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Marriage Based Green Card
The Social Goal of Family Reunification is one of the five major goals of the US Immigration Policy. The United States believes in the value of family and makes sure that families don’t get separated because of borders. That being said, you are eligible to get a Marriage based Green Card if you are married to a United States Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident.
What is a marriage based Green CardA Marriage based Green Card is a Green Card that is issued to the spouse of a United States Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident. To be eligible for a Marriage based Green Card, it is imperative to have a bonafide relationship of marriage. You may be eligible to get a marriage based Green card, even if you are ineligible for any other immigration benefit due to violating the terms of your non-immigrant visa.
How to apply for a Marriage Based Green CardMarriage based Green Cards is heavily scrutinized by USCIS due to the rising number of immigration frauds. The process looks simple but is quite overwhelming and requires the expertise of a family immigration attorney. The application includes several forms including I 130 (Petition for Alien Relative), I 130 A, I 485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence), I 864 (Affidavit of Support), I 765 (Application for Employment Authorization), I 131 (Application for Travel Document) and I 944 (Declaration of Self Sufficiency), I 693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Report) along with relevant supporting documentation. In addition to all these forms, you also have to pay $1760 as a USCIS fee. You may need to fill a few additional documents depending upon your immigration situation and it is best to consult an immigration attorney near you and minimize chances of getting an RFE.
Document ChecklistMarriage Based Green Card applications need to be supported with several documents including bona fide marriage documents, maintenance of Status documents, Financial documents as well as Identity documents of both petitioners as well as the beneficiary. Also, USCIS prefers certain documents like Birth Certificates to be in certain formats and issues RFE if the submitted documents don’t adhere to their specifications. Consulting a Family based Immigration Attorney would make sure that the documents submitted by you are as per USCIS requirements. Attorneys at Rijal Law firm take extra caution and review all documents submitted by clients and reduce the possibilities of getting an RFE.
Bona Fide Marriage DocumentsIt is essential to prove to USCIS that your marriage is a bona fide marriage. Even though a marriage certificate is the strongest proof of your marriage, it needs to be supplemented with more documents. Some of these documents can be- Joint Apartment Lease, Joint Health Insurance Policy, Joint Bank Account Statements, Joint Home loan, Joint Vehicle Insurance, Joint Federal Tax Returns, Wedding photos, and many others.
Processing TimeMarriage based Green Card is one of the fastest ways to get a Permanent Residency in the United States with an average processing time ranging from 8 months to 1 year. Marriage Based Green Card applicants are also eligible to get Work Authorization within 6 months (sometimes even earlier) of application. Since an RFE can significantly increase the processing time of your application, it is important to be represented by the best immigration attorney in Dallas.
Conditional Green CardMarriage Based Green Card applicants are usually issued a Conditional Green Card. A Conditional Green Card is a temporary Green Card issued to newly married immigrants and is valid for 2 years. You have to apply for Removal of Conditions from your Green Card through Form I 751. If you have a conditional Green card, contact your immigration attorney today and talk about the process to get a 10-year Permanent Green Card.
Beware of Immigration FraudUSCIS is extremely strict with individuals who fake marriage to seek immigration benefits and charges them with marriage fraud. This is counted as a felony and can lead to a jail term of up to five years and a fine of $250,000 for both the parties involved.
Interview tipsThe marriage based Green Card Interview is not very stressful unless the interviewing officers have some causes of concern like previous immigration violations or criminal history. The key is to stay calm and allow the interviewer to look into your life as a couple. If you have filed your petition and are worried about the upcoming interview, you can consult our expert attorneys who can prepare you for your interview.
I 130 RFERFE or Request for Evidence is issued by USCIS when they are unable to decide on a case through the initial documentation submitted. At Rijal Law firm, our attorneys make sure to review your documents carefully before submission to the USCIS and minimize chances of getting an RFE. You can consult our attorneys to respond to Marriage Based Green Card RFE, even if you had not filed with them initially.
Marriage based Green card follows a different process depending upon the petitioner’s immigration status as well as Beneficiary Spouse’s location. Generally, 4 scenarios may arise:
United States Citizen applying for a Spouse who is present in the United States: If you are a US Citizen and applying for your spouse who is already inside the US, you can file I 130 as well as Adjustment of Status at the same time.
United States Citizen applying for a Spouse who is Overseas: If you are a US Citizen and applying for your spouse who is overseas, you can only file I 130 and need to wait for the approval. Once you receive approval, you can initiate the National Visa Center or the Counselor Processing process for your spouse.
Lawful Permanent Resident applying for a Spouse who is present in the United States: If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and applying for your spouse, who is already inside the US, you may be eligible to file I 130 as well as Adjustment of Status at the same time. Contact Rijal Law firm today to check your eligibility.
Lawful Permanent Resident applying for a Spouse who is Overseas: If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and applying for your spouse who is overseas, you can only file I 130 and need to wait for the approval. Once you receive approval, you can initiate the National Visa Center or the Counselor Processing process for your spouse.
If you are planning to get married or have recently got married and want to file an immigrant petition for your spouse, call the best immigration attorney in Dallas.