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Marriage Green Card

Us Citizen and Green Card Holder- How to Apply for Marriage Green Card. Step by Step Guidelines and Checklist (updated2021)​

A marriage green card is a marriage with a citizen or a green card holder,  a green card through marriage. Marriage green cards are divided into US citizens applying for spouse and green card holders applying for spouse green cards. The difference is that citizen applying for the spouse does not have a visa number available, the spouse does not need to adopt legal status in the United States; the green card holder applying for a spouse may need to visa number available, the spouse need to adopt legal status in the United States. citizens can apply for a fiance K-1 visa, and the green card holder cannot apply for the fiance  K-1 visa

Marriage Green Card | Legal Dos

Basic requirements for application:
1. US citizen or green card holder applicants are generally required to be at least 18 years old, have no criminal record, and no law does not allow them to obtain a green card. If you have a criminal record, you can apply for an exemption. contact a lawyer for a consult in detail.
2. Prove that the marriage is true and valid.
Tips: When you come to the United States with B1/B2  visa to get married, you must pay special attention when applying for a green card. If you get married within 90 days of entry, the USCIS has reasonable grounds to suspect that the purpose of coming to the United States is not to travel but to get married, which constitutes visa fraud. For details, it is recommended to consult a lawyer before getting married.

U.S citizen apply for Spouse is in the U.S. File I-130 separately
File I-485 separately
File I-130,I-485,I-131,I-765 Combined
Spouse is overseas File I-130 separately
File DS-260 separately
green card holder apply for Spouse is in the U.S. File I-130 separately
File I-485 separately
File I-130,I-485,I-131,I-765 Combined
Spouse is overseas File I-130 separately
File DS-260 separately

How do you get a green card after marriage?

After marriage, the USCIS applies for relative immigration I-130 and green card application, if it is a citizen application, if the spouse is in the United States, submit the immigration application I-130 form and the green card application I-485 form to the USCIS at the same time. if the spouse is outside the United States, First apply to the USCIS for I-130 for relative immigration, and after the USCIS is approved, apply for an immigrant visa DS-260 at the embassy under the State Council.

If you are a green card holder applying for a marriage green card, if you are applying in the United States, you should first apply to the USCIS for a relative immigration I-130, and then apply for a green card I-485 after visa number available; if visa number available or the visa number available current, you can submit it at the same time USCIS I-130 and green card application I-485. if you are outside the United States, first apply to the USCIS for I-130 immigration for relatives, and after waiting for approval then apply at the local consulate in the U.S. Immigration visa DS-260, enter the United States to obtain a green card.

How do I get a permanent green card after 2 years of marriage?

If you obtain a 2-year temporary green card through marriage, after 2 year,you need  to submit I-751 to USCIS, remove green card condition to renew the 2-year temporary green card to a permanent  green card, within 90 days of the expiration of the 2-year period.

Citizen or green card holders apply for a spouse’s green card, and if the spouse is in the United States, if visa number is available or current, they can submit immigration application I-130 and green card application I-485 at the same time, and submit an application for reentry permit I-131 and EAD work card Apply for I-765; also you can also submit an immigration application I-130 or a green card application I-485 separately. Generally, it is recommended to apply at the same time.

How long do you have to be married to get a green card?

You can apply for a green card immediately after marriage. It takes 3-24 months to apply for a green card. The minimum is 3 months and the maximum is 24 months. Based on our experience.

TIP: U.S. citizens applying for a spouse can bring unmarried child, under 21 years of age, they need to submit I-130 relative immigration for the child separately
Green card holders can apply for spouse and can bring their unmarried child, under the age of 21. They do not need to submit the application for child I-130 relative immigration separately, and I-130 can be accompanied by it at the same time.

The following explains the US citizen or green card holder’s application for marriage green card, combined application for immigration I-130, application for green card I-485, application for reentry permit I-131, and application for EAD work card I-765. Apply for immigration I-130 separately, apply for green card I-485 separately, and apply for DS260 overseas. Generally, it is recommended to apply together.

Combined Application of I-130 and I-485

1. Form I-130-Petition for Alien Relatives;
2. Form I-130A-Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary;
3. Form I-485 Green Card Application Form (I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status);
4. Form I-864 financial guarantee form and the guarantor’s most recent federal tax return, W2 or 1099 form, two recent pay stubs or income certification documents;
5. Form I-131 Reentry Permit;
6. Form I-765 EAD work card;
7. Form G-1145;
8. $1760.00 personal check or Money Order;
9. Identification documents. If it is a citizen, a copy of the citizen’s birth certificate, a copy of the certificate of citizenship  or a copy of a valid U.S. passport. If it is a green card holder, a copy of the green card;
10. Copies of marriage certificates, including copies of all past marriage certificates, divorce certificates or court judgments;
11. Photocopies of the spouse’s passport, visa pages and entry stamp pages;
12. Birth certificate of spouse;
13. Spouse I-693 immigration medical report form;
14. 8 passport-style photos of each party;
15. Proof of marriage relationship (including joint bank account number, joint credit card, joint ownership and joint insurance of the vehicle, joint real estate certificate and proof of the same water and electricity address, group photo, etc.).

