How To Get a U.S. Marriage Green Card: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shawn Sedaghat, Esq.

Shawn Sedaghat, Esq.

President and Senior Attorney at Shawn S. Sedaghat A Law Corporation

A man and woman holding wedding rings, symbolizing love and commitment.

When love blossoms and culminates in marriage with a U.S. citizen, it opens up the possibility of making the United States your permanent home. The journey of a marriage-based green card begins with a step that might seem more bureaucratic than romantic: filing an immigrant petition. This is the first milestone on a path that may appear entangled in legalities, but at its core, it’s about family and the future. The U.S. citizen spouse is required to submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It’s akin to declaring to the government, “This is my partner, and I wish for them to remain with me, here in the U.S., indefinitely.”

This form is the bedrock of the entire immigration process itself. It serves as the U.S. citizen’s method of convincing the immigration authorities that their marriage is genuine — a heartfelt bond, not merely a means to a green card. In addition to this petition, the couple is required to furnish proof of the authenticity of their marriage, such as the marriage certificate, photographs chronicling their relationship, and other documents demonstrating their shared life.

Benefits of Getting a Green Card Through Marriage

Envision this scenario: you’re united with your life partner, but the constant worry of visa expiration prevents you from truly settling down. A green card through marriage is akin to a permanent pass, allowing you to reside in the US with your spouse. Say goodbye to visa troubles! You’ll have the freedom to pursue any job you’re qualified for, anywhere across the country. The opportunities are boundless!

But there’s more. A marriage-based green card is your initial step towards becoming a full-fledged US citizen, just like your spouse. This means you can finally participate in elections, influencing who governs the country. Additionally, you’ll gain access to the same benefits everyone else enjoys, like Social Security and the coveted US passport that facilitates travel to almost any destination. Essentially, it’s an opportunity to establish roots and secure your shared future.

Requirements to Get a Green Card Through Marriage

Securing a marriage-based green card involves a few challenges, but fret not; they’re more akin to stepping stones than insurmountable mountains! Here’s a brief rundown of the primary requirements:

Marriage to a US citizen or green card holder: This is the crucial one, of course! You’ll need a valid marriage certificate as proof.

Eligibility of both spouses: You can’t apply if you’ve overstayed your visa or have a criminal record. There are some exceptions, so consulting an immigration attorney is advisable. They’re like experts who can guide you on your eligibility.

Proof of bona fide marriage: In simpler terms, you need to demonstrate that it’s a genuine marriage, not merely a means to acquire a green card. Consider this akin to gathering evidence for an impressive couple contest. Photos together, rental agreements bearing both your names, even social media posts where you tag each other can all be beneficial! The documents required in a marriage-based green card process are typically whatever documents you naturally have when you comingle your life with your partner.

There are also some financial prerequisites. Your US citizen spouse will need to demonstrate their ability to support you financially. Remember, this is just a brief overview. The process can be somewhat intricate, so don’t hesitate to pose any queries to an immigration attorney. Marriage-based green card petitions are seemingly easy but one mistake can set you back a few months.

Submit Immigrant Visa Application

The initial challenge in a marriage-based green card is to prove the authenticity of your marriage to the U.S. government. Consider it akin to showcasing your favorite couple photos and narrating your love story – but with official forms. Your US-citizen spouse will file a petition, similar to a recommendation letter, affirming the legitimacy of your relationship. This is Form I-130, and it’s the cornerstone of your green card journey. Once that’s submitted and approved, you can proceed to the green card application itself. There might be some additional paperwork and interviews involved, but remember, anything worth having usually requires a bit of effort, right? We can dissect those steps together too!

You Are Married to a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

A prerequisite for securing a marriage-based green card for your spouse is that you, their partner, need to be a US citizen or already possess a green card. Consider it like a two-person team—you need to be on the US team already to bring someone else in. This validates to the system that you have the legal right to sponsor your spouse for permanent residency. It’s logical, right? If you’re not a US citizen yet, there are other immigration paths you can explore.

Valid Marriage

When it comes to applying for a marriage-based green card, the US government wants to make sure it’s the real deal, not just a marriage on paper. A valid marriage means you and your spouse are truly in a committed relationship, not just going through the motions to get immigration benefits.

