Marriage Based Green Cards

The process for getting a marriage based green card depends partly on whether you are already married or whether you are planning on getting married.
 

 

 

If you are already married…

you should consider whether an immigrant visa petition or the adjustment of status process would be best for your situation.

If you are already married, then depending on your situation you should consider either the spouse immigrant visa process or the spouse adjustment of status process. Which process is best way for your husband or wife to get a marriage based green card will depend on your particular situation. Not everyone qualifies for the adjustment of status process, so it is very important that you make sure that you qualify before you submit an adjustment of status application.
 

If you are not yet married…

and your fiance is not in the United States, you should explore the fiance visa process.

The fiance visa process provides a path to a marriage based green card and permanent resident status for your future husband or wife. You can view the process as consisting of three main steps: (1) the fiance visa petition filed in the United States, (2) the fiance visa that is applied for at an embassy or consulate overseas, and (3) the adjustment of status application that takes place after you are married. Learn more about the fiance visa process.
 

If you are not yet married…

and your fiance is in the United States, you should explore both the fiance visa process and the adjustment of status process.

If your fiance is currently in the United States, you may be able to either follow the fiance visa process or the spouse adjustment of status process. The spouse adjustment of status process would only be possible if you marry while your fiance is in the United States and it is not appropriate for everyone. In fact, in some cases, if you marry your fiance and then apply for adjustment of status you may face serious negative immigration consequences. This is particularly true where a tourist visa is used to enter the United States when the true intent of the trip was to get married and remain in the United States permanently. Because of this risk, you should learn more about both the fiance visa process and the adjustment of status process before deciding which path to take.
 

Marriage Immigration Frequently Asked Questions

“Do I need an immigration lawyer for my marriage-based immigration case?”
“How can my husband or wife get a green card?”
“If we haven’t gotten married yet, should we go ahead and get married or apply for a fiance visa?”
“What is the process for getting a green card for my spouse through the adjustment of status process?”
“How much will it cost to get a green card for my spouse through the adjustment of status process?”
“How long will it take to get a green card for my spouse through the adjustment of status process?
“What is the process for getting an immigrant visa for my spouse?”
“How much will it cost to get an immigrant visa for my spouse?”
“How long will it take to get an immigrant visa for my spouse?”
“What happens after my spouse enters the United States after using an immigrant visa?”
“Are there other options besides applying for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa?”
 

Recent Marriage Immigration Articles

 

What is parole in place for military spouses?

Parole in place or PIP is a process that may allow some family members of active duty military personnel to be able to remain in the United States even if they did not lawfully enter the United States. If parole in place is granted, the family member may then be eligible to file for adjustment [...]

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Can I get married on a tourist visa?

The answer to this question depends on the facts of your specific situation and you should consult with an immigration lawyer about your specific case. In general, however, the answer will depend on whether you plan to: (1) Enter the United States on a tourist visa or the visa waiver program, get married and then [...]

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What happens if you don’t file your I-751 on time?

If you received conditional permanent resident status as the result of your marriage of less than two years to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, in order to remove the conditions on your residence. In general, to remove the conditions on your [...]

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