How Does Someone Obtain a Green Card Through Marriage?

How Does Someone Obtain a Green Card Through Marriage?

There are two ways an individual can apply for a green card through marriage. They can either go down the path of Adjustment of Status or consular processing. If you’re married to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, then you may be eligible for a green card through marriage.

What is the difference between Adjustment of Status and consular processing?

People who are currently living in the U.S. on a temporary, nonimmigrant visa and are married to either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident are advised to use the path of Adjustment of Status, whenever possible, to get a green card. For those residing outside the U.S., they would go through the consular processing procedure to obtain a green card through marriage.

How long do you have to be married to get a green card?

The length of the marriage is not a requirement for applying or qualifying for a green card. People who are just recently married can apply for a green card through marriage. But, it’s critical that applicants prove their relationship is valid. An experienced green card immigration attorney can assist applicants with this part of the process. A longer relationship or marriage makes it easier to prove to USCIS that the relationship is real, committed, and not fraudulent or only based on obtaining immigration status.

Is it expensive to get a green card through marriage?

Immigration costs typically include four types: First, the attorney’s fees. This is typically the highest of the fees, and it will depend on your case and the attorney you choose. Please have a detailed consultation with a qualified immigration attorney to determine what those fees will be in your situation. Second, the filing fees. Adjustment of Status has higher filing fees than Consular processing, but it is still a recommendable process. Third, the costs related to your time – going to appointments to prepare your case, to sign documents, to get biometrics and to attend your interview(s). Fourth, ancillary costs, including the cost to the doctor of the medical exam, the costs to translate any documents that are not in English and any other cost to obtain the evidence that you might need to present your case well.

Speaking to an immigration attorney who knows the current filing fee amounts can help you adjust your budget and plan accordingly.

What’s the first step for getting a green card through marriage?

No matter which path you’re using - Adjustment of Status or the consular process - you’ll need to fill out Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The spouse who is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident will file the form with USCIS. The form lists biographic information that confirms the relationship is valid, and the immigrant listed in the form is eligible for a green card through marriage.

The form is quite long, at 12 pages total. For many immigrants and their spouses, filling out the form and gathering all the relevant, supporting documentation for it can be stressful and overwhelming. Contact the immigration attorneys ofLanderholm Immigration A.P.C. at 510-488-1020 today to explore your options for getting a green card through marriage.

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