Here’s the thing: there’s no single test. The government will look at things like living together, shared finances, and how well you know each other’s families. Basically, they want to see evidence that your life is intertwined. Think about photos you have together, documents with both your names on them, or even old birthday cards you sent each other. The more you can show you’ve built a real life together, the smoother the green card application process will be.

Neither of You Is Married to Anyone Else

If you’ve been married before, but things didn’t work out, that’s okay. As long as those marriages are officially over with a divorce decree or something similar, you’re good to go.

What is the I-130 Filing Packet for Green Card Marriage Applications?

This packet is essentially a collection of forms and documents you need to fill out and submit to the government. The main form, the I-130 itself, is like your spouse’s official invitation to apply for permanent residence in the US. It’s filled out by your US-citizen spouse, proving your relationship is the real deal. There might be some extra stuff you need to add too, like marriage certificates, proofs of living together (think rental agreements with both your names on them), and maybe even some photos to show you’re a happy couple.

Critical elements of a complete I-130 package

Here’s the thing: a complete I-130 package is like your key to getting through the door. It shows USCIS (the government agency in charge of immigration) that your marriage is the real deal. We’re talking proof, evidence, A-plus couple material!

So, what kind of stuff are we talking about? See it like this – to show Uncle Sam you’re eligible for a green card through marriage, you need to prove your spouse is already a citizen or a permanent resident, like having a green card themselves. Think of it as showing your tickets to board the green card train.

There are a few ways to prove this:

Your spouse can show their birth certificate – this proves they were born in the US and are automatically a citizen.

If they weren’t born in the US, a copy of their naturalization certificate works too. That’s the official document saying they became a U.S. citizen.

And lastly, a photocopy of the front page (the one with the picture) of their valid U.S. passport is another way to go.

Now, if your spouse isn’t a U.S. citizen but has a green card, that works too! Just include a copy of their green card in the package.

Then, there are the basic forms – filled out completely and signed with a black or blue pen, no typos! Then comes the fun part: the evidence. Marriage certificates, photos of you together over time, rental agreements or bills with both your names on them – all this shows you’re not just roommates pretending to be lovebirds. Even things like social media posts where you tag each other or greetings cards you send back and forth can be helpful!

The more evidence you include, the smoother things go. Think of it like putting together a super cute scrapbook that screams “We’re totally married!” If there’s anything you’re unsure about, don’t hesitate to ask an immigration attorney.

Alright, so you’ve sent in your I-130 petition. Now what? Sometimes USCIS might need a little extra info to make a decision. In this case, USCIS will send a thingy called a “Request for Evidence” (RFE) to your spouse, the sponsoring one. This usually happens within a couple of months of filing.

Once they have everything they need, USCIS will typically make a decision on your application in about 15 months, give or take. This timeframe can vary depending on your situation, kind of like how long it takes to grade different tests in school. These wait times are based on what USCIS publishes every few months.

Process of Getting a Green Card Through Marriage

Here’s a basic roadmap:

First up, your US citizen spouse fills out some paperwork proving you’re really married. Think of it as showing the official folks evidence like wedding photos or joint bank statements. This establishes your bona fide marriage (just a fancy way of saying it’s the real deal).

Then, your spouse living abroad can apply for the green card itself. If they’re already in the US legally, they can apply to adjust their status here. This might involve an interview where you both answer questions to show you’re a legit couple.

There’s a twist though: if you’ve been married for less than two years when you get the green card, it will be temporary (for two years). Don’t worry, it’s not a trick! It’s just a way for them to make sure everything’s on the up and up. To remove these temporary conditions, you’ll need to file another form closer to the two-year mark.

This whole process can take some time, so patience is key. But hey, if you’ve already built a life together, a little waiting shouldn’t be a problem, right?

Step 1: Establish the marriage relationship (Form I-130)

Imagine you’re applying for a membership to a super exclusive club, but instead of fancy clothes, you need to prove you’re really married to the member who’s already in. That’s basically what Form I-130 is all about. It’s the first step to getting your green card through marriage in the US.

This form is like your chance to tell the government your love story (minus the mushy bits). You’ll fill out details about yourselves and your marriage and send in documents as proof. Think of it like putting together a scrapbook to show you’re a real couple.

Marriage certificates, photos together, rental agreements with both your names on them – all these things help show you’re not just pretending to be married for a green card. Even things like phone bills in both your names can be helpful! The more evidence you have, the smoother things will go.

