typical day together.
    • How do you share responsibilities in your household?
    • Can you provide details about joint activities, hobbies, or vacations?

Knowledge of Each Other:

    • What are your spouse’s favorite hobbies, interests, or foods?
    • How do you handle conflicts or disagreements in your relationship?
    • Can you share memories of significant events you’ve experienced together?

Family and Friends:

    • Have you met each other’s families? How did those meetings go?
    • Who attended your wedding, and how did you decide on the guest list?
    • Can you name some of your spouse’s close friends?

Financial Matters:

    • How do you manage your finances together?
    • Do you have joint bank accounts or shared assets?
    • Can you provide details about your spouse’s employment and income?

Future Plans:

    • Where do you see yourselves in the next five or ten years?
    • Do you have plans for starting a family?
    • How do you envision your lives together in the United States?

Evidence of Relationship:

    • Provide documentation to support your relationship (photos, joint bills, lease agreements, travel records).
    • Can you explain the process of how you decided to get married?
    • How did you celebrate significant events together, like birthdays or anniversaries?

Legal Compliance:

    • Have you complied with all immigration laws during your stay in the U.S.?
    • Were there any previous visa or immigration applications, and if so, what were the outcomes?

Overcoming Hurdles

Like any journey, there might be bumps in the road. We address common challenges, like potential delays or issues that might arise during the process. Knowledge is power when it comes to overcoming hurdles.  Let’s address some common hurdles and provide insights on how to overcome them:

  1. Processing Time Variability:
    • Challenge: USCIS processing times can vary, leading to uncertainty.
    • Solution: Stay informed about current processing times on the USCIS website. While delays can happen, having realistic expectations and patience is key.
  2. Request for Additional Evidence:
    • Challenge: USCIS may request more documentation, potentially causing temporary setbacks.
    • Solution: Be thorough when submitting initial documents, and promptly respond to any additional requests. This proactive approach helps prevent prolonged delays.
  3. Marriage Interview Apprehension:
    • Challenge: The interview may induce anxiety, especially if it’s unfamiliar territory.
    • Solution: Prepare thoroughly by reviewing common interview questions. Consider mock interviews with your spouse or legal counsel to build confidence and ease nervousness.
  4. Changes in Immigration Policies:
    • Challenge: Immigration laws and policies can evolve, affecting the application process.
    • Solution: Stay updated on any policy changes or updates. Consult with an immigration expert to ensure your application aligns with the most current regulations.
  5. Communication and Updates:
    • Challenge: Lack of communication or unclear updates from USCIS may create uncertainty.
    • Solution: Regularly check your case status online, and if there are delays, reach out to USCIS through official channels for clarification. Keep copies of all correspondence for reference.
  6. Addressing Legal Issues:
    • Challenge: Unforeseen legal issues may arise during the process.
    • Solution: Seek legal advice promptly if any legal challenges surface. Consulting with an immigration attorney ensures you have the right guidance to navigate complex issues.

Remember, facing challenges is a natural part of the immigration process. By staying informed, proactive, and seeking professional guidance when needed, couples can successfully overcome obstacles and continue their journey toward securing a marriage-based green card and adjusting their status. Each challenge presents an opportunity for growth and learning, bringing you one step closer to building a life together in the United States.

Voila, Your Green Card is Ready for You 

So, in a nutshell, you’ve got the inside scoop on making your marriage-based green card journey a success. With the right info and a bit of prep, you’re well on your way to making your ‘happily ever after’ a permanent reality in the U.S. Take heart from all the other couples who’ve made this journey—they’re proof that success is doable. Cheers to starting this exciting new chapter as a permanent resident and all the amazing possibilities that come with it.

Call Mesadieu Law Firm at 844.374.4482 or fill out our case evaluation form today to have our experienced, specialized lawyers help with your marriage-based green card now. We’ll Stand Right You.  We’ll Do Right By You.


Start your free case evaluation

Tell us about your situation so we can get started fighting for you. It’s free, simple, and quick.
By submitting your contact information, you agree that we may contact you by telephone (including text) and email in accordance with our Terms and Privacy Policy.