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SPOUSE PETITION

Family petitions | Immigration lawyer

Green Card Through Marriage

As a U.S citizen or U.S. permanent resident (green card holder), you can sponsor your spouse to live and work in the United States as a permanent resident. Thus, your spouse can get a green card through marriage to you. The process starts with a family petition (Form I-130). This Petition includes the Form I-130, the marriage certificate, evidence that the marriage is real, and payment of the government fees.

However, there are crucial differences between Spouse Petitions by U.S citizens and Spouse Petitions by U.S. permanent residents (green card holder). This is because, under immigration law, U.S. citizens enjoy more benefits when it comes to bringing their spouses to the United States. Depending on the particular situation, the foreign national may obtain the green card approval while in the U.S. or outside of the U.S.

How to Get A Green Card Through Marriage

How to get a green card through marriage depends on whether the Petitioner is a United States Citizen or a Green Card holder.  The process of how to get a green card through marriage also depends on whether the foreign national is in the United States or abroad and is eligible for a green card through marriage.  Our immigration lawyers assess every case individually to determine the best strategy for your individual case.

If the Petitioner is a U.S. Citizen

If you are a U.S. citizen Petitioner, you can petition your spouse to become a legal permanent resident of the United States.  After the Petition is approved, he/she will have an immigrant visa immediately available. That means that there is no wait for the immigrant visa after the Petition is approved. If done correctly, your spouse will get a green card through your marriage shortly after the Petition is approved.

Once your Petition is approved, if your spouse is outside of the United States, your spouse proceeds with a Consular Process.

Green Card through Consular Process

The Consular Process occurs through the US Department of State, National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC sends you an e-mail informing that you may proceed to pay the immigrant visa fees and submit your affidavit of support. The affidavit of support must include the Petitioner‚Äôs tax returns and the Petitioner‚Äôs most recent income information. The government also wants proof that your spouse will not become a ‚ÄúPublic Charge‚ÄĚ. A public charge is a person that uses financial assistance from the government to live.

Once this step is complete, NVC sends the case to the Embassy or Consulate of the country of your spouse. Your spouse will then have an interview.

Interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate

During the interview, your Spouse presents evidence that your marriage is ‚Äúbona fide‚ÄĚ (real), a police certificate, medical exam, biometrics, original civil documents, and his or her passport to the interviewing officer. If done correctly, once the immigrant visa is approved, a stamp is placed in your Spouse‚Äôs passport.

The stamp allows your spouse to enter the U.S. as a green card holder. The actual green card and social security card arrives by mail at the U.S. address. The green card allows your spouse to live and work in the United States for a period of 2 years.  Before your spouse’s green card expires, he or she must apply to remove conditions and receive a permanent green card through marriage. For more information on removal of conditions, click here

If your spouse is in the U.S.

In some cases, the Spouse of a U.S. citizen can get a green card through marriage at the same time the Petition is approved. This process is called Adjustment of Status. For this, the U.S. citizen submits the Petition and the beneficiary of the Petition submits the Adjustment of Status Application package together. The Petition and the Adjustment of Status package are approved at the same time after an interview. At the interview, you and your spouse will appear at your local USCIS office. Your spouse receives the green card through marriage once everything is approved.

The process of petitioning a spouse for a green card through marriage is long and requires various steps. It is important that you understand each part and that everything is done correctly. A careful and thorough analysis by our immigration lawyers will determine how to get a green card through marriage for your Spouse. Mistakes can cause delays or denials. We encourage you to consults with our office if you want to petition your spouse.

Petitioner is a Green Card Holder

As a legal permanent resident of the U.S., you can also petition your spouse for a green card through marriage. However, there are no immediate immigrant visas available for this category. These petitions fall under the second preference category called ‚Äúfamily-sponsored preference (F2B)‚ÄĚ.

Therefore, there may be a waiting period after the Petition is approved before the visa becomes available. This is because visas are issued by the US Department of State, National Visa Center (NVC) according to annual quotas that are established by law. There may be longer wait times for an immigrant visa to become available. This depends on the number of people that apply each year and your spouse’s country of origin.

Once the visa becomes available, the Consular Process begins.

Consular Process

You will receive an email from the National Visa Center (NVC) with instructions on how to pay the immigrant visa fees and a request to submit the affidavit of support. The affidavit of support must be submitted to the government with your tax returns and your most recent income information to show that your spouse will not become a ‚ÄúPublic Charge‚ÄĚ. A public charge is a person that uses financial government assistance to survive.

Once the file is complete, NVC will send the case to the Embassy or Consulate of your spouse’s country to schedule the interview.

Interview at the Embassy or Consulate

During the interview, your spouse submits evidence of the marriage, a police certificate, medical exam, biometrics, original civil documents, and his or her passport to the interviewing officer. If done correctly, the immigrant visa is approved, and a stamp is placed in the passport. The stamp allows your spouse to enter the U.S. as a green card holder. The green card and social security card arrive in the mail at the U.S. address.

The green card through marriage allows your spouse to live and work in the United States. This green card is valid for two years.  Before the expiration of the green card, your spouse must apply to remove the conditions of the green card through marriage.  Once these conditions are lifted, your spouse receives a permanent green card through the marriage to you. For more information on removal of conditions, click here

Many clients ask how to get a green card through marriage in the United States if the petitioner is not a U.S. citizen. Unfortunately, Spouses of permanent residents are not eligible to get a green card through marriage in the United States. Therefore, it is important that you understand exactly what you and your spouse are eligible to receive and how to get a green card through marriage the correct way.

The entire process of getting a green card through marriage is complicated and time-consuming. It is crucial that the case and the evidence are presented correctly to avoid unnecessary delays or additional costs.

We understand how important it is to bring your loved ones to the United States as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is our job and honor to help families reunite in the United States.

U.S. Citizen Petition for Spouse

U.S. Legal Permanent Resident Petition for Spouse

HOW WE HELP

Our immigration lawyers ensure that your spouse qualifies for a green card through marriage through the fastest route. We also make sure that the petitioner is well positioned to get the petition approved. Our attorneys are skilled in spotting issues that may arise. We avoid problems by carefully analyzing your case to determine how to get a green card through marriage for your spouse.

Let’s talk about your immigration goals.

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