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Already in U.S. FAQs

Below are a number of frequently asked questions by our clients and prospective clients. If you have a question or concern that is not addressed below, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

How do you get a green card through marriage?

To obtain a green card through marriage, you must follow several steps. The sponsoring spouse needs to submit Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). Upon approval, the foreign spouse can apply for adjustment of status (Form I-485) or an immigrant visa abroad. Attend a biometrics appointment and an interview with USCIS, where you'll need to demonstrate the legitimacy of your marital relationship. If successful, you'll receive a conditional green card valid for two years, after which you must jointly petition to remove the conditions.

What are the documents needed to apply for green card through marriage?

These typically include your marriage certificate, proof of identity such as a passport or birth certificate, and evidence of your marital relationship like photos and joint financial accounts. Additionally, you'll need to fill out forms like the I-130 and I-485, provide an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), and undergo a medical examination (Form I-693). Depending on your situation, you may require additional documents or waivers.

Is it possible to transition from an F1 visa to a green card through marriage?

Yes, transitioning from an F1 visa to a green card through marriage is possible. If you marry a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your spouse can file Form I-130 on your behalf. Once approved, you can apply for adjustment of status if you're in the U.S. or for an immigrant visa abroad. Attend a USCIS interview to validate your marriage, and upon approval, you'll receive a green card, granting you permanent residency.

Can Permanent Residents concurrently file for I-130 and Green Card while their Foreign Spouse is in the United States?

No. Unfortunately, this benefit is only afforded to U.S. Citizens married to Foreign Spouses. However, Permanent Residents may file an I-130 Petition while their Foreign Spouse’s are outside of the United States. Consequently, if the Permanent Resident becomes a U.S. Citizen by Naturalization after the time of the I-130 filing, they may update their new citizenship status with the USCIS.

Once approved, how many months are the Travel Permit and Work Permit good for?

Travel and Work Permits are valid for a 1 year period from the date of issuance. In the unlikely event, that you do not get your Green Card within that time period, you may file again for another year. However, most applicants will get their Green Card prior to the date that the Travel Permit and Work Permits expire and therefore, do not need to extend them past 1 year.

Once the Green Card is issued, how many years is it valid?

10 years. If you have been married less than 2 years when the Green Card is issued, there is also a condition that must be removed after the first two years of issuance–this is officially known as the “Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence.”

What do I have to do when it is ready to Expire?

Simply file for a renewal before the expiration date. This typically entails completing and submitting the appropriate form for Green Card renewal, which is Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. This form can be filed electronically or by mail, depending on your preference and eligibility criteria. It's important to ensure that you file for renewal in a timely manner to avoid any lapse in your legal status. Upon approval of your renewal application, you'll receive a new Green Card, extending your lawful permanent resident status for another period.

At what point will will the Foreign Spouse be eligible for U.S Citizenship through Naturalization?

The Foreign Spouse will be eligible for Citizenship through Naturalization on the third anniversary of the Green Card issuance. You must meet all other eligibility criteria and residency requirements for the foreign spouse to become eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship through naturalization. It's important to note that eligibility requirements may vary depending on individual circumstances, so it's advisable to consult with a Marriage Green Card immigration attorney.

Can the Foreign Spouse’s Children also get Green Cards?

Yes, however they would have to meet certain minimum requirements to be eligible (explained below). If the children are also currently in the United States, the couple may file Concurrent I-130 Petitions and I-485 Applications for the children. However, if the children are abroad at the time of the filing for the Foreign Spouse, then the U.S. Citizen can file an I-130 Petition on behalf of the “step-children” and once it is approved it will be forwarded to the U.S. Embassy for Immigrant Visa issuance.

What are the general requirements for children of the Foreign Spouse to immigrate?

Generally, the children must have been under the age of 18 at the time of marriage. In addition, they must also have medicals, security checks, etc. just like their parent.

How long does it take for the Green Card to be processed?

The duration for processing a Green Card application varies based on several factors, including the specific USCIS Field Office handling the case and other individual circumstances. These factors can include the type of Green Card application, the volume of applications being processed, and any additional documentation or information required. For more on this, click here: Green Card Processing Times.

What are the government fees and other costs for filing?

The following costs are associated with the filing of a Concurrent I-130 Petition and I-485 Application: I-130 Petition Fee-$535.00; Medical Exam Fee-$200-$500 depending upon Designated Civil Surgeon; I-485 Processing Fee, Biometrics, and Affidavit of Support-$1225.00. For more details visit: Green Card Through Marriage Cost.

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