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A green card through marriage to a US citizen is the most common way to become a permanent resident. The spouse of a US citizen is an “immediate relative”. There is no limit on the number of people who can obtain a green card through marriage to US citizens. The US citizen starts the process by submitting a form I-130 visa petition on behalf of his/her spouse. If the spouse entered the US lawfully, he/she can file for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) at the same time. He/she can get a green card without having to leave the US.

If the marriage is less than two years old when the green card is granted, it will expire in two years. The couple must submit a form I-751 joint petition during the 90-day period prior before the expiration of the green card. This way, the foreign-born spouse can obtain a ten-year green card.

Please see our video about How to Obtain a Green Card Through Marriage before you submit any paperwork to the USCIS. If you have a two-year green card, but get divorced, see our video I-751 Waiver Where Marriage Ends in Divorce.

You can stay up-to-date with the waiting times in the Visa Bulletin and other immigration news by subscribing to our Free E-Mail Newsletter.

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