Frequently Asked Questions About Marriage-Based Green Cards
Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about Marriage-Based Green Cards and how Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. can help you apply for one.
How Many Types of Marriage-Based Green Cards Are There?Technically speaking, there is only one type of marriage-based green cards; however, there are two ways in which a foreign national can qualify to apply for a green card based on marriage: being married to a U.S. citizen or being married to a permanent resident in the U.S.
Married to a U.S. Citizen * The spouse of a U.S. citizen is considered an *immediate relative* by immigration law, which essentially means they are not held against any restrictions for receiving green cards based on marriage.
Married to a Permanent Resident in the U.S. * When it comes to green card applications based on marriages, there are more applicants who fall into the category of marriages to U.S. permanent residents. For this reason, the demand is very high.
What is the Marriage-Based Green Card Application Process Like?The application process for marriage-based green cards starts with the submission of a petition. When it comes to citizens seeking a green card for their spouse, they must submit Form I-130 on their behalf, and if they have entered the country legally, they can file Form I-485 to request adjustment of their status in order to stay in the country.
One of the most important parts of the marriage-based green card process is the gathering and preparation of the application and all supporting documents that must be included in your petition. In the majority of cases, a marriage is considered valid for immigration purposes if it is recognized as a lawful marriage by the law of the state where it occurs. However, there is the possibility that a marriage may be found to be a sham marriage entered into by the parties with the sole purpose of obtaining immigration benefits.
Although getting a green card through marriage can often be the easiest way to obtain the U.S. residency, green cards are not automatically granted. Immigration officials will carefully scrutinize applications to ensure that the marriage is legitimate and bona fide.
After the application has been submitted, the married couple will be required to attend an interview with an immigration officer in order to make sure the marriage is indeed legitimate and bona fide. Once you have filed the required initial paperwork, your interview will be scheduled approximately 3 months later.
At our law firm, one of our expert Immigration Lawyers with years of experience handling applications for marriage-based green cards will help you gather and prepare all necessary documents to prove that you and your spouse love each other deeply and have entered a lawful, legitimate marriage.
Can I Apply for a Marriage-Based Green Card if I Am Outside the U.S.?The short answer: yes!
For individuals seeking to apply for a green card while outside the United States, you can first become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is the process in which the USCIS issues a visa based upon an approved Form I-130. Upon entry into the U.S., you will become a permanent resident.
What Questions are Couples asked During the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview?Keep in mind that the mission of the immigration officer that will conduct the interview is to determine whether your marriage is valid and was entered by both parties out of love. Although every interview is different and questions vary tremendously, there are basic questions you can expect to be asked during the interview, including:
- How did you two meet?
- What interests do you have in common?
- At what point did your relationship turn into a romantic one?
- How long did you know each other before you decided to get married?
- What is your spouse*s monthly salary? Who pays which bills?
- What are your daily routines at home?
How long does it take for Marriage-Based Green Cards to be approved?Once you file the I-130 form, the USCIS will then assign your priority date, which is the day that they received your petition. The petition itself usually takes about six months to process, but you will not be able to obtain your green card until the priority date assigned to you is current.