Marriage-Based Green Card
Marriage-Based Green Card
A marriage-based green card is like a special visa that allows a person from another country (the foreign spouse) who is married to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident to live and work in the United States. The main goal of this green card is to let the foreign spouse become a permanent resident in the U.S. and, eventually, a U.S. citizen. To get this green card, you’ll need to follow several steps, such as submitting a request to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), having an interview, and going through a background check. The key requirement is that you and your spouse must be legally married and genuinely in love, not just getting married for the green card.
At Mesadieu Law Firm, our immigration lawyers know all about the marriage-based green card process. We’re here to help you through each step and offer the assistance you need to make it successful. Our promise is to support you every step of the way and make sure everything goes as it should. Contact us today at 844-3-RIGHT-BY-YOU (844) 374-4482, and we’ll be happy to talk with you.
What Are the Legal Requirements for Obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card?
To get a marriage-based green card, there are specific legal requirements you’ll need to meet.
Here’s what they involve in simpler terms:
- Legitimate Marriage: You need to be truly married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and this marriage should be real, not fake, and not just for getting a green card.
- No Other Marriages: Neither you nor your spouse can be married to someone else at the same time. If you’ve been married before, you must prove that your previous marriage ended legally. This proof includes divorce or death certificates.
- Income Qualifications: The U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse should have enough income to support the foreign spouse.
- No Legal Issues: The foreign spouse must not have any serious legal problems, like criminal convictions or immigration violations.
- Pass a Medical Exam: The foreign spouse needs to pass a medical test to show they don’t have any contagious diseases that could be a health risk in the U.S.
Besides these legal requirements, you’ll also need to provide various documents as evidence for your green card application. These documents might include your marriage certificate, birth certificates, passport copies, tax returns, and financial papers. It’s essential to talk to an experienced immigration attorney to make sure you’ve got everything prepared correctly and submitted for your marriage-based green card application.
At Mesadieu Law Firm, we’ve got skilled immigration attorneys who know the ins and outs of the marriage-based green card process. We’ll be there with you at every step and offer the help you need to reach a successful outcome. Our promise is to be right by your side and do right by you. Get in touch with us today at 844-3-RIGHT-BY-YOU (844) 374-4482 to schedule a consultation.
Adjustment of Status
This process lets you change your temporary visa status to permanent immigrant status and get a family-based green card. To make this happen, you have to submit an I-485 form, known as the Petition to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This is the primary application for your green card, and you’ll need to show that you qualify for the specific family-based category you’re applying for.
If you’re an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen and you’re already in the United States, you can apply for your green card by submitting both the I-485 and the I-130 forms at the same time. Immediate relatives have a higher priority for green cards, and there’s no limit to how many are issued. So, once your I-130 petition is approved, you can quickly adjust your status, and you can file both forms together. This means you can apply for and receive your green card within a year.
However, if you’re an immediate relative and you’re outside the U.S., you need to wait for your I-130 petition to get approved before you can apply for a green card.
What are the documents Required for Marriage-Based Green Card through Adjustment of Status
For a marriage-based green card through adjustment of status in the United States, you will typically need to provide various documents to support your application. These documents are essential to prove the legitimacy of your marriage and your eligibility for permanent residency. Here is a list of common documents required:
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: This is the main application form for a green card through adjustment of status. Make sure it’s properly completed and signed.
- Form G-325A, Biographic Information: This form provides biographical information about both the petitioner and the beneficiary.
- Marriage Certificate: A copy of your official marriage certificate to prove that your marriage is legally recognized.
- Birth Certificates: Birth certificates for both you (the foreign spouse) and your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse.
- Passport Photos: Typically, two passport-sized photos of both you and your spouse.
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record: You will need to undergo a medical examination by an approved civil surgeon. They will complete this form.
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support: This form is submitted by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse to show they can financially support you. It includes their financial information and supporting documents.
- Proof of Legal Entry: Evidence of your legal entry into the United States. This could be a copy of your I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, a visa stamp in your passport, or other relevant documents.
