A-bride-and-groom-from-the-shoulders-down, facing each other in front of an American flag. You can submit your green card application after you show proof of marriage.
Prior to applying for a green card, you’ll need your U.S. citizen, or green card holder, spouse to file Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative.
Because orchestrating a fake marriage to obtain a green card is fraudulent, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) scrutinizes marriage-based green card applications more closely. They need to ensure neither you nor your spouse has tried to evade immigration laws.
Therefore, you will need to submit Form I-130 to the USCIS and additional supporting documentation to establish marriage legitimacy. This petition will outline life details related to your marriage.
Once USCIS receives your Form I-130, the agency processes the application. USCIS will then send you:
Usually, when the USCIS approves the petition, the agency sends it to the U.S. Department of State's National Visa Center (NVC).
When a visa is available, the NVC notifies both you and your spouse of the invitation to apply for an immigrant visa. The invitation extends to qualifying dependents as well.
When the time comes for you to immigrate, your spouse must agree to be your financial sponsor by filing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. The form states their commitment of financial support.
On its own, the approval of a family-based petition on Form I-130 does not provide you with lawful status within the U.S.
Once you’ve completed your I-130 petition, you will still need to complete your green card Application or obtain a visa from the U.S. Department of State. This is where it makes a difference if you live in the U.S. or abroad.
If you live in America, you will use USCIS Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This document and accompanying paperwork are intended to change your visa-holder or documented immigrant status to lawful permanent resident.
If you reside outside the United States, you must follow family immigration rules and file it using the consular process. Once your spouse files your Form I-130 on your behalf, the remaining processing steps, including applying for your green card, will be finished at the consulate in your home country or the U.S. embassy.
First, the Form I-130 processing time takes anywhere from three to 33 months for a spouse.
Next, the waiting time to get a marriage-based green card currently ranges between nine to 36 months. It will vary depending on whether it was an adjustment of status or consular processing, the USCIS caseload, visa availability, and the accuracy and completion of your application package. For example:
It’s a good idea to file your application for a green card through marriage as soon as your Petition for Alien Relative is approved to ensure you receive your permanent resident card promptly.
However, you are already living in the United States on a visa; you may be able to file your Form I-130 and I-485 simultaneously.
Because immigration application costs can fluctuate year to year, you should consult the USCIS site to ensure your information regarding their fees is accurate. For example, the charges for filing Form I-130 include:
Because USCIS won’t refund your money even if your application is denied, consider using FileRight to Prepare your application package. The cost for this service is $335.
Our lawyer review services and instant error reporting software will ensure you submit the most accurate application package possible.
When completing your Form I-130 to show the validity of your marriage, make sure you:
When you’ve completed your petition, we will print your completed forms, assemble them in the correct order, and mail the completed application package to you. We also indicate where to sign and provide a pre-addressed envelope for you to send to the USCIS. Contact FileRight.com today to get started on your application.
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