How to Get a Marriage Green Card in the United States
When a U.S. citizen dreams of marrying a foreigner and bringing them to the United States, there is a specific process that must be followed. Although dealing with immigration paperwork and proving the authenticity of your relationship may not be the most thrilling aspect, a marriage green card lawyer can provide invaluable assistance, alleviating stress and offering guidance throughout the application process.
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our team of experienced green card attorneys has successfully helped numerous couples obtain their green cards through marriage. Navigating this process alone can be overwhelming and frustrating. However, with the support of one of our skilled attorneys, you can have peace of mind knowing that your case will be meticulously prepared, thoroughly documented, and positioned for success. Our lawyers possess a deep understanding of the intricacies of the immigration system and will ensure that your application is properly filed, significantly reducing the chances of unnecessary delays or complications. With their expertise and guidance, you can navigate the journey with confidence, focusing on building your future together.
Process To Apply For A Green Card Through Marriage
The process of obtaining a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or green card holder varies depending on your current place of residence. There are two primary pathways to consider: consular processing and adjustment of status. Consular processing is applicable when your foreign-born relative is residing outside the United States, while adjustment of status is the appropriate course of action if your relative is already present in the country. Both routes offer distinct advantages and disadvantages, making it crucial to carefully assess the implications of each before proceeding with the application process.
Consular processing is a recommended option when the immigrant spouse is residing outside the United States. In this process, the spouse submits a marriage-based application at the U.S. consulate or embassy in their country of origin or residence. After the application is submitted, the spouse will undergo an interview to evaluate their eligibility. If the application is approved, they will be issued an immigrant visa, granting them the ability to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident. Once admitted into the country, the immigrant will receive their green card, which confirms their status as a permanent resident of the United States. This pathway allows the immigrant spouse to establish their residency in the U.S. and enjoy the benefits of permanent residency. Even if an individual is residing outside of the United States, they can still benefit from the guidance and services provided by the green card lawyers at Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, ensuring that their forms are filled out correctly and they are qualifying applicants.
Adjustment Of Status
When the spouse is already living in the United States, adjustment of status becomes an advantageous option. This process is specifically designed for immigrants who were inspected and either paroled or admitted into the country. It enables them to submit an application to become a permanent resident while remaining within the United States. It is important to consider that if the immigrant spouse entered the country illegally, engaged in fraudulent activities to gain entry, or violated U.S. immigration laws in any other manner, they may need to obtain a waiver for that violation before being eligible to become a green card holder. The adjustment of status pathway offers a valuable opportunity for the immigrant spouse to legally modify their status and secure permanent residency, granting them the privileges and protections associated with being a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Contacting an experienced marriage-based green card lawyer at Goldstein Immigration Lawyers to ensure that all paperwork and forms are properly completed, as well as help gather all necessary documentation.
Green Card Through Marriage Interview Process
When pursuing a green card through marriage, an essential step is the immigration interview conducted by a USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) officer. This interview aims to establish "clear and convincing evidence" of the genuine nature and good faith of your marriage. At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our experienced green card marriage lawyers are well-versed in marriage-based immigration cases and can provide valuable guidance on effectively documenting the authenticity of your marriage. Even before submitting your applications, our immigration attorneys can assist you in collecting relevant joint financial documents, evidence of joint residency, and joint tax records to strengthen your case. Furthermore, our dedicated legal team is available to accompany you to the immigration interview, providing professional representation and unwavering support throughout the process.
Proving A Genuine Marriage
As part of the green card marriage process, individuals must present compelling evidence to establish the authenticity and genuine nature of their marriage. This involves providing a range of documentary proofs, such as:
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Wedding announcements
- Documents that demonstrate joint financial and residential commitments
- Leases or deeds with both spouses' names
- Shared bank and credit card accounts
- Utility bills in both names
- Joint insurance policies
- Joint automobile registration
- Driver's licenses with matching addresses.
- Photographs capturing the couple together throughout their relationship
The purpose of these documents is to demonstrate to the USCIS officer that the couple has:
- Merged their financial resources
- Shares a residence
- Presents themselves as a couple to others
- Genuinely shares a romantic bond
It is of utmost importance to provide convincing evidence, as any suspicion of a fraudulent marriage by the USCIS officer can lead to serious consequences. Seeking the assistance of an experienced green card marriage lawyer at Goldstein Immigration Lawyer is highly recommended as they can guide you in compiling the necessary documentation to establish the authenticity of your marriage. With our expertise, you can enhance your chances of a successful outcome in the immigration process.
Green Card-Based Marriages & The Cuban Adjustment Act
The Cuban Adjustment Act has a significant impact on green card-based marriages, offering specific privileges and exemptions exclusively to Cuban nationals and their family members. The following demonstrates how the Cuban Adjustment Act affects green card-based marriages:
- Back-Dating Permanent Residency - Under the Cuban Adjustment Act, there is a provision called the "rollback" provision. It allows Cuban nationals who marry a U.S. citizen or green card holder after their arrival in the United States to have their permanent residency approval back-dated by 30 months. This means their permanent residency status can be adjusted retroactively to a date 30 months before their application.
