A green card holder is one with a lawful permanent residence status who has legitimately obtained the green card. There are different ways you can obtain permanent resident status in the U.S., including marrying a U.S. citizen or green card holder.

If you are married to someone with this status, you can also apply to obtain the card for permanent residents. If you already live in the United States, you can petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to adjust status.

If you’re a U.S. immigrant spouse seeking to obtain the green card for permanent residents, whether you live in or outside the US, keep reading. We will answer this question in more detail and also answer related frequently asked questions concerning green card applicants and what green card holders stand to benefit.

Meanwhile, it is always a good idea to visit a good law firm and hire an experienced immigration attorney. With a good attorney-client relationship, you will have low chances of making mistakes during any of your green card applications.

Can You Get a Green Card By Marrying Another Green Card holder?

You can also apply for a green card if you’re married to a green card holder, provided you’re eligible. To get the status, your permanent resident spouse must file a Form I-130 with the USCIS on your behalf. This form proves that you are married and your partner is a lawful permanent resident or green card holder. Once filed, you’ll normally wait for one to six months before the petition is approved, after which you can move on to the next step.

Applying for a green card will require that you do an interview. The immigration officer will ask you all sorts of questions concerning your marriage, conducting free evaluation of sensitive or confidential information.

What Are the Implications of Marrying a Green Card Holder?

If you are married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you have the liberty to work and live anywhere in the U.S. After marriage, you can apply to become a green card holder yourself, which you’re eligible for after two years based on your priority date.

If you and your LPR spouse have decided to live permanently in the U.S., you’ll need to apply for a marriage green card. Obtaining a marriage green card involves three steps, the first being filling and submitting Form I-130 to establish your marriage relationship.

The second step is to apply for the green card by filing Form DS-260 or Form I-485 and setting a priority date. Once the USCIS receives and deems you eligible for the next stage, you’ll attend an interview – which is the final step.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card After Marrying a Green Card Holder?

How Long Does a Green Card Holder Have to Stay Married

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It can take up to fifty-six months to obtain a green card after marrying a green card holder. The timeline for getting a marriage green card varies. Such as, It takes less time if you have a U.S. citizen spouse; U.S. citizen spouses can get it in eleven months. However, this number depends on a few factors, including whether or not you live abroad or in the U.S. It typically takes longer to get a green card if you’re living in the U.S and are married to an LPR.

The first stage of establishing the marriage relationship can take between five and thirty months. The second stage, which is filling and filing Form I-485, can take fifteen to twenty-four months. The last stage, that is the green card interview and approval, can take one to two months or longer.

How Long Does a Green Card Holder Have to Stay Married?

Marriage is relatively the easiest route to obtaining a green card, and the USCIS is aware of this. As such the USCIS grants conditional permanent residence for two years, after which you can remove the conditions.

If you’ve been married two years before you attend the interview, the green card you get will be permanent. Meanwhile, you’ll need to provide evidence that you’ve been married and have lived together with your spouse for those two years.

How Do You Apply for a Green Card for Family Members?

The green card holder spouse has to petition the USCIS to have his family members brought to the U.S. as a permanent resident. These family members include spouses, unmarried children below twenty one, and unmarried children of any age. If your relative is already resident in the U.S., such can adjust status with Form I-485 once a visa number is available. However, if they live outside the States, the USCIS will forward your petition to the National Visa Center (NVC).

Then, the NVC will send your petition to the appropriate United States Citizenship and Immigration Services address or consulate for consular processing when there’s an immigrant visa number available. Then the NVC will send a notice to your spouse, which will include the next steps to take.

Can You Work in the U.S. If You Marry a Green Card Holder?

You can work in the U.S. if you marry a green card holder, but you don’t necessarily secure a work permit immediately. As a spouse to an LPR, you’re under the preference categories and are subject to annual limits of green cards issued.

Due to high demands, you may need to wait a long time before you’re eligible to apply for employment authorization. Sometimes, you don’t have to wait; most of the time, you do – for at least four to five years.

To see the priority dates, you can visit the State Department’s Visa Bulletin and check category F2A on the family-based chart. If you see only the letter “C,” it means there is no wait and you can apply and complete the immigration process quickly.

What Are the Steps for Applying for a Green Card While Being Married to a Green Card Holder?

First, you need to pay legal fees, including government fees and medical examination fees. Then, start the green card process by filling and submitting Form I-130 to establish your valid marriage.

You’ll submit the form with government agency fees and supporting documents, including a marriage certificate; the USCIS will then issue an official receipt notice. If the USCIS doesn’t need more documents from you, you’ll move on to filing Form I-485, Adjustment of Status.

One month after the USCIS receives your Form I-485, you’ll be invited for a biometrics appointment at your local USCIS office where you are to go with a passport photo page. The USCIS will take your photographs and fingerprints for background and security checks, including a zip code start test. After this, you’ll be invited for an interview; if the interviewing officer is satisfied, he can approve the application immediately.

Note that the interview can be done in-person at the appropriate USCIS address or via the use of other automated technology depending on the state of the spouse seeking such application from the requisite state department. Virtual interviews are only scheduled when there is a manifest reason why the person to be interviewed cannot show up in-person for their interview due to reasons like a medical condition.

Can You Invite Your Fiancé to the U.S. as a Green Card Holder?

You can’t invite your fiancé to the U.S. if you’re a conditional green card holder; all you must do is provide consent to their moving over. However, if you’re already processing permanent citizenship, your fiancé can wait until you obtain it before applying for a fiancé visa. Another option is to get married, which makes you eligible to file a petition for relatives who want green cards.

You can also marry in the U.S. when your spouse and any alien relative visits as a tourist. However, they must return to their home country before the visa expires to avoid facing deportation proceedings.

Can a Spouse of a Permanent Resident Adjust Status in the U.S.?

Spouses of permanent residents cannot apply for adjustment of status, even if they entered the U.S. legally. Adjusting status is only available to spouses of U.S. citizens or green card holders who have obtained citizenship.

For those with green cards, they must have provided the necessary documentation which includes a birth certificate and any other documents needed for the green card application process. With this, the Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS will run a background zip code search, review message and data rates, and check everything that constitutes acceptance. If there are pre-recorded messages from the spouse seeking a preference category, it can also be tendered.

Work With Herman Legal Group

We understand that getting a green card after marriage can be a daunting task, especially with how strict the state department can be. However, from our many years of experience, we understand that this process can be simplified when you work with an experienced immigration lawyer. Herman Legal Group is known to have the best immigration lawyers in the United States who can help you with your green card application.

To get started, you will need to schedule a consultation with any of our experienced immigration attorneys by calling +1-216-696-6170 or book online to schedule a consultation with Richard Herman.


When it comes to immigration matters, hiring an immigration lawyer and developing a confidential relationship with them is the best. Being married to a lawful permanent resident doesn’t necessarily constitute acceptance; a green card applicant must follow necessary application steps, including having a detailed lawyer talk. It is advisable to let your immigration attorney talk you through the process and provide you with the best attorney advertising, keeping in mind that the smallest mistake is costly.

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