When an individual marries a United States’ citizen, they are eligible to apply for a green card through the marriage based green card route. If the couple is located in the U.S. the process is called adjustment of status. Typically, this process takes anywhere from 6 months to one year depending on the location. If the couple is located outside of the U.S., the spouse may apply for a green card through a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
The important part of a marriage based case is documentation. The married couple needs to provide evidence of the bona fides of the marriage. At the time of the interview with the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) interview, the couple should provide evidence such as a joint bank account statement, utility bills evidencing both names, photos and other documentation evidencing a joint married life.
At the time of the interview, the USCIS Officer may approve the case. They may also request more evidence or state that more time is needed to adjudicate the case.
If the couple has been married for less than 2 years at the time that the foreign national spouse receives the green card, then the green card is conditional and valid for two years. At the end of the two-year period, the couple needs to file another petition to remove the condition. If that case is approved, the foreign national spouse will receive a permanent green card valid for 10 years.
The foreign national spouse is eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after he or she has been a green card holder for 3 years.
This information is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. If you would like legal advice regarding your specific marriage based case, please contact D. Benjamin at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us here.