Step 2: Applying for a Marriage Green Card

Picture this: you’re already in the U.S., perhaps even married to your wonderful U.S. citizen spouse, but you’re still waiting for that green card. There’s a method to apply from within the U.S. without having to return home – it’s known as Adjustment of Status. Consider it a shortcut in the green card queue. This whole status process is done after filing the I-130 form.

Applying for a Marriage Green Card From the U.S. Through the Adjustment of Status Process (Form I-485)

This option is only available if you entered the U.S. legally (with a visa or visa waiver program) and haven’t overstayed your welcome. If that sounds like you, then this might be the quicker route to obtaining your green card.

The process involves filing some forms with USCIS, which is essentially the immigration headquarters. The form you need to file is Form I-485, and you send it to USCIS. Think of it this way: You’ve proven you’re married, and now you have to demonstrate you’re eligible to get that green card. This form helps USCIS determine if you meet all the requirements. If your spouse is a U.S. citizen, you can usually file the I-485 form at the same time as the I-130. This is called “concurrent filing” – like hitting two birds with one stone! Things get a bit more complicated if your spouse has a green card, not citizenship. Here’s why: there’s a limited number of green cards available each year, kind of like a waiting list at a popular restaurant. The U.S. Department of State has to say there’s an opening for your spouse before you can even file the I-485.

There are different types of marriage visas, kind of like choosing a flavor at an ice cream shop. This form covers stuff like:

  • IR6/CR6 spouse and accompanying IR7/CR7 child visas in the case of the sponsor being a U.S. citizen

  • F2A visas for spouses and children of green card holders

  • CF1 visas for spouses coming on a K fiance visa who want to adjust their status to married

You’ll need to show them proof of your marriage, your spouse’s US citizenship, and that you can financially support yourself. It’s like putting together a giant scrapbook that tells the story of your happy life together. There are some fees involved, and you’ll eventually have an interview to answer questions about your marriage.

Applying for a Marriage Green Card From Abroad Through Consular Processing

So, you’re married to your wonderful U.S. citizen spouse, but you’re not in the U.S. yet. Don’t worry, there’s a way to get your green card through consular processing – like applying from an embassy or consulate overseas. Think of it like waiting in the “apply from abroad” line for your own green card here.

The first step in a marriage-based green card is for your U.S. citizen spouse to file a petition for you, essentially telling the U.S. government, “This is my real spouse, and I want them to live here with me!” Once that’s approved, you’ll get a notification from a special center that deals with green card applications abroad. They’ll send you a bunch of forms to fill out. There will also be interviews and possibly a full medical examination or exam, but don’t sweat it. As long as your marriage is legitimate and you have all your documents in order, you should be good to go. Consular processing can take some time, but eventually, you could be unwrapping the best present ever – your green card and a chance to build a life with your spouse in the U.S.

If You Applied via Consular Processing With Form DS-260…

Okay, so you applied for your green card through consular processing, which means you’re overseas and waiting for the U.S. embassy or consulate to process your application. You probably filled out that hefty Form DS-260 online – that’s like your big questionnaire telling USCIS all about you.

Now, after submitting the DS-260, you might be wondering what happens next. Here’s the deal: The National Visa Center (NVC) will first review your case and send you a bunch of info. This might include things like what documents you need to submit or how to schedule a medical exam. Don’t worry, it won’t be a pop quiz!

Once you’ve submitted all your documents and passed the medical exam, the NVC will forward your entire application to the U.S. embassy or consulate where you applied. Then, they’ll contact you to schedule your interview. This interview is your chance to show the consular officer your marriage is real and you qualify for a green card. Think of it like the final step before you can unpack your bags and start your life together in the U.S.

The whole process can take some time, but hang in there!

NVC Processing for the Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

Alright, so you’ve gotten through the first hurdle – your U.S. citizen spouse filed a petition to bring you to the U.S. Now, let’s talk about the NVC, which is essentially a giant message center for green card applications. Think of it like that place where all the mail gets sorted before it goes out for delivery.

The NVC gathers all your paperwork and makes sure it’s in order. They’ll send you a welcome letter with your case number – that’s super important, so don’t lose it! They might also request additional documents if something’s missing. Once everything’s good to go, they’ll send your application to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. That’s where you’ll attend your interview for the green card.

