If you are married to a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible to apply for a marriage-based green card. A green card, or permanent residency, allows a foreign national to permanently live and work in the United States. In this article, we will discuss the process and requirements for obtaining a marriage-based green card through adjustment of status.
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What is a Marriage-Based Green Card?
A marriage-based green card is a type of green card that is obtained through marriage to a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident. It is also known as an immediate relative green card, as there is no annual quota for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. This means that once you are approved for a marriage-based green card, you can receive it immediately without waiting for a visa to become available.
How Do I Get a Marriage-Based Green Card?
The main steps in the process to obtain a Marriage-Based Green Card:
- File Form I-130: The first step in obtaining a marriage-based green card is to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the relationship between the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse and the foreign national spouse.
- File Form I-485: After Form I-130 is approved, the foreign national spouse can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS. This form is used to apply for adjustment of status, which allows the foreign national spouse to become a lawful permanent resident.
- Attend Biometrics Appointment: USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment for the foreign national spouse to provide fingerprints, photographs, and signatures for a background check.
- Attend Interview: USCIS will schedule an interview for the foreign national spouse and the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse to attend together. During the interview, USCIS will verify the authenticity of the marriage and ask questions about the relationship.
- Receive Green Card: If the application is approved, the foreign national spouse will receive a marriage-based green card and become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
Requirements to Get a Marriage-Based Green Card:
- Valid Marriage: The marriage between the foreign national spouse and the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse must be valid and legally recognized in the country where it took place.
- Legally Entered the United States: The foreign national spouse must have legally entered the United States. The spouse must have entered with a valid visa or through the visa waiver program.
- Good Moral Character: The foreign national spouse must have good moral character. This means that the spouse must not have committed any crimes or engaged in any behavior that would make them ineligible for a green card.
- Financial Support: The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse must provide financial support for the foreign national spouse. This ensures that the foreign national spouse will not become a public charge.
- Medical Examination: The foreign national spouse must undergo a medical examination to ensure that they do not have any communicable diseases that would pose a threat to public health.
Obtaining a marriage-based green card through adjustment of status is a complex process that requires careful preparation and attention to detail. The foreign national spouse must meet certain requirements and go through several steps, including filing forms, attending biometrics appointments, and attending an interview. However, once approved, the foreign national spouse will receive a marriage-based green card and become a lawful permanent resident of the United States, with the ability to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely.
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