Get the Assistance You Need for Your Marriage-Based Green Card Case
The U.S. Citizen or lawful U.S. Permanent Resident spouse may petition for their spouse in the United States or overseas. If the foreign spouse is in the United States, the foreign spouse may apply to adjust his or her status to permanent residency in the United States, which is popularly referred as a marriage-based green card or adjustment of status through marriage process.
Am I Eligible for an Adjustment of Status through Marriage?
In order to be eligible to adjust your status to permanent residency through marriage, the following requirements must be met:
- There’s a legal marriage (from any country) with the U.S. Citizen or lawful U.S. permanent resident;
- Neither spouse is married to someone else at the same time (e.g. a divorce must be finalized); and
- The foreign spouse was inspected and admitted upon the last entry into the United States
But that’s not all. Eligibility for a green card through marriage hinges on other factors such as the bona fides of the marriage, other grounds for inadmissibility, histories of previous marriages, and the use of prior nonimmigrant visas. Even something as seemingly harmless as a driving conviction can affect the outcome of your spouse’s visa and green card applications.
If you entered the United States without an inspection, there is a possible remedy. You then also need a waiver in order to obtain an immigrant visa. There are other situations where a waiver may be required, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Concurrent Filing of I-130 Petition and I-485 Application:
The first step in the process is to submit an I-130 petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The main purpose of this form, along with supporting documents, is to prove that a valid marriage (bona fides) is present and provide required biographic information.
If the spouse seeking a green card physically lives in the United States, an I-485 application along with I-765 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and I-131 Advance Parole (AP) applications can be concurrently filed with the I-130 petition to make the process go faster.
It is also important to note that the quality of information contained in the forms and supporting documents will affect the processing time and approval of your case. Complete, well-organized petitions are likely to be approved more quickly.
Attending a Green Card Interview:
The final step in the marriage-based green card procedure is an in-person interview with a local USCIS field officer. Both the U.S. Citizen and foreign spouses must attend the interview together. In some locations, the couple may be separately interviewed. The interviewing officer’s main goal is to evaluate whether the marriage is legitimate and if the foreign spouse committed any immigration or/and criminal law violations. The officer will ask questions that cover everything from the couple’s relationship history, as well as their lives and future together. Upon approval, the foreign spouse will receive a green card.
What Is Next?
If the foreign spouse has been married for less than two years when the green card is issued, the foreign spouse will receive a “conditional green card,” more formally known as “conditional permanent residency.” The foreign spouse needs to remove this two-year conditional resident status by filing an I-751 petition, which should be initiated earlier than the expiration of the two-year conditional period. This will ensure that your spouse does not accidentally stay in the United States unlawfully!
What Can We Do for You?
Based out of Schaumburg, IL, with additional offices in Chicago, IL, and Madison, WI, our firm is committed to serving the immigration needs of clients throughout the world. Our clients include people coming to the United States from India, Mexico, China, Serbia, the Philippines, Nigeria, and around the world.
Francis Law Center is committed to practicing immigration law; in fact, it is the only kind of law we practice. Attorney Jae Francis Lee brings experience as a professional working as a Professor of U.S. History at the University of Wisconsin and holds a Ph.D. from New York University. He understands the importance of in-depth research and meticulous documentation required for a successful marriage-based green card case. Your mind will rest easier knowing that we are working on your behalf for your successful spousal green card case.