TIPS: It is recommended to open a Join Account, the proof of property is a good proof of the authenticity of the marriage).

Mail your application to USCIS Chicago Lockbox
U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:
USCIS
P.O. Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
FBAS
131 South Dearborn, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517

Address of USCIS

Real case sharing 1:

U.S. citizens apply for spouse green cards, and immigrants apply for I-130 and green card I-485 at the same time.

Lily is a U.S. citizen and David is on a B1/B2 visa. His status has expired and he has no legal status. Both are in California

February 2020, Lily submitted a relative immigration application I-130 to the USCIS, and at the same time submitted a green card application I-485 and a work card application I-765.

Tip: For citizens to apply for a spouse, there are no requirements for visa number available, and they keep the legal status of the spouse. Because David’s legal status has expired for more than 6 months, and he is not allowed to enter the country for 3 years after leaving the country, so he did not apply for the reentry permit I-131.

March 2020, received the I-797 receipt from the USCIS;

August 2020 Receive a fingerprint notification (it is relatively late due to the impact of covid-19, usually 1-2 months to verify the fingerprint);

April 2021, received the USCIS interview notice;

May 2021 Successfully passed the interview ;

Received the green card two weeks later. In this case, received a 10-year green card

Step 1 Separate I-130 Immigration Application

1.Form I-130-Petition for Alien Relatives relative immigration application form;
2. Form I-130A – Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary;
3. Form G-1145;
4. $535.00 application fee check or Money Order;
5.Identification documents. If it is a citizen, a copy of the citizen’s birth certificate, a copy of the certificate of citizenship or a copy of a valid U.S. passport. If it is a green card holder, a copy of the green card;
6. Copies of marriage certificates, including copies of all past marriages, divorce certificates or court judgments;
7. Two passport photos of both parties 2inch*2inch;
8. Proof of marriage relationship (including joint bank account number, joint credit card, jointly owned vehicle title, and joint insurance, joint real estate certificate and proof of water and electricity address, group photo, etc.. It is recommended to open a joint bank account Join Account, the property certificate is very Good proof of marriage authenticity)

Mail to USCIS

If you are only filing Form I-130 and you live in:
Alaska
American Samoa
Arizona
California
Colorado
Florida
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho
Kansas
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
North Dakota
Northern Mariana Islands
Oklahoma
Oregon
Puerto Rico
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Virgin Islands
Washington
Wyoming

Mail your application to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox

U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: I-130
P.O. Box 21700
Phoenix, AZ 85036
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: I-130
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

You are only filing Form I-130, and you live in or outside the United States:
Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vermont
Virginia
Washington, D.C.
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Mail your application to USCIS Dallas Lockbox
U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: I-130
P.O. Box 650264
Dallas, TX 75265
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: I-130
2501 S. State Hwy, 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

check USCIS address,if may changed

A separate list of I-485 green card application documents. If the spouse is in the United States, there is visa number available or the current :

1. I-485 (I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) green card application form;
2. Copy of I-797 receipt;
3. The I-864 financial guarantee form and the guarantor’s most recent federal tax return, W2 or 1099 form, and the most recent two payslips or income certification documents;
4. Form G-1145;
5. $1225.00 application fee cheque or money order (fees vary depending on age, check the immigration for details);
6Identification documents. If it is a citizen, a copy of the citizen’s birth certificate, a copy of the certificate of citizenship  or a copy of a valid U.S. passport. If it is a green card holder, a copy of the green card;
7. Copies of marriage certificates, including copies of all past marriage certificates, divorce certificates or court judgments;
8. Photocopies of the spouse’s passport, visa pages, entry stamp pages and I-94, and copies of documents that can prove legal status;
9. Birth certificate of spouse;
7. Two passport photos of the spouse 2inch*2inch;
10. I-693 immigration medical report form for spouse.

Mail  to USCIS

U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
USCIS
P.O. Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: FBAS
131 South Dearborn – 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
When applicable, you must include a copy of the Form I-797 Notice showing that we accepted or approved your Form I-130 or Form I-360.

Real Case Sharing 2:

The green card holder applies for a spouse’s green card, while I-130 applies for immigration and I-485 applies for green card.

Anthony is a U.S. green card holder, Grace is a U.S. legal status, h1b work visa;

December 2018, Anthony submitted a relative immigration application I-130 to the USCIS

Tips: For a green card holder to apply for a spouse, it needs visa number available, and the spouse needs to maintain legal status. Because of the visa number cannot apply for I-130 and green card application I-485 together.