- Certified Copies of Documents: Include certified copies of any legal documents such as divorce decrees, death certificates, or marriage certificates from prior marriages to prove that any previous marriages were legally terminated.
- Proof of Continuation of a Bona Fide Marriage: Documents that demonstrate the authenticity of your marriage, including joint bank account statements, lease agreements, and photographs showing your life together.
- Tax Returns: Copies of your joint tax returns (IRS Form 1040) to prove you file your taxes together as a married couple.
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency: If your sponsoring spouse is a permanent resident, you’ll need to provide a copy of their green card or proof of their U.S. citizenship.
- Affidavits from Friends and Family: These are optional but can be helpful. Affidavits from friends and family who can vouch for the legitimacy of your marriage.
Please note that these documents are subject to change and may vary depending on your specific situation and the current immigration regulations. It’s essential to check the USCIS website or consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure you have the most up-to-date and accurate information for your green card application.
Married to a U.S. Citizen
If you’re married to a U.S. citizen, you might be able to get a marriage-based green card, which lets you become a permanent resident in the United States. This means you can live and work in the U.S. without any time limits.
To get this green card, your U.S. citizen spouse needs to submit a form called the I-130 petition for you. If you came to the U.S. legally, you can also file the I-485 Adjustment of Status to apply for a green card while staying in the U.S.
When you file the I-485, you might receive a work permit, and sometimes you can even travel outside the U.S. If your marriage is less than two years old, your green card through might be valid for only two years. To get a ten-year green card, you and your spouse need to submit another form called the I-751 about 90 days before the first green card expires.
The process can be tricky, so it’s a good idea to have an experienced immigration attorney help you out. But getting a marriage-based green card is a big opportunity for those looking to live in the U.S. permanently through marriage to a U.S. citizen.
At Mesadieu Law Firm, our immigration lawyers are experts in the whole marriage-based green card thing. We’ll be with you every step of the way and provide all the support you need for a successful result. Our promise is to stand by you and do right by you. So, get in touch with us today at 844-3-RIGHT-BY-YOU (844) 374-4482, and we’ll chat with you.
Married to a Permanent Resident
If you’re married to a permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States, you might be able to apply for a marriage-based green card. But there’s a catch – unlike spouses of U.S. citizens, you might have to wait a bit longer because there are some limits on how many of these green cards can be given out each year.
Here’s how it works: Your permanent resident spouse needs to start the process by submitting a form called the I-130 on your behalf. But then, you’ll need to wait for a visa to become available before you can even apply for your green card. If you’re in the United States legally, you can file another form called the I-485, also known as the Adjustment of Status, to get your green card. But if you’re outside of the United States, you’ll have to go through something called consular processing to get your green card.
While you’re going through this application process, you might also get a work permit and, in some cases, permission to travel overseas. Now, here’s another thing to know: If you’re granted a green card based on a marriage that’s less than two years old, your green card will be valid for only two years. To get a ten-year green card, you and your spouse need to fill out a form called the I-751 about 90 days before the first green card expires.
This process can be a bit tricky, so it’s a good idea to have an experienced immigration attorney help you out. We know the ins and outs of the marriage-based green card process at Mesadieu Law Firm, and we’re here to guide you through every step and provide all the support you need for a successful outcome. Our promise is to stand by you and do right by you. So, give us a call today at 844-3-RIGHT-BY-YOU (844) 374-4482 to schedule a free consultation.
Process of Obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card
To get a marriage-based green card, your spouse who’s a U.S. citizen or permanent resident has to start by filling out a form called I-130, which is the Petition for Alien Relative. This form is like a request for you, the foreign spouse, to become a permanent resident in the U.S. Once it gets approved, you can apply for the green card using a form called I-485, which is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
When you apply, you need to show that your marriage is real and not just for getting the green card. To prove it, you might need to share things like documents for joint bank accounts, lease agreements, or even photos of you both together.
Now, if your marriage is less than two years old when you get the green card, it comes with conditions and is only good for two years. To lift those conditions, you and your spouse need to fill out Form I-751, the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. Do this within 90 days before your conditional green card expires. For this part, you’ll need to provide more evidence that you’re still in a real marriage, like sharing tax returns, bank account records, and proof that you live together.
