What is a green card?
A green card is a piece of card that gives a foreign national to live in the United States permanently and work. A green card holder can work, travel and bound by the state and federal law. Also, they can apply for food stamps, education and in-state tuition in the states except the right to vote in an election. This article will guide you on how to get a green card through marriage.
Green card through marriage
When a foreign national marries a US citizen or a green card holder he can apply for a green card through adjustment of status process and later can apply to become US citizen through naturalization.
How do I get a green card through marriage?
- Establish the marriage relationship. (bona fide)
- Apply for the green card
- Attend the marriage interview
Establish the marriage relationship:
Needless to say, your marriage needs to be genuine and a proper marriage. You both need to fall in love with one another and decide to spend the life together when you tie the knot. When you get an interview with the visa officer it’s your burden to prove that your marriage has been establish by loving each other.
If you can not prove that your marriage is not real but to get an immigration benefit you will most like be prosecuted with marriage fraud, and if found guilty then you will be prisoned not more than 5 years and will not fine more than 250,000$. – 8 U.S.C Section 1325
Step 1: Create your application package
- Government Filing fee 535$
- Proof that the sponsoring person is a US citizen or a green cardholder. (copy of passport or green card)
- Proof that the marriage is not fraudulent. (Proof of joint bank account, Living under the same address, a joint lease or pictures together)
- Proof that any previous marriage either the spouse has been terminated (divorce papers)
- I 130 Form with filled information (application for green card)
Once the I-130 package is complete, it needs to be sent to the USCIS address. USCIS will send an acknowledgement receipt if everything is in order, typically within 2 weeks.
Step 2: Establishing the spouse’s eligibility for green card
- For foreign nationals living inside the United State: If the spouse is living inside the United States and is on a valid visa (no violation or overstay) then he needs to file for form i-485 (adjustment of status). The i-485 is filed with USCIS and its primary purpose is to establish the eligibility for green card.Elements of i-485 package:
1) Government Filing fees 1225$ (1140+85 biometric fee)
2) Proof of nationality of the spouse seeking green card.
3) Proof of lawful entry to the United States (i94)
4)Medical Examination (Approved by USCIS doctor)
4) Proof of the US citizen that can support the spouse. A letter of affidavit.
- For foreign nationals living outside of the United States: There is a different process to sponsor a green card for a spouse living abroad or green card through marriage. The next step is to file an application package with the National Visa Center (NVC), which is run by the State Department. The NVC gathers the necessary forms and documents and decides whether the spouse is ready for an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
Critical elements of an NVC filing package include:
1) Government filing fees of 445$
2) Form DS-260 (Green card application for filled online)
3) Proof of nationality of the foreign spouse (passport or birth certificate)
4) Copy of police clearance
5) Proof of sponsoring a spouse’s ability to support the green card seeking a spouse.The NVC typically processes an application package within 3–5 months, and then forwards it to a U.S. embassy or consulate in the home country of the spouse seeking a green card.
Step 3: Attending a green card and interview and awaiting approval
This step’s main purpose is to conduct an interview with an immigration officer to determine the eligibility and authenticity of the marriage and get a green card through marriage. The questions are focused on the couple’s relationship goals if the marriage, in fact, is in good faith. If the interviewing officer has sufficient information that the marriage is legit he will approve the green card right away.
Here are some tips for a successful interview:
- Be truthful. A little misunderstanding can happen in any couple’s life, that’s what makes it a bond. If the immigration officer asks you any question be truthful.
- If the age difference long explains why you both fall in love with one another.
- If you met both of your parents take family pictures, those help a lot.
In fine, A green card marriage process is a little bit difficult but well worth. If you are reading this article we congratulate you on your new life and journey.
ps: If you are looking for more option regarding the green card you can see this post