Marriage Based Green Cards
Marriage based green cards are issued to foreign nationals who have married U.S. citizens based on a true and valid relationship and who have entered the U.S. legally through the inspection of a U.S. immigrations officer at the port of entry.
Once marriage to the U.S. citizen has taken place, the U.S. citizen spouse can file the Immediate Relative Petition on behalf of their foreign national spouse. The foreign national spouse can also file their Adjustment of Status application, Employment Authorization application, and their Advance Parole application at the same time.
Before the Green Card application is approved, the foreign national and the U.S. citizen spouse will be required to attend an interview in which detailed questions will be asked to determine the integrity and validity of the relationship and marriage. USCIS will need to determine that the marriage was entered into in good faith and that it was not based on the purpose of receiving a Green Card. If the interview is successful, USCIS will mail the Green Card approximately 4-8 weeks after the interview.
If the Green Card application was submitted within 2 years of the date of marriage, the foreign national spouse will be granted “Conditional Permanent Residence” status. In order to remove the conditions of permanent residency, the foreign national spouse will need to file an application within 90 days of their 2 year anniversary of being granted Conditional Permanent Resident status.
Please note that there is no quota for Green Card applications based on marriages to U.S. citizens.
U.S. Citizenship is obtained either by birth or naturalization. Naturalization refers to gaining U.S. citizenship after birth either through U.S. citizen parents, known as “derived” or “acquired” citizenship, or by applying for naturalization after meeting certain requirements. Generally, lawful permanent residents (LPRs or green card holders) age 18 or older who meet all eligibility requirements may file for naturalization.
Most naturalization applicants are required to take a test on English, and U.S. history and government.