Green card through marriage is the most common way to become a permanent resident in the United States. The US government knows this; it also knows how easy it is to fake a marriage to get a green card. If your marriage is bona fide and legal according to the laws of the country where your wedding is held, you’re okay. Although the marriage green card process tends to be the toughest immigration process, sincerity and ingenuity will get you through.
If you’re wondering how long it will take you to obtain your marriage green card, keep reading this article. With marriage-based green cards, you never know. Even if you are certain that you qualify for these immigration benefits, you, unfortunately, have to exercise a great deal of patience.
Is It Easy to Get a Marriage Green Card in the US?
Getting a green card is among the fastest ways to obtain permanent residence in the United States. However, it is not the easiest; the USCIS, screens this process more closely than it does any other immigration process. Couples that aren’t aware of how the US immigration system works may find themselves in serious immigration problems. The slightest mistake could mean an outright rejection of your petition, deportation of the alien spouse, or worse.
Furthermore, getting married to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident does not automatically translate to permanent residence. There is a specific application process that both the citizen or LPR spouse must follow to get this immigration benefit.
This process starts with filing certain application forms, including I-130 or I-485, or both, depending on your circumstances. Also, you will be required to visit a dedicated medical practitioner for a medical examination.
Also, there is the biometrics stage where your fingerprints will be taken as well as a series of approvals. If you are not well informed about the process for marriage green cards in the United States, you may encounter problems.
Nevertheless, if you did not get married simply because you want to get a green card, you should be fine. Apart from ensuring your marriage is bona fide, you also want to file the right forms and submit the appropriate required documents.
Who Files the Petition to Get a Marriage Green Card?
The United States citizen or green card holder files the marriage green card petition, Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Spouse). You need to file Form I-130 to establish that there is a qualifying relationship between you and your spouse.
Simultaneously, filing this immigration form also means you are asking the US government to reserve an immigrant visa for your spouse. Once the USCIS approves the petition, it acknowledges that a valid relationship exists and an immigrant visa is available.
However, how long it will take the USCIS to approve the petition will depend on who is making it. The US government considers the spouses of US citizens to be immediate relatives and their relationship prioritized over other relationships.
More so, there is no limit placed on the number of visas or green cards that can be issued to immediate relatives yearly. The case is different for spouses of green card holders (also known as preference categories).
Spouses of green card holders may have to wait a few years before an immigrant visa is available. This is because there are restrictions on the number of visas available to spouses of non-US citizens. Thus, spouses of US citizens are considered a special category and typically get their green cards quicker than others.
Who Is Eligible for a Marriage-Based Green Card?
The basic requirement for obtaining a marriage green card is that the marriage must be legal. Also, neither spouse should still be married to another, perhaps due to an unresolved divorce. However, this is only the peripheral requirements; there are other factors that serve as grounds for inadmissibility. These factors include the validity of the marriage; the immigration officer will confirm that the marriage is real.
Meanwhile, the legality of the marriage is decided according to the laws of the state or country in which it was held. In other words, if your country does not count same-sex marriage as legal, neither will the USCIS.
Getting Professional Legal Help in Houston
Hiring an immigration attorney is not a pre-requisite for obtaining the marriage green card; it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get it either. Nevertheless, with legal help, the process will be a lot smoother, and you will avoid making costly mistakes.
Herman Legal Group is a well-known immigration law firm that has helped thousands of marriage green card applicants with their applications. We are based in Ohio, but we have offices dedicated to different states and regions across the United States.
If you need legal counsel with your marriage green card application, you can reach out to us today. Feel free to book online or directly contact us at +1-800-808-4013.
There is no hidden method to successfully obtain the marriage green card; you only need a valid and legal marriage. Once your marriage is bona fide, you filed the right forms, submitted the right documents, and paid the required fees. The process will go without a hitch, especially when you use legal help from Herman Legal Group.