Deferred action does not confer any immigration status upon you. More information is needed to answer your questions. What is your spouse's immigration status? How did you enter the United States? Have you ever been ordered deported? You and your fiancé would be best advised to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss the matter in more detail.
The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. No recipients of content from this answer, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the answer without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a licensed attorney. Provision of information on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, P.L.L.C., nor is it intended to do so.
Green cards through marriage is sometimes referred to as the “fast track” to lawful permanent residence. The spouse of a U.S. citizen is deemed an “immediate relative” under the law meaning that there are no quota restrictions on the number of people who can obtain green cards through marriage to U.S. citizens.
The U.S. citizen starts the process by submitting a form I-130 visa petition on behalf of their foreign-born spouse. If the spouse entered the U.S. lawfully, he/she can file for adjustment of status (I-485 packet) without having to leave the U.S. Generally, the spouse receives an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) within 90 days, and may also be eligible for an Advance Parole document to travel abroad.
If the foreign-born spouse entered the U.S. without inspection, he/she may have to apply for a green card through marriage in his home country. He may, however, be eligible to apply for a provisonal waiver in the United States.
To obtain a green card through marriage, your marriage must be bona fide. This is a lot easier to prove if there is a wedding reception where the U.S. citizen spouse’s parents and relatives are present, where the couple has joint property and files joint income tax returns and especially if the couple has a child together.
If the marriage is less than two years old when the green card is granted, it will have a two-year time limit. The couple must submit form I-751 during the 90-day prior before the expiration of the green card in order for the foreign-born spouse to obtain a ten-year green card. If the couple divorces before the end of the two-year period, the foreign-born spouse must use form I-751 to apply for a “good faith marriage waiver” of the joint petition requirement.
Please view our video about How to Obtain a Green Card Through Marriage before you get married and before you submit any paperwork to the USCIS.
Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
If you entered the U.S. legally, then you normally will be able to adjust status in the U.S. to get a green card. This means that you will be able to file I-485 and I-130 together. If you are qualified for this process, then it normally takes 4-6 months on average to get the green card. If, on the other hand, you entered illegally, then you generally would not be able to adjust in the U.S. and travel overseas will be required in order to process your immigrant visa through the U.S. consulate. However, there is a lot more than an attorney would need to know to advise you properly whether you qualify to adjust status in the U.S. or not.