How To Obtain An American Green Card (Permanent Residence Card)

Today we will be talking about the easiest way to legally emigrate to America.

Marrying a U.S citizen (or a lawful permanent resident) gives immigrants a direct path to U.S, although the immigrants don’t automatically become a U.S citizen or automatically gets accepted into U.S, this method has proven to be the easiest way to enter America legally.

If a U.S citizen marries an immigrant, the spouse becomes an “Immediate relative”, and would likely get a green card as soon as their application process is completed successfully.

If you are not yet married and your spouse is still in their home country, you can apply for them to be granted entry into America and get married to you via the K-1 visa, after which they can apply for the green card. Both parties can also get lawfully wedded outside the U.S and then the immigrant can apply for the immigrant visa.

How to Obtain an American Green Card through Marriage

Applying for a green card through marriage is a multi-step process, the applicant would have to submit forms and documents, and attend an interview with the U.S immigration authorities at the U.S embassy in their country of residence.

All these are meant to prove that:

  • A legal marriage has occurred (or will occur when Visa is granted)
  • The marriage is real and not done for the sole-purpose of getting the green card.
  • The person trying to bring you to America is a legal citizen or has permanent residency
  • The immigrant isn’t inadmissible to the U.S (for criminal, medical or financial reasons)

Procedures for Applying for a K-1 Fiancé Visa

Applicant who is not married to the U.S citizen can apply for a temporary (90-days) visa and get married in the U.S within that timeframe.

The application process starts with the U.S citizen filing a petition form I-129F with the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the petition has been approved, the case would be transferred to the U.S consulate in the home country of the immigrant spouse, then the spouse is expected to apply for the K-1 Visa at the consulate.

During this process the immigrant is required to submit the necessary forms and documents, and also attend an interview with a consular officer, the U.S citizen may also attend the interview but it is not required.

Once the process is done, the immigrant would be granted entry in the USA, and after the marriage has been legally completed, the new spouse may apply to USCIS for a green card via a procedure called adjustment of status (form I-485). Both couples would be invited and expected to attend a green card interview at the USCIS office in America.

Procedures for Spouse to Enter America on an Immigrant Visa

The application process starts by filling the Form I-130 with USCIS, this form proves that both parties are legally married and that the US citizen is legally a citizen.

After the I-130 has been approved by USCIS, the spouse of the U.S citizen will continue with processing the visa. USCIS would forward your file to NVC, and then you will be informed on when to apply.

The U.S citizen will go through consular processing for the immigrant visa, while the immigrant will attend interviews and submit the paperwork to the U.S consulate in their country of residence.

Once the application has been approved, the immigrant can enter the United States of America on an immigrant visa, he/she is already a legal permanent resident of America. If the green card production fee of $165 has been paid, the green card would arrive by mail after several weeks.

How to Prove Your Marriage is Legal

The U.S immigration isn’t concerned with where you got married, the most important thing you need to prove you are legally married is your marriage certificate. However, this certificate must be must be officially recognized in the country where the marriage took place.

Getting a Marriage Certificate in the United States

If you got married in America, then you are expected to get a U.S recognized marriage certificate. The marriage should follow the rules of the State where it happened, and the marriage certificate can be gotten from a local government office in that same State.

It is important to note that the spouse can still be deported or their application rejected, if he/she is found wanting on some certain categories such as;

Lawful Entry: If you entered the U.S illegally, and then got married to an American citizen, you will be deported back to your home country and this would ruin your chances of coming back to America.

Real Marriage: Throughout the application process, the U.S immigration will be investigating the authenticity of your marriage. Even after your visa has been granted, if any abnormalities are found regarding the legitimacy of your marriage the suppose can be deported back to their country.

Medical Exam: Like all visa applications, the applicants are expected to take a medical exam from the immigration approved hospital or medical center. If the immigrant fails the medical test, their visa application would be rejected.

Proof of Income: Most people come to the United States of America in search of a better life and good jobs, nevertheless it is expected that you should be financially vibrant to take care of your monetary needs until you get a job.

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