January 2019, Receive notification I-797;

June 2019 the visa number available. Submit the immigration application I-485, and the I-131 for the reentry permit. Because, already have h1b work permit, did not submit the I-765.

July 2019, received the I-485 receipt from the USCIS

August 2019, Received the fingerprint notification letter;

October 2020,Received the interview notification letter;

November 2020, USCIS approved the interview;

Received the green card two weeks later.

Tips: The marriage green card, from the date of marriage to the green card approval date, less than 2 years, is a conditional green card issued for 2 years; there have been two years from the date of marriage to the green card approval date, and the green card issued is a ten-year unconditional green card. In this case, it is a 2-year conditional green card. After 1 year and 9 months, can apply to remove the 2-year conditional green card, also known as the 2-year renewal 10-year green card application.

What happens if you marry a US citizen and then divorce ?

May lose your green card. If you have obtained a 10-year green card, you will not lose your green card; if you have a 2-year temporary marriage green card, you may lose your green card; if you have not obtained a 2-year temporary green card, you will not get a marriage green card.

Separate I-131 Reentry Permit Checklist:

1. Form I-131 Reentry Permit;
2. I-797 copy of the I-485 receipt from the USCIS;
3. Copy of passport and visa page, entry stamp page;
4. 2 passport photos. Note: It is best to write A number on the back.

Real case sharing 2:

The green card holder applies for a spouse’s green card, while I-130 applies for immigration and I-485 applies for green card.
Anthony is a U.S. green card holder, Grace is a U.S. legal status, h1b works visa.
In December 2018, I submitted a relative immigration application I-130 to the Immigration Bureau.

Tip: For a green card holder to apply for a spouse, it needs to be scheduled, and the spouse needs to maintain legal status. Because of the scheduled date, I cannot provide the green card application I-485, the reentry permit application I-131 and the marriage worker card I-765 at the same time.
Receive notification I-797 in January 2019;
The schedule is up in June 2019. Submit the immigration application I-485, and provide the I-131 for the reentry permit. Because of the h1b work card, I did not submit the I-765.
In July 2019, I received the I-130 receipt from the Immigration Bureau;
Received the fingerprint notification letter from the Immigration Bureau in August 2019;
Received the interview notification letter from the Immigration Bureau in October 2020;
Immigration Bureau passed the interview in November 2020;
Received the green card two weeks later.

Separate I-765 Work Card Checklist:

1. Form I-765;
2. I-797 copy of the I-485 receipt from the Immigration Department;
3. Copy of passport and visa page, entry stamp page;
4. 2 passport photos. TIPS: It is better to write A number on the back.

Tips: If the marriage green card approval date and marriage date is less than 2 years, a temporary green card is issued for 2 years; the marriage date or green card approval date has been two years, and the green card issued is a 1o years  green card.

What happens if I divorce before 2 years?

If you get a 2-year temporary green card, and you have not yet obtained a 10-year  green card, you can file a separate I-751 form to apply for a 10-year  green card. if you divorced before 2 years, renew a 2-year temporary green card to  the 10-year  green card, the USCIS will more strictly examine the authenticity of the marriage, and it is necessary to provide more proof of the authenticity of the marriage before the divorce.

US citizen or green card holder apply for spouses. If your spouse is in the United States, you need to submit an immigration application I-130 and a green card application i-485 to the USCIS;If the spouse is outside the U.S., first apply to the USCIS for I-130 relative immigration. After the USCIS approved, apply for a DS-260 immigrant visa at the embassy of the State Department;

1.Can you stay in the US if you marry a citizen?

Yes it is,you can stay in the us. If you marry a U.S. citizen, you can immediately apply for a green card, that is, permanent residency in the United States.

A US citizen or green card holder applies for a spouse,  spouse outside of the US, except for the separate I-130 immigration application in step 1 above, But also have the following three steps

1. Separate I-130 immigration application

2. National Visa Center

3. I-260 overseas consulate immigration visa

4. Pay the cost of making a green card from the USCIS

Step 2 National Visa Center. NVC

Generally, within 2-4 weeks, you will receive the I-797 notice from the USCIS, with the case number in it; within 6-12 months, after receiving the approval letter from the USCIS, the case will be transferred to the NVC National Visa Center. The first step is completed.
After receiving the case, the NVC National Visa Center sends a letter to the applicant, notifying the applicant that the case has been received, and the National Visa Center’s financial guarantee fee Invoice ID Number and Case Number, also require the following:
1. Pay the application fee of $445.00. Transfer ACH online, including the economic guarantee fee of $120.00 and the visa fee of $325.00;
2. Submit the I-864 form of financial guarantee;
3. Submit the immigrant visa DS-260 form;
4. Submit civil documents, including passport information pages, U.S. passport-sized photos, birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce certificates, criminal record certificates, and military service certificates (if applicable).