This form needs proof again that you two are really in a true marriage, such as your taxes together, bank account statements, and proof that you live together. But if, for some reason, you can’t file it together, there’s a way to request a waiver to skip that part.
But there’s a twist: If you and your spouse can’t file the petition together because you’re separated or other serious issues, you can still file Form I-751 on your own and ask for an exemption from the joint filing rule.
After you get those conditions removed, you’ll have a permanent green card. If your marriage has already been two years when you get the green card, you’ll get a permanent one without any conditions.
At Mesadieu Law Firm, we’ve helped lots of people through this whole marriage-based green card process. We’re here to stand with you and do what’s right for you. If you need help, just give us a call at 844-3-RIGHT-BY-YOU (844) 374-4482, and we’ll set up a time for a chat to talk things through.
Conditional Marriage-Based Green Card
A conditional marriage-based green card is like a temporary green card that’s valid for two years. It’s given to a foreign person who marries a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, but they’ve been married for less than two years when they apply for permanent residency.
Now, here’s the catch: to keep this green card, the couple has to show that their marriage is real and not just for the green card. To do that, they have to fill out a form called I-751 together. They need to do this during the 90 days before the two-year green card expires.
If the couple isn’t married anymore or can’t do the I-751 together, the person with the conditional green card might still be able to apply on their own, but they’ll need to provide extra proof that their marriage was genuine. If they get approved, they’ll get a 10-year green card.
Removing Conditions on a Green Card Obtained Through Marriage
If you have a conditional green card, you must apply to remove the conditions within 90 days of your two-year green card anniversary. Here’s what you need to do to apply for this removal:
- Fill out Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence: Complete this form with accurate information about your marriage and any changes since you received your conditional green card.
- Collect supporting documents: You’ll need to provide proof that your marriage is real and was entered into in good faith. This can include shared financial statements, lease agreements, your children’s birth certificates if applicable, and photos of you and your spouse together.
- Submit the application: Mail the completed form and supporting documents to USCIS during the 90-day period before your conditional green card expires. Submitting it late could result in losing your conditional resident status.
- Attend a biometrics appointment: USCIS will schedule an appointment to collect your fingerprints, photograph, and signature.
- Attend an interview: If necessary, you may have an interview with USCIS to verify your marriage. You’ll receive a notice with the date, time, and location if an interview is required.
- Get a decision: USCIS will inform you of its decision regarding your application to remove the conditions on your green card. If approved, you’ll receive a new green card valid for 10 years.
It’s essential to understand that the process to remove conditions can be intricate and time-consuming. Working with an experienced immigration attorney can help ensure your application is correctly prepared, improving your chances of success.
Here’s the deal: Usually, you and the U.S. citizen or permanent resident who sponsored your green card have to submit this petition together. But there are some exceptions. If your marriage has ended in divorce, if you’ve been abused or battered by the citizen or permanent resident, or if there are other really tough circumstances, you might be able to file the petition on your own and request a waiver to skip the joint filing part.
Important to remember, if you don’t apply to remove the condition on your green card, you could lose your permanent residency and get deported from the U.S. So, it’s a good idea to get help from an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through this process.
We’ve got that experience at Mesadieu Law Firm, and we’re here to help you through the entire marriage-based green card process. We promise to stick by your side and do what’s right for you. Reach out to us today at 844-3-RIGHT-BY-YOU(844) 374-4482, and we’ll set up a free consultation to get you started on the right track.
No Longer Married or Battered or Abused by Your Spouse
If you’re not married to your spouse anymore, or you’ve suffered from domestic violence or abuse from your spouse, you might be able to remove the conditions on your green card without their help. You can do this at any time after you become a conditional resident.
If, sadly, your spouse has passed away, you can still remove the conditions on your green card. You’ll need to fill out Form I-751 and include a copy of your spouse’s death certificate. You’ll also need to provide strong evidence that you and your spouse had a life together. The deadline for filing in these situations is different from the usual 90-day period – you can send in the form anytime after your spouse’s death but before your green card expires.