- No Asylum Requirement - Unlike other immigration programs, the Cuban Adjustment Act does not require Cuban nationals to demonstrate a fear of returning to Cuba or applying for asylum. This unique aspect enables Cubans to obtain a green card under the Cuban Adjustment Act without the need to establish a credible fear of persecution or harm in Cuba.
- Eligibility for Family Members - The Cuban Adjustment Act extends eligibility for green cards to family members, including spouses and children, regardless of their nationality. This provision also includes after-acquired spouses and children. In other words, if a Cuban national marries or has children after arriving in the United States, those family members can also qualify for green cards under the Cuban Adjustment Act.
- Broad Inclusion of Entrants - The Cuban Adjustment Act is distinctive in its inclusiveness, allowing various categories of entrants to be eligible for green cards. This includes crewmen (entrants under C-1 or D-1 visas), overstays, transit visa entrants, individuals who have worked without authorization, and those who have entered the United States through the Visa Waiver Program.
It's important to note that the benefits provided by the Cuban Adjustment Act are specifically designed for Cuban nationals and their family members. These provisions create a more streamlined and favorable pathway for eligible Cubans to obtain green cards through marriage under this particular immigration relief program.
USCIS Marriage-Based Green Card For LGBTQ+ Couples
LGBTQ+ couples now have equal opportunities and rights as heterosexual couples when seeking a green card through marriage in today's immigration landscape. Here are several options available to LGBTQ+ couples:
- Green Cards and Visas - Same-sex couples can apply for green cards if they are married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the same sex. It is crucial to demonstrate that the marriage is legally recognized and based on a genuine relationship, regardless of where the marriage ceremony took place. Additionally, a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can sponsor their same-sex spouse's visa application.
- Fiancé Visas - U.S. citizens engaged to a foreign-born individual of the same sex can file a fiancé petition. This allows the foreign-born individual to enter the United States with the intention of getting married within 90 days. After the marriage occurs, the couple can pursue an adjustment of status to obtain a green card.
- Immigration Waivers - LGBTQ+ immigrants with negative circumstances in their background, such as criminal convictions, unlawful presence, or fraud, can seek immigration waivers. These waivers require demonstrating that the applicant's removal from the United States would cause extreme hardship to a qualifying relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Same-sex spouses can be recognized as qualifying relatives for immigration waivers.
- Asylum - LGBTQ+ immigrants who have been granted asylum can file a relative petition to bring their same-sex partner to the United States as a derivative beneficiary.
- Deportation Defense - LGBTQ+ immigrants facing removal proceedings in Immigration Court can apply for adjustment of status through their same-sex spouse. This allows them to obtain a green card and potentially resolve their court case. Same-sex spouses can also be used as qualifying relatives for other forms of relief in Immigration Court.
Additionally, there are further immigration options available to same-sex partners, including extending permanent resident status to same-sex spouses of diversity immigrant visa winners, applying for derivative status under E-1 or E-2 visas, and obtaining an H-4 visa to accompany a spouse on an H-1B temporary work visa. These various options provide LGBTQ+ couples with a range of avenues to pursue legal status and stay together in the United States.
Marriage Green Card Timeline
The timeframe for obtaining a marriage-based green card can differ based on various factors, including your spouse's immigration status (U.S. citizen or green card holder) and your current place of residence. On average, the total wait time for a marriage-based green card is approximately 17.5 months, although it's important to note that these figures are subject to change and can be influenced by backlogs in specific locations. Here's a breakdown of the estimated wait times for different scenarios:
- If your spouse is a U.S. citizen and you reside in the U.S., the typical wait time ranges from 12.5 to 22.5 months.
- If your spouse is a U.S. citizen and you live abroad, the average wait time varies from 13.5 to 15.5 months.
- If your spouse is a green card holder and you reside in the U.S., the expected wait time is similar to that of a U.S. citizen spouse, spanning from 12.5 to 22.5 months.
- If your spouse is a green card holder and you live abroad, the average wait time is longer, typically lasting from 19 to 33 months.
It's crucial to bear in mind that these timelines are approximate and can be influenced by individual circumstances, processing times by USCIS, and potential backlogs in specific regions. Staying informed about the latest updates and seeking advice from a green card through marriage attorney at Goldstein Immigration Lawyers can provide reliable resources that can help you navigate the green card marriage process effectively.
Contact A Green Card Through Marriage Lawyer Near You
If you are in need of guidance and support during the green card qualification and application process, it is highly recommended to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable green card through marriage lawyer at Goldstein Immigration Lawyers. Their experienced team can offer invaluable help in understanding the requirements and navigating the complexities of the process. Whether you require assistance in gathering the necessary documentation, preparing for the immigration interview, or ensuring the accurate and effective submission of your application, their expertise in marriage-based immigration cases can be of immense benefit. Consulting with a dedicated green card through marriage lawyer at Goldstein Immigration Lawyers can significantly increase your chances of a successful outcome and alleviate the stress associated with the application process. Don't hesitate to reach out to them today for the guidance and support you need to confidently navigate the green card through marriage process.