Love goes beyond borders! In case you and your partner want to live together in the United States, you’ll need to apply for a marriage green card. If you’re a United States citizen and your partner lives elsewhere, the marriage green card permits your partner to work and live in the US permanently. After getting the marriage green card, your partner will be able to permanently reside in the United States. It also makes them eligible to apply for citizenship after 3 years.
HOW TO GET A MARRIAGE GREEN CARD
There are three steps involved in the process of getting a US marriage green card:
* Prove the marriage is real (Form I-130)
* The green card application (Form I-485 or Form DS-260)
* Take part in the green card interview, then wait for the approval.
Below is a detailed step-by-step guide on what you should expect and what you need to do.
* PROVE THE MARRIAGE IS REAL (FORM I-130)
The form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) is used to ascertain that the family relationship between a United States citizen and the individual pursuing the green card is real. For a married couple wanting the marriage visa, Form I-130 shows the marriage is authentic. This is the first step in the application process, you’ll submit Form I-130. You submit it to a branch of the United States Department of Homeland Security, known as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If you’re the partner who is a green card holder or United States citizen filing the Form I-130 you’re known as the “sponsor” or “petitioner.” On the other hand, the partner pursuing the green card is the green card “applicant” or “beneficiary.”
Alongside the Form I-130, there are other documents you’ll submit, they normally include:
● Financial documents.
● Current or expired visa(s).
● Marriage certificate.
● Medical examination document.
● Birth certificate.
● Previous marriage termination documents if necessary.
● Proof of the sponsor’s citizenship
● Military records if necessary.
● Prison, police or court records is necessary.
● Police clearance certificate if necessary.
● Immigration violation records.
● Proof of lawful United States entry and status if necessary.
The following are the most vital components of the Form I-130:
● Proof that the marriage is not fake examples of documents you can submit include joint bank account statements, photos together, or a joint lease.
● A government filing fee of $535.
● Proof that the petitioner is a legal United States citizen this can include a birth certificate or naturalization certificate copy, valid United States passport, or for a green card holder, a copy of the green card.
● Divorce document if a partner was married before.
● Proof the marriage is legal, that is a marriage certificate.
After the Form I-130 is complete you should mail it to the valid USCIS address. The petitioner will then get a receipt note from the USCIS within two weeks. If USCIS requires more documents they’ll request them within 3 months. The approval from the USCIS might take around 7-15 months. After they approve the I-130 form, they will determine whether the partner pursuing the green card is eligible.
* THE GREEN CARD APPLICATION ( FORM I-485 OR FORM DS-260).
There are two processes involved to determine whether an individual is eligible for the United States marriage green card. The processes depend on where a petitioner’s partner lives.
APPLICANTS THAT LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES
If the partner who needs a green card stays in the United States, then you should file the I-485 through the USCIS. The Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status,), basically shows that an individual is eligible to be a United States resident.
The following are the vital components of the Form I-485:
● Proof of the petitioner’s financial ability to support the partner pursuing a green card. This includes Form I-864 ( Affidavit of Support).
● Proof of nationality of the partner pursuing a green card. This includes passport page photo and birth certificate copy.
● A medical examination report that was done by a USCIS doctor.
● Government filing fees of $1225.
● Proof of legal entry by the partner pursuing a green card, I-94 travel record and previous u
● United States visa.
You can combine the I-130 and the I-485 plus other required documents, through concurrent filing. This is eligible to the partners of United States Citizens.
APPLICANTS THAT LIVE ABROAD
If the partner pursuing a green card lives abroad, then an application package is filed with the National Visa Center (NVC). The process is called consular processing to determine whether the applicant is viable for an interview at the United States embassy.
The vital components of the NVC package include:
● Proof of petitioner’s financial ability to support the partner (Form I-864).
● Form DS-260 ( online green card application)
● Police clearance certificate of the partner pursuing a green card.
● Applicant’s proof of nationality a passport page photo and birth certificate copy.
The application will take around 3-5 months to be processed by the NVC. Afterwards, the application is sent to the US embassy in the applicant’s country.
TAKE PART IN THE GREEN CARD INTERVIEW THEN WAIT FOR THE APPROVAL
The aim of the interview is to determine the genuineness of the marriage. Officers ask questions in relation to the marriage and approve the green card if they’re convinced it’s genuine. The interview is conducted where the applicant lives. If the applicant lives in the US they will attend the interview at their nearest USCIS office, alongside the petitioner. You’ll receive the green card within 2-3 weeks after approval.
If the applicant lives abroad then they’ll attend the interview alone at their local US embassy. If they’re approved, they receive a visa stamp on their passport to be able to travel to the US. You pay a USCIS immigrant fee of $220 in order to get the physical green card. The green card is mailed to the couple’s address in the US within 2-3 weeks.
PROCESS AFTER GREEN CARD APPROVAL
If you’ve been married for less than 2 years the partner gets a conditional green card (CR1). You then file the Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence ( Form I-751), within 90 days before the CR1 expires to get rid of the conditions in order to get a permanent green card If you’ve been married for more than two years you receive a “permanent” green card (IR1) renewed after 10 years.
Contact green card attorney Douglas Lightman for satisfactory services on your marriage green card application.