How to Get a Marriage Green Card in the United States If you want to get married in the United States. And live here with your spouse, you’ll need to get a marriage green card in the U.S. Which will allow you to stay permanently here with your new spouse and any future children you have together.
You’ve found the love of your life, you want to get married. And you want to move to the United States. But there’s one small problem: you aren’t a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the country. And, therefore, don’t have the right to reside there on your own yet. However, all hope isn’t lost! If you have an immediate family member who is either the U.S.
A marriage green card is a document that legally allows you to live. And work in the United States if you are married to an American citizen or permanent resident. You are allowed to apply for one if you are already in the U.S. But if you’re applying from another country. You must be married to your spouse-to-be at the time of your application and up until it has been approved. Learn more about how to get one in this article.
What is a Marriage-Based Green Card?
If you’re married to a U.S. citizen, it might be possible for you to receive permanent resident status (commonly referred to as getting your green card). A marriage-based green card is valid as long as your marriage is still intact and it can lead to citizenship down the road. These steps will guide you through applying for your green card if you’re married in 2022.
Whether or not your application will be approved depends on many factors. Including how strong your case is and whether. Or not you have any potential red flags that could affect your application process. Check out our full report for details about all of these factors—and some strategies for improving them!
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Requirements for a Marriage-Based Green Card
To be eligible for a Green Card through marriage, there are certain criteria that must be met. These requirements are grouped as follows:
Requirements for your marriage
You need to be legally married for at least three years before you can apply for permanent residence based on your marriage. If you are not legally married but have been living together as spouses for at least three years, then you may still be eligible. However, if your spouse is either under 21 or over age 31 when you submit your application. You will need to meet an additional requirement. That both of you must file an I-864A affidavit of support with USCIS.
This is an important aspect of any marriage-based green card application and is explained below. You should speak with an immigration attorney about whether you qualify for certain exemptions from filing I-864A before applying (for example, if your spouse has already obtained LPR status).
Requirements for the petitioner
The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old when he or she files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The U.S. citizen can file jointly with his or her spouse. But that doesn’t have any effect on your visa application process (your spouse will still be required to prove he or she has been living with you for two years).
That said, most people don’t marry the love of their life while they are waiting for immigration paperwork; instead, they marry someone who is just their friend now (but could potentially become their spouse once they get married). You might want to consider marrying someone other than your fiancé if it will make things easier for you.
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Requirements for the Beneficiary
In order for your partner to qualify for a marriage green card. They must prove that you are both legally married, i.e., that your marriage is not fraudulent. And does not violate U.S. immigration law, and that he or she is admissible into the country as an immigrant. A person who enters into a fraudulent marriage could face criminal penalties. And have their visa petition denied or revoked by USCIS.
However, there are numerous legitimate reasons why an applicant may be unable to get married immediately; an example of one such reason would be if one spouse needs time to obtain permission from his or her employer in order to receive vacation time off work without losing his or her job.
The U.S. Immigration Options for Spouses
With a green card, spouses of U.S. citizens can live and work legally in America as permanent residents. Most couples will want to start by applying for a marriage-based green card or conditional residency through their U.S.-citizen spouse (who must first be a legal resident). Below is an overview of each option.
The process may vary based on your nationality, but at its core it always involves three key steps: petitioning for permanent residency, proving that you meet all eligibility requirements, and preparing for your green card interview at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If you have questions about your individual situation, please consult with an immigration attorney well versed in these procedures who can help guide you through each step of the process.
Entered the U.S. without any visa
If you entered on a K-1 fiancé visa and have been married for more than two years (no petition needed). Then you may apply for your green card by submitting Form I-485. Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The green card that you’ll receive after being approved is proof that you are legally allowed to work. And live in the U.S. permanently as an immigrant, provided certain requirements are met.
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It will have an expiration date from 10 years down until just 1 year depending on how long you’ve been married at your time of application; however, it will be valid indefinitely if divorce proceedings were started before that time had elapsed.
Marriage-Based Green Cards for Same-Sex Couples
LGBTQ couples that are already married may utilize the U.S. immigration system as would any other opposite-sex married couple. However, only a relationship legally considered to be a marriage in the jurisdiction where it took place establishes eligibility as a spouse for immigration purposes. Gay people cannot “legally” marry in every country of the world. Provided the marriage is lawful in the state, province, or country where it took place, you can use the same processes described in the previous sections of this article.
How to Apply for a Marriage-Based Green Card
There are two ways you can apply for a marriage-based green card (sometimes called an adjustment of status) if you’re already married to a U.S. citizen: filing either an immediate relative petition or consular processing. Either way, your spouse will need to be legally residing in the U.S. And you’ll need to get all marriage documents translated into English from your native language and any other languages, as well as apostilled.
To determine whether you should apply for an adjustment of status through consular processing or an immediate relative petition, it’s important that you talk with an immigration attorney who has experience working with clients applying for marriage-based green cards through both methods.
What are the Green Card Sponsor Income Requirements
Immigration law states that your sponsor must have an income that is 125% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) for your household size. If you are sponsored by an employer, they can sponsor you at 100% FPL if they meet certain requirements and guidelines. This number changes each year so be sure to check back often or sign up for updates below.
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For example, in 2021, Federal Poverty Guidelines were $11,880 per year ($816 per month) for one person, $20,160 per year ($1,407 per month) for two people, and $29,400 ($2k per month) for a family of four (Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services).
Preparing for your interview
Getting a green card through marriage can be challenging, but it is possible. The first step is to get an approved petition from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This means you have to prove your eligibility for a marriage green card by providing USCIS with all of your documents, photos, and other evidence that demonstrate that you are getting married and living together in good faith.
Make sure to provide USCIS with as much evidence as possible–it will help strengthen your case later on when an immigration officer requests additional evidence from you during your interview.
Tips and tricks from real attorneys
It is important that you hire an experienced immigration attorney to help you with your marriage green card case. Marriage green cards are more complicated than work permits and other visas. The government looks closely at these cases. So getting it wrong could lead to deportation or being banned from ever entering America again.
Make sure you do it right by reading our guide on how to get a marriage green card in the United States. It will cover everything from how much it costs (most people think $2,000-$3,000). And what documents you need (most think proof of valid relationship and a couple pictures). To select an immigration attorney (choosing someone inexperienced can be very costly).
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Takeaways from this article
If you want to obtain a marriage green card in the United States. You must be married to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder). You can apply for a marriage green card through two routes:. By receiving your foreign-born spouse’s sponsorship or through self-petitioning, without your spouse’s sponsorship.
Self-petitioning is more complex than receiving sponsorship. But it allows you and your spouse greater freedom in choosing how you will become a permanent resident. If possible, try to receive your spouse’s sponsorship first;. Doing so may make it easier for both of you if he or she becomes unable or unwilling to sponsor you later on.
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