Important to know, you don’t have to stick to the usual 90-day window before your green card expires when you’re filing under these circumstances.
Documents Required to Remove Conditions on a Green Card
When applying to remove the conditions on your green card, you’ll need to send these documents to USCIS:
- Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.
- Proof that your marriage was genuine, such as:
- Bank account statements you share.
- Lease agreements for shared property.
- Credit card statements together.
- Birth certificates of children born during your marriage.
- Photos of you and your spouse together.
- Statements from friends and family confirming your real marriage.
- Evidence that your marriage is still ongoing, and you’re living together, like:
- Shared utility bills.
- Joint insurance policies.
- Joint tax returns.
- Additional lease agreements.
- Mortgage documents or property deeds.
- Any other records showing shared ownership or cohabitation.
- A copy of your green card (front and back).
- Two passport-style photos.
- Payment of the USCIS filing fee.
Keep in mind that USCIS may ask for more documents or proof to confirm your marriage’s legitimacy and continued existence. It’s essential to carefully follow USCIS guidelines and rules and consult with an immigration attorney if you have questions or concerns about the application process.
Preparing for Your Removal of Conditions Interview
If you need to remove conditions from your green card, USCIS might ask you to attend an interview to confirm your eligibility. This interview is similar to the one you and your spouse had when you got the original marriage-based green card. During the interview, an officer will ask questions about your relationship and, if applicable, any divorce or divorce proceedings.
It’s important to answer the officer’s questions honestly and to the best of your ability. If you don’t know the answer or don’t feel comfortable answering, it’s better to say “I don’t know” or “I’m not comfortable answering” rather than giving false information. Failing the interview could cause issues with your green card, while lying could lead to your green card being taken away, and you might even be banned from entering the U.S. in the future.
So, make sure you prepare yourself for the interview accordingly.
Reasons for Denial to Remove Conditions on Green Card
There are several reasons why your application to remove conditions on a green card may be denied, including the following:
- Not filing the petition to remove conditions on time.
- Failing to provide enough evidence to prove your marriage was genuine.
- Missing the biometrics appointment or interview.
- USCIS believes your marriage was for immigration fraud.
- Having a criminal record or being involved in immigration fraud.
- Not maintaining your lawful permanent resident status.
- Providing incomplete or inaccurate information on your application.
- Having a previous order for removal or deportation from the U.S.
- Failing to meet the requirements for a joint filing waiver.
- Having a medical condition that makes you inadmissible to the United States.
If you’re concerned about a potential denial, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced immigration attorney. An experience attorney can help you identify and address any issues before submitting your application.
The Process of Obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card for a Beneficiary Outside the U.S.
Getting a marriage-based green card for a spouse who’s outside the U.S. involves several steps. Here’s what you can expect:
- Your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse will start by filing a form called I-130, known as a Petition for Alien Relative, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Once the I-130 gets approved, the National Visa Center (NVC) will ask for necessary documents from both the petitioner (your spouse) and you, the beneficiary. They’ll also give you instructions on what to do next.
- You’ll be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.
- During the interview, you’ll need to provide more documents and answer questions about your relationship with your spouse.
- If the interview goes well, you’ll get a visa to enter the U.S. as a permanent resident.
- When you arrive in the U.S., you’ll get a temporary green card if your marriage is less than two years old.
- Within 90 days before that temporary green card expires, you and your spouse have to file a joint petition, called Form I-751. This petition is to remove the conditions on the green card and prove that your marriage is still going strong.
- If the joint petition is approved, they’ll take away the conditions, and you’ll get a permanent green card.
Documents Required for Marriage-Based Green Card through Consular Processing
When applying for a marriage-based green card through consular processing, you’ll need a lot of documents. Here’s what they typically include
- Marriage certificate: You’ll need a copy of your official marriage certificate to prove your marriage.
- Passport: The foreign spouse should have a valid passport.
- Birth certificate: You’ll also need a copy of the foreign spouse’s birth certificate.