The NVC stage can take some time, so be patient.

Step 3: Attend the green card interview and await approval

Almost there! After all the paperwork and waiting, you’ve reached a major milestone: the green card interview. This is your chance to chat with a USCIS officer, basically showing them why your marriage is the real deal and you deserve your green card.

It can feel a bit nerve-wracking, but think of it like a job interview, but for living in the U.S. with your spouse! The officer might ask questions about how you met your spouse, where you live together, or even about your favorite foods – you know, the stuff that shows you’re a real couple.

Here’s the tip: be yourself, relax, and be prepared to answer honestly. Having copies of documents like your marriage certificate, lease agreement, or bills with both your names on them can also be helpful. They’re like proof you’re a team, not just teammates pretending to play nice!

After the interview, USCIS will review everything and let you know their decision. It might take some time but try to stay patient. If everything checks out, you’ll be well on your way to getting that green card and finally starting your happily ever after in the U.S. together.

What Questions Will I be Asked During the Marriage Interview?

Imagine you’re on a game show, but instead of winning a toaster, you’re playing for a chance to live in the U.S. with your spouse. The interview is basically your chance to convince the USCIS officer your marriage is the real deal, not just a show for a green card.

They’ll ask questions to get to know you and your spouse better, like how you met, where you went on your first date, or even what kind of toothpaste you use (just kidding… maybe). It’s their way of checking if your answers line up and if your life together seems legit.

Here’s the good news: you don’t need to memorize a script! Just be yourself, relax, and answer honestly. If you get nervous and forget something, don’t sweat it – that happens! The most important thing is to show you have a real, happy marriage.

Marriage-based green card timeline

For the first step, i.e your U.S. citizen spouse filing a petition to prove you’re a real married couple, it generally takes around 11 months.

Once that’s approved, your spouse living abroad applies for the green card itself. If they’re already in the U.S. legally, they can apply to adjust their status to their status here. This might involve an interview where you answer questions to show you’re a legit couple. For concurrent filing, when one’s spouse is a U.S. citizen, and they file the I-130 and the I-485 form together, USCIS typically makes a decision within 10 to 23 months. When one’s spouse is a green card holder, a lawful permanent resident, and they file the I-485, USCIS will typically process it within 13.5 to 20.5 months, although it could take longer depending on your local office.

There’s a catch, though: if you’ve been married for less than two years when you get the green card, it will be temporary (for two years). To remove these temporary conditions, you’ll need to file another form closer to the two-year mark, which usually takes about a year to process.

So, all in all, you’re looking at anywhere from 18 months to 3 years for the entire process. Remember, this is just an estimate, and it can be shorter or longer depending on your specific case.

Documents Needed to Apply for a Green Card Through Marriage

Consider this process as curating a comprehensive portfolio supporting documents that narrate the story of your marital journey and your U.S. citizen spouse’s authentic citizenship. Here’s what goes into that portfolio:

  • Proof of Marriage: This is the centerpiece – your official marriage certificate.

  • Identification: Both of you will need items like birth certificates and valid passports to establish your identities.

  • U.S. Citizenship Evidence: Your spouse will need to present documents that validate their U.S. citizenship, such as a passport or a naturalization certificate.

  • Immigration History (if applicable): If you’ve previously been in the U.S., you’ll need to provide documentation of your past immigration status, like visas or entry stamps.

  • Financial Support: Your U.S. citizen spouse will need to demonstrate their ability to financially support you. This typically involves tax returns, pay stubs, and sometimes bank statements. It’s akin to demonstrating that you won’t be a burden on the system.

  • Relationship Bona Fides: This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you’re a genuine couple, not just going through the motions for a green card. Consider it like flipping through your relationship scrapbook. Photos together, rental agreements showing you live together, phone bills with both your names on them – all these elements help paint a picture of your life as a couple.

This is just a general overview, and depending on your specific situation, there might be additional documents required.

Important update for spouses of green card holders

If you’re married to a green card holder and hoping to join them in the U.S., here’s an important heads-up. The wait times for green card applications through marriage with a green card holder (that’s category F2A for the immigration buffs out there) have significantly increased recently. It’s akin to waiting in line for the world’s most popular amusement park ride – it used to be a few hours, but now it could take years!

