San Diego Marriage Visa Lawyer
Green Cards by Marriage
Seeking to become a permanent residence with a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) is often the fastest way to obtain residency in the US, however approval is not guaranteed or automatic. It is very important to be aware that these marriage green card petitions are carefully scrutinized to ensure that the marriage is bona fide (legitimate) and that it was not entered into for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration benefits.
Eligibility for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residence
Being eligible for U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card) based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) is just the first step in obtaining a green card. Being granted a green card is a lengthy process, you may expect a months- or years-long process of filling out forms, providing documents, attending interviews, and waiting for the government process to grind along. With persistence and patience, many people are successful in using this method in gain permanent residency for their spouse.
Marriage Based Green Cards Scrutiny
Unfortunately the process is often used as a sham to get an non citizen a U.S. green card. Because of this situation, the U.S. immigration authorities closely question anyone applying for U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card) based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Proving the bona fides of one’s marriage can be more challenging than people expect. Having a mindset that, “Of course our marriage is real, they’ll be able to see that.” is not sufficient. You’ll need to supply written evidence of your having taken concrete steps to establish a life together, with shared finances, living arrangements, and more.
If you are applying for a U.S. green card (lawful permanent residence) based on marriage, and doing so while living in the U.S., through the process known as “Adjustment of Status,” then you can expect to be called in for a personal interview at a district office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Getting a green card through marriage is sometimes referred to as the “fast track” when it comes to lawful permanent residence.
Under United States immigration laws, a U.S. citizen’s spouse is considered an “immediate relative.” As an immediate relative, there are no quota restrictions in order for them to obtain a green card. The U.S. citizen begins the process of obtaining a green card for their spouse by submitting the Form I-130 visa petition for their foreign-born spouse. If their spouse is already in the U.S. lawfully, they can file the I-485 packet (“Adjustment of Status”) while remaining in the U.S.
Employment Authorization Document
Within 90 days the foreign-born spouse will generally receive an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”). They may also be eligible for an “Advance Parole” document so they can travel abroad. If the spouse did not go through an inspection upon entering the U.S., they can apply in their home country for a green card through marriage. However, they may also be able to apply for a provisional waiver in the U.S.
Proof of Marriage
In order to receive a green card through marriage, the marriage must be legal and true. This is easy to prove if the couple had a wedding reception with the U.S. spouse’s relatives in attendance, the couple have joint property, file a joint income tax return, and especially if they have a child together.
Form I-751 Good Faith Marriage Waiver
If the green card was granted when the marriage was two years or less, it will have a limit of two years. Within 90 days prior to the green card expiring, the couple must file Form I-751 so the foreign-born spouse can obtain a 10-year green card. If the couple decides to divorce prior to this two-year period, Form I-751 must be filed for a “good faith marriage waiver” by the foreign-born spouse per the requirement of joint petition.
Hiring the best attorney for your immigration case can prove pivotal in your life, much like a marriage. A licensed lawyer is authorized and qualified to assist you with your immigration case or green card application. Unlike consultants, attorneys have completed extensive education and training before being licensed to represent clients. Just like a life partner, you want an attorney you can trust, communicate with, and relate to. Most importantly, you want an attorney who knows how to successfully proceed with your case so that you achieve the desired outcome. While many legitimate community and religious organizations provide immigration-related services, there are those who advertise as legal “consultants” or “notarios publicos” but are not authorized or qualified to help with immigration law-related matters. You face a big challenge, the power of the United States government. Don’t face it alone. Contact a San Diego Marriage Visa Lawyer at Superior Immigration Lawyers.