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Marriage Green Card
Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Green Card?

An alien who does not possess a U.S. citizen to be granted permanent residency in the US. A permanent resident card is another name for a green card. Because it would enable them to live and work (legally) anywhere in the country and qualify them for citizenship after three or five years, many people from outside the United States desire a green card. 

Are members of the extended family eligible for a family-based green card?
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are not eligible. They can only apply for a permanent residence card if they have a close family who is a citizen of the United States or a current bearer of a green card.

What is a marriage green card?

With the use of a marriage green card, a foreign national's spouse can reside and work anywhere in the 

country. A person who has a green card will be considered a "permanent resident" until they choose to seek citizenship, which they can do after three years, if they so choose.

What is the timeline for a Marriage Green Card?

Depending on whether you're married to an American citizen or someone with a green card, the overall processing period for a marriage-based green card typically takes 17 months (lawful permanent resident).

What are the required supporting documents needed for a Marriage Green Card?

The document needed for a marriage green card varies depending on the circumstances, but often consists of the following:

  • Birth certificate

  • Marriage certificate

  • Financial documents

  • Proof of sponsor’s U.S. citizenship or permanent residence

  • Proof of lawful U.S. entry and status, if applicable

  • Police clearance certificate, if applicable

  • Prior-marriage termination papers, if applicable

  • Court, police, and prison records, if applicable

  • Military records, if applicable

  • Immigration violation records, if applicable

  • Current/expired U.S. visa(s)

  • Medical examination document

What are the forms signed by the petitioner?

Form I-130 - Petition for an Alien Relative. You use this form to prove your marriage to your spouse and to support their application for a green card.

Form I-864 - Affidavit of Support. This document serves as a legally binding and enforceable vow to support your spouse in the United States.

Form I-130A - Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiaries. This form, which requests details about the beneficiary of the I-130 petition, should be submitted with the I-130.

I-485 - Adjustment of Status. This is the document needed to apply for a green card from within the United States.

Form DS-260 - Application for an Immigrant Visa, For those requesting a green card from a country other than the United States.

Form I-944 (Declaration of Self-Sufficiency) (Declaration of Self-Sufficiency). The data on this form is used to evaluate applications in accordance with the new public charge rule.

Form I-765 - A request for authorization to work. This document enables candidates who are submitting a green card application from within the country to find employment while their application is being processed by USCIS.

 Form I-131 - Application for Travel Document. In order to go outside of the country while your application is pending without giving up on it, you need apply for a travel document if you are applying for a marriage-based green card from within the country.


What are the USCIS Green Card requirements for Military Spouses?

For sponsoring spouses on active duty:

  • Possess a green card or be an American citizen (permanent resident)

  • Earn no less than 100% of the poverty threshold for the size of your household.

  • Accept responsibility for your spouse's finances.

  • Not having committed specific types of crimes in the past.


For spouses applying for green cards:

  • Prove your identify, nationality, and, if applicable, your present immigration status in the United States.

  • You should not have committed certain felonies or immigration infractions in the past (or seek a waiver)


For Both Spouses:

  • Prove your marriage is real.

  • Show that your previous marriage ended (s)

  • submit the necessary proof (including military service records)


Attending the Green Card Interview  and Awaiting Approval

The green card interview is the last stage of the marriage-based green card application procedure. The interviewer's main objective is to judge how sincere the marriage is. The couple's relationship history, daily routines, and future intentions might all be the subject of inquiries. The interviewing officer will grant the spouse's application for a green card if they are sufficiently convinced that the marriage is genuine.

The spouse applying for a green card's present residence determines the venue of the interview and if the supporting spouse is required to go.

Does your spouse live in the US?

The interview for a spouse seeking a green card from within the country will take place at the sponsoring spouse's neighborhood USCIS office. After a case is approved, the physical green card usually takes two to three weeks to come by mail.

Does your spouse live abroad?

A foreign spouse seeking a green card will appear for a meeting at a U.S. Consulate or embassy in their country of origin. This interview is not attended by the sponsored spouse.

The spouse who is applying for a green card will then get their passport stamped with a visa, enabling them to visit the US. A physical green card cannot be granted until the online USCIS Immigrant Fee has been paid. The green card is normally shipped to the couple's U.S. address within 2-3 weeks of the spouse's arrival (USCIS advises paying this cost before the spouse departs for the United States).

To avoid processing difficulties or delays for your application, it is advised to accurately complete and submit all of your papers and supporting documentation the first time.

Have you been married for less than two years?

A CR1 (or "conditional") green card will be granted to the spouse. Only two years are allowed for the use of conditional green cards. In order to "remove the conditions" and receive a permanent green card, couples must complete Form I-751 (formally known as the "Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence") during the 90-day window prior to the expiration of the conditional green card. USCIS will reexamine the couple's marriage after receiving this form to ensure that it is genuine and that the pair did not get married solely for immigration purposes.

Have you been married for more than two years?

The spouse will be granted an IR1 (or "immediate relative") green card, which has a 10-year "permanent" validity period. Most of the time, renewing this 10-year green card is a straightforward procedure that doesn't need the pair to reaffirm their marriage's validity.

How is a fiancé visa different from a marriage green card?

In order to immigrate to the USA, fiancés of citizens of the USA primarily have two options:

  • The prospective spouse may enter the country on a fiancé visa (the "K-1 visa"), in which case the marriage would take place here.

  • As an alternative, you could first get married outside of the country, in which case the American spouse would be able to sponsor the foreign spouse for a green card (this is known as the "I-130 petition," also known as the "IR1 / CR1 process").

Condition and requirements of a Marriage Green Card the US Citizen and the spouse:

  • You and your spouse must be lawfully married, which is often established by a marriage certificate that includes the names of both partners, the location of the wedding, and the wedding date. (Under American law, marriages between same-sex partners and heterosexual partners are equally legitimate.)

  • You must present divorce documents or a death certificate as proof that any prior unions between the couple were dissolved.

  • Using proof like a joint lease, joint bank account statements, and photos, you and your spouse must have a legitimately established marriage.

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