This doesn’t mean you can’t apply, but it’s a good idea to be prepared for a bit of a wait.

What are the Fees to Get a Green Card Through Marriage?

There are some filing fees you’ll need to consider when applying for a green card through marriage, but don’t worry, they’re more like paying for a night out, not a whole vacation! Here’s the lowdown:

  • USCIS Filing Fees: Consider this as the government’s entrance fee for the green card application process. You’ll pay to file a few different forms, and the total cost can vary depending on what forms you need. If your spouse is already living in the U.S., the government filing fees will be around $1,760. If your spouse is living abroad, the fees are a bit lower, around $1,200.

  • Biometrics Fee: Ever gotten fingerprinted for a background check? That’s what biometrics are. There’s a separate fee to have this done as part of your application.

  • Medical Exam: You’ll need a clean bill of health from a doctor approved by USCIS. They basically check to make sure you’re healthy and won’t be a risk to anyone. The price is between $200 and $500. The doctor sets the price for the exam, so it can vary a bit.

There aren’t any surprise charges, but talking to an immigration attorney is always a good call. They can give you a more accurate idea of the total cost based on your specific case. Remember, legal fees are separate from the government filing fees, but an attorney can help you avoid any costly mistakes down the road.

Conditional Permanent Resident Status

Alright, so you got your green card through marriage – that’s awesome! But if you’ve been married for less than two years on the day you got it, there’s a twist. This green card might have a “trial period” attached, with a long name: Conditional Permanent Resident Status.

Basically, Uncle Sam wants to make sure your marriage is the real deal, not just a way to get a green card. This temporary green card lasts two years. During that time, you and your spouse will need to file a petition to remove the conditions. In other words, you gotta show USCIS your marriage is still going strong.

Relax, it’s not scary! You just need to file some forms together, attend an interview if needed, and prove you’re a real couple. Think of it like putting together a scrapbook to show you’re not faking it for a green card. Rent agreements with both your names on them, phone bills you pay together, even cute couple photos – all this can help!

If everything looks good, USCIS will take away the “conditions” and give you a permanent green card. Congratulations, you win the immigration game!

What is the Green Card Through Marriage Processing Time?

The wait times for getting a green card through marriage can feel as long as that line for the hottest new rollercoaster – it all depends! There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but here’s the gist:

  • Who your spouse is: If your spouse is a U.S. citizen, the wait is generally shorter – think months, not years. But if they’re a green card holder themselves, that wait time can jump significantly.

  • Where you live: Different USCIS offices have different processing times, so depending on where you live in the U.S., the wait might be a bit longer or shorter.

  • How backed up the system is: Just like any line, if there are a lot of people applying ahead of you, it could take a while to get your turn.

Imagine you and your spouse are on a road trip to get your green card. How long the drive takes depends on where you start and where you’re going. Here’s a loose roadmap:

  • If you’re already married to a U.S. citizen and you both live in the U.S., the trip might take between 10 and 23 months.

  • If you’re married to a U.S. citizen but live outside the U.S., expect the drive to be a bit longer, somewhere around 13.5 to 15 months.

  • Things get a tad more complicated if you’re married to someone with a green card, not a U.S. citizen. If you’re both in the U.S., the wait could be between 13.5 and 20.5 months.

  • Finally, if you’re outside the U.S. and married to a green card holder who lives in the U.S., this might be the longest leg of the journey, taking 29 to 40 months.

Remember, these are just estimates. The actual time can vary depending on your specific situation and how busy the USCIS is. Right now, things are a bit more crowded than usual, so be prepared to wait. But don’t worry, it’s not forever!

Processing Times for Applicants Living Abroad With a Permanent Resident Spouse

Securing a green card through marriage is a thrilling journey, but if you’re residing overseas with a lawful permanent resident spouse (not a US citizen), you’ll need to prepare for a potentially extended waiting period. The duration of the processing times can fluctuate based on your individual circumstances, but it’s typically lengthier than when marrying a US citizen. Consider it as standing in a distinct queue at the green card office – it might require a tad more endurance.

There isn’t a definitive timeline for how long you’ll have to wait, but it can range anywhere from 29 to 40 months, or even longer in certain situations. So, what can you do during this waiting period? Ensure your passport remains valid and your documents are organized. An immigration attorney can assist you in navigating the process, addressing your queries, and ensuring everything progresses smoothly. They’re akin to your green card support team, ensuring your application is primed for success! If the waiting times seem daunting, keep your eyes on the ultimate reward – a green card and a shared life in the US with your spouse.

