Can I Get a Green Card through Marriage?
If you are a foreign national who is married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may be wondering how long it will take to obtain a green card. A green card, also known as a permanent resident card, allows you to live and work in the United States permanently.
What is a Green Card?
A green card is a document that proves that you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States. It allows you to live and work in the United States permanently, and it also gives you the ability to travel in and out of the country without the need for a visa.
A green card is also a pathway to U.S. citizenship, as you can apply for naturalization after a certain period of time.
What is the Process of Obtaining a Green Card through Marriage?
The process of obtaining a green card through marriage involves several steps. The first step is for the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse to file a petition on behalf of their foreign national spouse. This petition is called Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The purpose of this form is to establish the relationship between U.S. citizen or permanent resident and their foreign national spouse.
Once the I-130 petition is approved, the foreign national spouse can then apply for a green card. This involves filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This form is used to apply for a green card while the foreign national spouse is already in the United States.
In addition to the I-485 form, the foreign national spouse will also need to submit various supporting documents, such as an affidavit of support to demonstrate financial responsibility for the immigrant.
USCIS may also require the couple to attend an interview. Under the Biden Administration, interviews have been waived when the application is sufficiently prepared and evidence of a good-faith marriage has been supplied.
If the USCIS officer approves the application, the foreign national spouse will be issued a green card. If the application is denied, depending on the reason for the denial, the foreign national spouse may be able to file a motion to reconsider/reopen or reapply for a green card in the future. To navigate the complexities of the immigration process and increase the chances of a successful outcome, it’s advisable for the foreign national spouse to consider obtaining trusted legal counsel for a green card through marriage who can provide expert guidance and support throughout the application and potential appeals process.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Green Card through Marriage?
The length of time it takes to obtain a green card through marriage can vary depending on several factors, such as the processing times at USCIS, the complexity of the case, and whether any issues arise during the application process.
On average, it can take anywhere from 10 to 13 months to obtain a green card through marriage. However, this timeline can be longer or shorter depending on the circumstances of the case. A skilled lawyer can prepare a case well so that it benefits from the current administration’s policy of interview waiver. Recently, there have been some cases approved in a matter of months when there is no interview.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Obtaining a green card through marriage can be a complex and time-consuming process. A lawyer can help you navigate the process and ensure that your application is as strong as possible.
A lawyer can help you gather the necessary documents and evidence to support your application, such as proof of your relationship and financial support. They can also help you prepare for your interview with the USCIS officer, if one is required, and address any issues that may arise during the application process. A lawyer can also spot issues and deal with them before the case is filed and it is too late to fix the issue. A well prepped application will shorten the time you will wait for the green card.
If your application is denied, a lawyer can help you appeal the decision or reapply for a green card in the future. They can also help you explore other options for obtaining legal status in the United States. Obtaining a green card through marriage can be a lengthy and complex process. However, with the help of an experienced immigration lawyer, you can increase your chances of success and ensure that your application is as strong as possible. If you are considering applying for a green card through marriage, call Yew Immigration Law Group at 408-645-6395 for a case evaluation today!