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Obtaining a Green Card by marriage

The Green Card can be obtained on the grounds of marriage to an American citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). Marriage therefore allows you to become a permanent resident of the United States. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the essential steps and conditions to qualify.

Green Card eligibility by marriage

To be eligible for a Green Card by marriage, you must be married to an American citizen or LPR. Marriage must be legal and based on a genuine relationship. The ambition to become an American permanent resident should not be the main reason for marriage.

Requirements and proof

Couples must provide substantial proof of their legitimate marriage. For example, the couple can provide joint bank statements, joint leases or mortgages, wedding photos and family events. Any other document attesting to their relationship may be relevant and should be attached to the application.

If you don’t meet the requirements, you can still win a Green Card by lottery. To take part in the annual draw, simply fill in the online form.

Application process

There are several stages in applying for a Green Card in connection with a marriage.

  1. Submitting the petition: The citizen partner or RPL must first submit Form I-130. This is a petition for a foreign parent to submit to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
  2. Adjustment of status or consular process: If the non-citizen spouse is already in the U.S., he or she can apply for an adjustment of status using Form I-485. If the spouse is outside the U.S., he or she must go through the consulate of his or her country of origin.
  3. Interview and approval: Both partners will be invited to a Green Card interview to verify the authenticity of the marriage. If the application is approved, the non-citizen spouse will receive a Green Card.

Conditional Green Card

If the marriage is less than two years old at the time of approval, the non-citizen spouse will receive a conditional Green Card valid for two years. Before it expires, the couple must submit form I-751 to request removal of the conditions and obtain a permanent Green Card.

Tips for a successful Green Card application

A Green Card entitles the holder to permanent residency in the United States. The procedure for obtaining a Green Card through marriage is particularly scrutinized, and success is not guaranteed. Here are a few tips to maximize your chances of success: