In the United States, an alien’s spouse can obtain permanent residency by marrying a U.S. citizen or someone already holding a green card. Even if marrying a U.S. citizen can speed up the process of obtaining permanent citizenship, it still takes time to navigate the complex immigration system in the United States. Suppose you want to prevent delays, visa interruptions, and other immigration complications. In that case, it’s best to speak with an expert immigration attorney to ensure you meet all requirements and get the process started as soon as possible. Read on as an experienced immigration lawyer in queens explains the steps necessary to obtain a green card through marriage.
Marital Green Card Status
The lengthy time required to obtain a green card through marriage is mostly attributable to the bureaucratic procedures required by US Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you can show proof of a valid marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you won’t have to wait before applying.
Form I-130 is used to establish the marriage relationship when seeking a green card through marriage, while Form I-485 is utilised to receive the green card. It may be more efficient for the applicant to submit a joint application to USCIS if both spouses already live in the country. There is more documentation and documents that need to be filled out.
As soon as USCIS receives the application, they have 60 days to review it and reply. Nine to eleven months is the average period to process one of these applications. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will notify the applicant of a scheduled green card interview when the application has been processed. Interviews for spouse green cards often occur between 7 and 15 months after the original application is submitted.
Most of what you need to know may be gleaned from the interview. In most cases, the interviewing officer will grant the green card for marriage if you come prepared. The green card is sent to the applicant within two to three weeks when the application is approved. We’ll explain how the length of a couple’s marriage when a green card is obtained can affect the eligibility requirements that must be met.
If the applicant is an alien currently located outside of the United States, there are some more hoops to jump through, and the procedure will take longer. A marriage green card application filed from outside the United States usually takes between 11 and 17 months to process.
Green Cards: Permanent Vs. Conditional
Divorce can have serious consequences for immigrants who receive their green cards through marriage. The applicant must show that they have been legally married to a U.S. citizen for a set period before they may apply for a green card. It depends on the specifics, but divorce can impact the procedure.
A permanent renewable green card will be granted to the application if they have been married to the citizen for more than two years at the time of the green card issuance. This permanent card expires after 10 years but can be renewed indefinitely. Having a permanent green card means they no longer need to worry about getting divorced because their legal status is independent of marriage. They will not be asked any marital-related questions when they renew.
If the applicant and citizen spouse have been married for less than two years, however, the applicant will be issued a conditional green card that will expire in two years. The petitioner must show that their marriage to the citizen is still legally binding after two years. Then they are eligible to apply for a permanent resident card. They risk having their green card not renewed if they are not married.
Those who are divorced and wish to remove the marriage requirement from their green card can apply for a waiver; however, they must also demonstrate that their marriage was legal, entered into in good faith, and not for immigration purposes. Additionally, the petitioner must explain the failed marriage. It may be simpler to get the waiver if the applicant’s marriage is dissolved due to their spouse’s abusive behaviour, such as domestic violence.
When an applicant gets divorced while their initial application is still pending, the immigration process immediately halts, and no green card is provided.
Contact the experienced attorneys in Queens if you or a loved one needs help obtaining asylum, protected status, citizenship, or permanent residence.