Green Card through Marriage

Marriage to U.S. Citizen

Under present law, a person who came to this country on a valid visa can apply for permanent residency if they marry a US citizen. The laws are complicated but here’s a basic introduction:
Adjustment of Status (I485) process
If one is eligible to proceed to apply for a green card in the U.S., here’s a few basic facts about the process and the requirements.
What documentation supports the Adjustment of Status Process
In order to prove that the marriage is valid at the interview, it is necessary to provide certain documentation to support AOS. This includes but is not limited to the following:

It is also helpful to bring photographs of the couple together, including photos of the wedding.

Other personal documents support the I485 application such as correspondence before marriage or even personal mementos can be helpful to show the immigration officer.

The I485 Adjustment of Status Interviews

The AOS interviews at USCIS generally last approximately one hour or less and are intended to determine whether the marriage is legitimate or not.

If there is any significant doubt about whether the marriage is real, the applicants are required to come for a second, more intensive interview. In these second interviews, the spouses are separated and questioned at greater length by trained officers.

If the officer is satisfied the marriage is bona fide, and all other requirements for permanent residence are met, the adjustment of status application is approved.

How long is my green card valid?

If the marriage is less than two years old, the immigrant is given conditional permanent residence. This status gives the immigrant all the same rights as a permanent resident except that it expires after 24 months.

Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (I751)

Two years after the granting of conditional permanent residence, a new application must be submitted to the immigration service, documenting that the marriage still exists.

I-601A Pardons of Inadmissibility

For those persons who came here without a visa and do not qualify to change their status here under 245i, there may be a possibility to apply at the U.S. Consulate in your home country, and request a pardon of the penalty for being here illegally. One should definitely seek legal advice before applying in this manner for a pardon.

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