Marriage-Based Green Cards
If you are a foreign national married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can get a green card to live permanently in the U.S! In order to keep families together, U.S. immigration law allows for U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their spouses.
This can be a great benefit if you’re in love with your partner and you are in a long distance relationship and ready to take the next step in building a life together. A marriage-based green card will allow you both to live together in the U.S. permanently and will provide your spouse with the freedom to travel in and out of the U.S. and to work in the U.S..
How to do it?
As the foreign national spouse, your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse must file an I-130 petition on your behalf and you must file a I-485 or green card application together with supporting documents establishing that you are both in a bona fide marriage. This means that you have a good faith marriage and you and your partner intend to build a future together!
Am I eligible?
If you are a foreign national who is married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your spouse may be able to petition for you if:
- Your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse are in a valid, bona fide marriage; and
- Your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse can financially sponsor your green card.
Timing for filing an marriage-based green card is important for every foreign national! Definitely speak to an experienced immigration attorney before filing a marriage based green card.
What’s the Process?
If you are a foreign national spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may apply for a green card while inside or outside the U.S.
If you are currently in the U.S. legally, you must file Form I-485, while your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse files Form I-130. Together these forms are filed concurrently with your supporting documents to USCIS. Once USCIS is ready to make a decision on your case, you will be scheduled to appear at an interview at a local USCIS field office. If the USCIS officer approves your case you will receive a decision in the mail along with your green card.
If you are currently residing outside the U.S., your U.S. citizen spouse or permanent resident must file Form I-130 and supporting documents with USCIS. Once USCIS approves the I-130, the U.S. Department of State will contact you to apply for a visa. Once the application for a visa is completed, you will be scheduled for an appointment to appear at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad for an interview. Once you are approved you will receive a visa and can enter the U.S. as a permanent resident. Following your entry into the U.S. you will receive your green card.
*Please note foreign national spouses of lawful permanent residents are subject to the visa bulletin and may have to wait for a visa to become available before applying for the green card at a local field office or at a consulate or embassy abroad.