How to apply for a marriage green card?
Applying for a marriage-based green card involves a series of steps, known as the Adjustment of Status process, if the beneficiary is already in the U.S. Here’s a general outline of how to apply for a marriage green card:
- Determine Eligibility: Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria, including being married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident and having entered the U.S. legally.
- File Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative): The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse files Form I-130 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to establish the marriage relationship and initiate the green card process.
- Receive Form I-130 Approval: After USCIS approves Form I-130, it confirms the authenticity of the marriage. USCIS will send you a notice of approval.
- File Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status): The foreign spouse files Form I-485 with USCIS to apply for the green card. This step includes submitting supporting documents and evidence of the bona fide marital relationship.
- Attend Biometrics Appointment: USCIS schedules a biometrics appointment for the foreign spouse to provide fingerprints, photographs, and a signature for background checks.
- File Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization): If the foreign spouse wants to work while the green card application is pending, they can file Form I-765 for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
- File Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document): If the foreign spouse needs to travel outside the U.S. while the green card application is pending, they can file Form I-131 for a travel document (Advance Parole).
- Attend Green Card Interview: USCIS schedules an interview to assess the authenticity of the marriage. Both spouses typically attend. Be prepared to answer questions about your relationship and provide additional evidence if requested.
- Receive Decision: USCIS makes a decision based on the evidence provided and the interview. If approved, the foreign spouse receives a conditional or permanent green card.
- Conditional Green Card (if applicable): If the marriage is less than two years old at the time of obtaining the green card, a conditional green card is issued. Within the 90-day period before the conditional green card’s expiration, file Form I-751 to remove conditions and obtain a permanent green card.
- Receive Permanent Green Card (if applicable): If the marriage is over two years old at the time of obtaining the green card or after successfully removing conditions, a permanent green card is issued.
Remember, this is a general outline, and the process might vary based on individual circumstances. It’s crucial to follow USCIS instructions, provide accurate information, and submit all required documents and fees on time. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help you navigate the process effectively and increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Marriage green card filing fees
The filing fees associated with applying for a marriage-based green card (Adjustment of Status) can vary based on your specific situation and the forms you need to submit. Please note that USCIS fees can change over time, so it’s important to check the official USCIS website for the most up-to-date fee information. Here’s a general overview of the filing fees for some common forms:
- Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative):
- Filing fee for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, unmarried children under 21, parents): Approximately $560 per petition.
- Filing fee for family preference categories (spouses and children of green card holders, siblings, etc.): Approximately $560 per petition.
- Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status): Approximately $1,140 filing fee per applicant (including dependents under 14), plus a biometric services fee of approximately $85.
- Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization): Approximately $550 filing fee if you want to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work in the U.S. while your green card application is pending.
- Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document): Approximately $575 filing fee if you want to apply for a travel document (Advance Parole) to travel outside the U.S. while your green card application is pending.
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and additional fees or forms might be required depending on your specific circumstances. USCIS might also offer fee waivers or exemptions for certain categories. Always refer to the official USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney to ensure you have accurate and up-to-date information about the required fees and forms for your application.
Remember that these fees are in addition to any other potential expenses related to document preparation, translations, medical examinations, and other aspects of the application process.
Marriage green card checklist of documents
Preparing a comprehensive checklist of documents for a marriage-based green card application is essential to ensure that you have all the necessary evidence to support the authenticity of your marital relationship: https://bwea.com/marriage-green-card/
Keep in mind that specific requirements might vary based on individual circumstances and USCIS guidelines. Here’s a general checklist of documents you might need:
I-130 Petition Phase:
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: Completed and signed by the U.S. citizen or green card holder petitioner.
- Proof of Petitioner’s U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Resident Status: Examples include a copy of the petitioner’s U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, or green card.
- Proof of Beneficiary’s Identity: Copy of the beneficiary’s passport, birth certificate, or other government-issued identification.
- Marriage Certificate: A copy of the official marriage certificate to demonstrate the legal marriage between the petitioner and beneficiary.
- Proof of Bona Fide Marriage: Documents showing that the marriage is genuine and not solely for immigration purposes. Examples include joint bank accounts, joint lease or mortgage, joint bills, joint tax returns, etc.
- Affidavits of Support: Sworn statements from friends and family attesting to the legitimacy of the marriage. These affidavits should be notarized.
I-485 Adjustment of Status Phase:
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: Completed and signed by the beneficiary.
- Passport Photos: Passport-style photos as per USCIS specifications.
- Birth Certificate: Copy of the beneficiary’s birth certificate.
- Copy of I-94 Arrival/Departure Record: To demonstrate legal entry into the U.S.
- Marriage Certificate: A copy of the official marriage certificate.
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record: Completed by a designated civil surgeon.
- Proof of Continuous Residence: Documents showing that the beneficiary has continuously resided in the U.S. since their arrival.
- Proof of Employment Authorization (if applicable): Copy of Form I-765 approval notice or Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
- Proof of Travel Authorization (if applicable): Copy of Form I-131 approval notice or Advance Parole Document.
- Financial Documents: Copies of recent tax returns, pay stubs, or other evidence of financial stability.
- Proof of Relationship Continuation: Additional evidence of your marital relationship, such as joint financial documents, photographs, shared insurance policies, etc.
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864): Completed and signed by the petitioner, demonstrating their financial ability to support the beneficiary.
Remember, this list is not exhaustive and might require modification based on your specific circumstances and the current USCIS guidelines. Always refer to the official USCIS website and, if possible, consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that you are providing the required documents accurately and effectively.