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Greencards > Marriage to U. S. Citizen

MARRIAGE TO U.S. CITIZEN

Marrying a U.S. citizen is often the easiest and quickest method of obtaining permanent residency in the U.S., and is even applicable to individuals who have overstayed their visas in the U.S. And currently are out-of-status. So long as the foreign individual entered the U.S. lawfully (i.e. did not sneak in) and is not subject to the two-year home residency requirement of a J1 visa, the individual is eligible for the Green Card upon the filing of immigration documentation that sets forth a valid marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage to U.S. Citizen

  1. How long does this process take? What steps are required?

  2. What is a conditional Green Card?

  3. How do I convert the ‘conditional' Green Card to the permanent Green Card?

  4. When can I get divorced and not jeopardize receiving the permanent Green Card?

  5. How can MDgreencard.com help me in this process?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

1. How long does this process take? What steps are required?

Green Card applications based on marriage usually require 6-15 months for processing, depending on the backlog of the local US Immigration Office nearest to the place of residence.

Once the appropriate application documents are filed, marriage cases always are set for interviews at the local US Immigration Office. Most interviews take no more than 30 minutes. Assuming that the marriage is indeed valid and was not entered into for immigration purposes, approval of a conditional Green Card can be expected at the conclusion of the interview.

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2. What is a conditional Green Card?

Upon the successful completion of the immigrant interview, the foreign spouse will receive a ‘conditional' Green Card stamp in his/her passport. The conditional Green Card is valid only for a two-year period, and will expire if a further application for the permanent Green Card is not made within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of the issuance of the conditional Green Cards.

The labor certification consists of three steps: the labor certification application, the visa petition, and the adjustment of status application (or less frequently consular processing).

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3. How do I convert the ‘conditional' Green Card to the permanent Green Card?

Within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of the issuance of the conditional Green Card, the foreign spouse must file Form I-751 with the Immigration Service. Both the U.S. Citizen spouse and the foreign spouse must sign the form for the purpose of establishing that the couple is still married. If the couple is no longer married and/or the U.S. Citizen spouse refuses to sign the form, the foreign spouse must then set forth additional facts detailing that the marriage was entered into in good faith, and not for Green Card purposes. Proper filing of Form I-751 is difficult. Hence, I suggest that legal counsel be consulted.

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4. When can I get divorced and not jeopardize obtaining the permanent Green Card?

It would be wisest to wait until the I-751 has been approved, which could be 3-4 years from the date of filing of the original Green Card application based on marriage, to get divorced

However, we have successfully assisted many foreign spouses obtain the permanent Green Card who have divorced their U.S. spouses well before approval of the I-751 application. Remember, the key element to obtaining the permanent U.S. Green Card is ‘good faith'. The foreign born spouse needs to show to the satisfaction of the immigration service, that the marriage was entered into in ‘good faith'. Should a divorce occur within the first few years of marriage, the foreign born spouse may need to submit affidavits or other documentation to show the ‘good faith' nature of the marriage.

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5. How can MDgreencard.com assist me with this process?

Each year, we represent more than 100 individuals file Green Card applications based on marriage to U.S. citizens. We have excellent expertise with respect to handling even the most difficult cases, including foreign born spouses who get divorced within just a few months of marriage; and cases involving allegations of fraud by the immigration service.

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MDgreencard.com is the official physician and scientist immigration web site of the:

Sherman Immigration Lawyers, P.C.
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