One of the most common petitions for lawful permanent residence in the United States is through marriage to a citizen or green card holder. A green card is not automatically given after marriage to a citizen or lawful permanent resident. After the marriage you must submit an application to the United States Citizen an Immigration Services (USCIS). You must show that the marriage was genuine – that it was not solely or fraudulent for the purpose of obtaining a green card.
When applying for lawful permanent residence through a spouse, a number of documents must be submitted, including but not limited to:
- Form I-130
- Form I-485
- Biographical information for each party
- Form I-765
- Birth certificate of both parties
- Marriage certificate
- Two passport style photographs of the citizen
- Four passport style photographs of the non-citizen
After all the documentation has been submitted to USCIS they will begin processing the application and begin their investigation. An interview will be scheduled which is inteded to determine whether the marriage is in good faith. USCIS takes fraudulent marriages very seriously and typically requires applicants to submit supporting documentation to show that the marriage is valid.
If USCIS grants the foreign national a green card but the couple has been married for less than two years the green card will be conditional. The conditional status can be removed by filing form I-751 within 90 days after the two year anniversary of the marriage. Once the conditional status is removed, the spouse will have a green card and will be eligible to naturalize in three years.
The attorneys at Henson Pachuta, PLLC can help all stages of your petition for lawful permanent residence through marriage. If you believe that you may be petitioning for status soon, we invite you to contact us for a consultation. You can reach us by phone at 703-822-4701 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.