Family-based immigration through marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can provide a pathway to obtaining a Green Card (permanent residency) in the United States. Here is an overview of the process for obtaining a Green Card through marriage:
Eligibility: To be eligible for a Green Card through marriage, you must meet the following criteria: a. You are married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. b. The marriage is recognized as legally valid by the U.S. government (proof of marriage certificate required). c. You are not otherwise inadmissible to the United States based on factors such as criminal history, immigration violations, or health-related grounds.
Filing an Immigrant Petition: The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse must file an immigrant petition on your behalf. For a spouse of a U.S. citizen, the petition is filed using Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. For a spouse of a lawful permanent resident, the petition is filed using Form I-130A, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary. The petition establishes the qualifying relationship and initiates the process of obtaining a Green Card.
Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing: The method for obtaining a Green Card depends on whether you are in the United States or outside the country: a. Adjustment of Status: If you are already in the United States, you may be eligible to apply for Adjustment of Status by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This process allows you to apply for a Green Card without leaving the country. b. Consular Processing: If you are outside the United States, you will undergo Consular Processing at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. After the approval of the immigrant petition, you will attend an interview and provide required documentation for the Green Card application.
Biometrics and Interview: As part of the process, you will likely need to attend a biometrics appointment to provide your fingerprints, photograph, and signature. Additionally, both Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing require attending an interview where you will be asked questions about your marriage and eligibility for a Green Card.
Conditional Permanent Residence (if applicable): If you have been married for less than two years at the time of obtaining the Green Card, you will be granted conditional permanent residency. This status is valid for two years, and you must apply to remove the conditions during the 90-day period before the expiration date.
Evidence of Bonafide Marriage: Throughout the process, it is essential to provide evidence to establish the bona fide nature of your marriage. This can include joint financial records, joint property ownership, joint lease or mortgage agreements, joint tax returns, and other documents demonstrating shared life and relationship.
The process for obtaining a Green Card through marriage can be complex, and specific requirements and procedures may vary based on individual circumstances. It is advisable to consult with an experienced immigration attorney or professional who can guide you through the process, assist with document preparation, and ensure compliance with the requirements of family-based immigration.
Family Law - Green Card with marriage
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