- Police certificate: You’ll have to get a certificate from the police in any country where the foreign spouse lived for more than six months since they turned 16.
- Medical examination: The foreign spouse will have to see a specific doctor for a medical examination.
- Affidavit of support: The U.S. citizen spouse will need to fill out a form called I-864, which is an Affidavit of Support. This shows they can financially support their spouse.
- Form DS-260: You’ll need to complete an online application for an immigrant visa and alien registration, known as Form DS-260.
- Passport-style photos: Get two identical, color passport-style photos of the foreign spouse.
- Fees: There are various fees you’ll need to pay during the green card application process.
You might also be asked for more documents by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the foreign spouse’s country. These extra documents could include proof of the U.S. citizen spouse’s status, evidence of your relationship, and proof of the foreign spouse’s ties to their home country.
At Mesadieu Law Firm, we’ve got experienced immigration attorneys who can help you through the whole marriage-based green card process. We’ll be there every step of the way to support you. Our commitment is to stand right by you and do right by you. You can get in touch with us today at 844-3-RIGHT-BY-YOU (844) 374-4482 to set up a free consultation.
Processing Time for a Marriage-Based Green Card
The time it takes to get a marriage-based green card can vary for different reasons. These include where you’re from, how busy the USCIS is, and whether your case is handled in the U.S. or at a consulate. Usually, it can take several months to more than a year.
You should know that USCIS gives estimates on their website, but these can change, and they might not be exact. There can also be delays because of issues with your application, missing documents, or security checks.
In general, you’ll need to be patient during this process. It’s a good idea to keep in touch with USCIS or the consulate to get updates on how your application is doing.
At Mesadieu Law Firm, our immigration attorneys know all about the marriage-based green card process. We’re here to help you at every step and give you the support you need to make this process a success. Our promise is to be there for you and do right by you. Contact us today at 844-3-RIGHT-BY-YOU (844) 374-4482 to schedule a consultation.
Marriage-Based Green Card Denial
A marriage-based green card can be denied for various reasons. One common reason is when the USCIS or consular officer determines that the marriage isn’t genuine, meaning it was done just to get a green card. This can happen if there isn’t enough proof of a real marital relationship, like shared financial records, property, or living together.
Other reasons for refusal might be a criminal record, past immigration problems, not giving all the needed documents or info, or health concerns. In some cases, the refusal might be a mistake from USCIS or the officer, and you could appeal or ask for a review or reconsideration.
If your marriage-based green card is turned down, it’s crucial to find out why and think about talking to an immigration lawyer. They can help you figure out what to do next, like filing an appeal or reapplying with more evidence to prove your marriage is real.
At Mesadieu Law Firm, our immigration attorneys are experts in the marriage-based green card process. We’ll be there for you every step of the way, giving you the help you need to make it a success. Our promise is to stand right by you and do right by you. Reach out to us today at 844-3-RIGHT-BY-YOU (844) 374-4482 to schedule up a consultation.
Tips to Avoid Marriage-Based Green Card Denial
To avoid having your marriage-based green card application denied, here are some important tips to keep in mind:
- Be truthful: Always tell the truth on your application and during interviews with USCIS. Providing false information can lead to denial and even deportation.
- Provide ample evidence: Gather and submit as much evidence as possible to demonstrate your genuine marriage, such as joint bank accounts, lease agreements, bills, and photos of you and your spouse together. More evidence strengthens your case.
- Follow instructions: Carefully follow the instructions on application forms and any USCIS requests for additional evidence. Failure to do so could result in a denial.
- Be prepared for interviews: If USCIS asks for an interview, get ready by reviewing your application and evidence. Practice answering questions about your relationship with your spouse.
- Seek legal assistance: Consider working with an experienced immigration attorney who can help you navigate the application process, provide guidance on avoiding common mistakes, and represent you in case of any issues.
Keep in mind that the process of obtaining a marriage-based green card can be complex and time-consuming. Following these tips, being thorough, and maintaining honesty in your application and interactions with USCIS can increase your chances of success.Start Your Journey Now