When Should You Work With a Lawyer To Get a Marriage Green Card?

The path to obtaining a green card through marriage may appear simple, but it’s not always smooth sailing. There can be unexpected twists, unforeseen detours, and even perplexing paperwork. That’s when an immigration lawyer can step in as your champion!

While you don’t necessarily require an immigration lawyer for every phase of the process, there are certainly instances when their advice can be invaluable. Here are a few scenarios where having a lawyer by your side for immigration purposes is a wise decision:

  • Your situation is complex: Perhaps you entered the US without inspection, or you have a minor criminal history. An immigration attorney can evaluate your circumstances and guide you through the process, taking these factors into account. They’re akin to experts who are well-versed in the intricacies of immigration law.

  • The paperwork seems overwhelming: Completing all those forms can feel like assembling a massive puzzle without a reference image. A lawyer can assist you in ensuring everything is filled out accurately and that you’re not overlooking any crucial details.

  • You have questions or concerns: If you’re apprehensive about anything, from interview questions to processing times, an immigration attorney can provide reassurance. Consider them as your personal interpreter for all things related to the green card!

Even if your situation appears straightforward, having a lawyer review your application can be beneficial. They can identify any errors you might have overlooked and ensure you’re on the right path. Similar to having a coach for a significant game, an immigration attorney can provide the confidence and support you need to secure your green card.

FAQs on Getting a Green Card Through Marriage

1. Can I get a green card by marrying a U.S. citizen?

Yes, marrying a U.S. citizen is a common pathway to obtaining a green card. This process involves proving your marriage is bona fide (genuine) to gain immigration benefits and ultimately register for permanent residence.

2. What is the role of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the green card process?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government agency that oversees the legal immigration system. They handle the processing of the documents necessary for a foreign spouse seeking to become a lawful permanent resident through marriage.

3. How long does it take to get a green card through marriage?

The time it takes can vary significantly, depending on several factors, including whether you’re adjusting status or undergoing consular processing and the current workload of the USCIS or the National Visa Center. Generally, it ranges from 10 to 23 months for spouses of U.S. citizens living in the U.S. and can be longer for green card holders sponsoring a spouse.

4. What evidence do I need to prove a bona fide marriage for a green card?

You’ll need to provide substantial evidence such as a marriage certificate, joint bank statements, photographs together, lease agreements with both names, and any other documents that can demonstrate your life is intertwined, establishing the marriage’s authenticity.

5. Who qualifies as an immediate relative under U.S. immigration law?

In the context of immigration, spouses of U.S. citizens are considered immediate relatives. This category also includes the citizen’s unmarried children under the age of 21 and their parents, provided the citizen is over 21. Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait for a visa number to become available.

6. Can a green card holder sponsor a spouse for a green card?

Yes, permanent residents (green card holders) can sponsor their spouses for a green card. However, the process might be longer compared to when a U.S. citizen sponsors a spouse, due to visa availability issues.

7. What is conditional permanent residence?

Conditional permanent residence applies to individuals who obtain a green card through marriage when the marriage is less than two years old. It grants the foreign spouse the same rights as a permanent resident, but the status is conditional for two years. The couple must file to remove the conditions on the residence before the two-year anniversary to gain full lawful permanent resident status.

8. How do I remove the conditions on my conditional green card?

To remove the conditions on a conditional green card, you and your spouse must jointly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, within the 90 days before the conditional card expires. You will need to provide additional documentation to prove that your marriage was genuine and not entered into to gain immigration benefits.

9. What happens if my green card marriage ends in divorce?

If your marriage ends in divorce, it may affect your immigration status, particularly if you are still a conditional permanent resident. However, it is possible to apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirement for the I-751 petition on the basis that the marriage was entered into in good faith. Consulting an immigration attorney is highly recommended in these situations.

10. What is an immigrant visa, and how is it different from a green card?

An immigrant visa is issued to a foreign national who intends to live and work permanently in the U.S. It is used to enter the U.S. and, upon entry, the individual typically becomes a lawful permanent resident (gets a green card). The term “green card” refers to the physical card that represents proof of lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.

Scroll to Top