First log on to the State Council website CEAC, use the above Invoice ID Number and NVC case number, online ACH payment and financial guarantee fee of $120.00 and immigrant visa fee of $325.00. About 1-2 weeks, after receiving the payment, you can Submit I-864 financial guarantee, DS-260 form and related civil documents to the NVC National Visa Center.
TIPS: You can download the financial guarantee form I-864 in advance on the USCIS website, fill in and sign the form, scan each page and upload it to the State Council website CEAC.
If the applicant’s income is insufficient, a join guarantor can be added, or a join guarantor, housing assets, bank deposits, etc. can be used to guarantee.
Tips: Keep the original I-864 financial guarantee form. The US consulate needs the original I-864 for the immigrant visa.

If you have a financial guarantee problem, contact a lawyer for consultation

TIP: U.S. citizens do not have visa numbers available to apply for a spouse’s green card. Green cardholders need to wait visa number available to apply for a spouse’s green card. After visa number available, the National Visa Center NVC began to request more application documents for review.

Step 3 U.S. Consulate Visa

Generally, about 1-2 months after the NVC National Visa Center approved the case, the US consulate will receive the immigrant visa case. The local consulate will send an appointment interview letter to indicate the location and time of the interview. Generally, it will be 1-6 month. after the interview letter is sent. Interview. Please prepare the following list of documents when preparing for the interview:

1. Immigration medical report. Only the immigration medical report issued by the hospital or doctor approved by the consulate.
2. All previous application materials;
Tips: U.S. citizen applicants need to keep the phone open on the day. In addition to preparing the above information for marriage green card visa, the immigrant visa officer may call the U.S. citizen applicant to verify the information and prove the authenticity of the marriage, especially the love story of the couple. ,.
If the immigrant visa is passed through the marriage green card, the visa officer will make a visa and take away the passport. Usually you can receive your passport within 2-4 weeks. Note: The immigrant visa medical report is valid within 180 days, not 180 days from the visa date. This is the time to prepare for landing in the United States and the next step for the US USCIS to pay.

Step 4 USCIS pays a green card fee

Immigration packet will be sent 2-4 weeks after the interview, including passport with visa. The visa is valid for 6 months. After arriving in the United States, the immigration packet needs to be handed over to the border customs officer. Don’t forget to go to the USCIS website to pay the Green card production fee, usually sent out within 90 days

Real case sharing 3:

US citizens apply for spouse green card, immigration application I-130, and DS-260 visa

Tony is a U.S. citizen and his spouse Amy is outside the U.S.

July 2018, Tony submitted an I-130 relative immigration application to the USCIS;
In August 2018, Tony received the I-797 notification;
April 2019, received the I-130 approval notice, and the case was transferred to the National Visa Center NVC;
May 2019, the National Visa Center NVC notified by mail requesting more ducuments to be submitted;
June 2019,Submit the documents to the National Visa Center .
TIPS: In April 2019, received the I-130 approval letter from the USCIS, and prepared the documents in advance to the National Visa Center NVC.in May 2019, received the documents required by the National Visa Center NVC and sent it out in the same week, saving a lot of time .

July 2019, the case was approved by the National Visa Center, and the case was transferred to the local embassy for visa.
August 2019, received notification from the local consulate for the interview;

September 2019 Passed the interview;
October 2019,Came to the United States and received a green card from the USCIS in November 2019.

Tips: Marriage green card, from the date of marriage to the green card approval date, there is less than 2 years, and the temporary green card is issued for 2 years; if have been two years from the marriage date to the green card approval date, and the green card issued is a t10-year green card. In this case, a 10-year  green card was received.

Real case sharing 4:

Green card holders apply for a spouse’s green card, whose spouse is outside the United States, apply for immigration I-130 and embassy visa DS-260.

Sherry is a U.S. green card holder, and Kate is outside the U.S.

January 2019, sherry applied to the USCIS for relative immigration i-30;

February 2019, received the I-797 receipt ;
January 2020 received the approval letter from USCIS, and transferred the case to the National Visa Center NVC;
March 2020, received receipt notification from the National Visa Center, and  a list of required documents;

March 2020, documents submitted to the NVC;

Tip: Because received the approval letter from the USCIS in January,  preparations documents for the National Visa Center and sent it out that month. This case has been approved. The green card holder applies for a spouse and needs visa number available. Because the USCIS takes a long time to review and approve, the vasa number has already available.
May 2020, the National Visa Center NVC notified the approval, and the case was transferred to the U.S. Embassy in the local offices;
March 2021, Receive the interview notice from the local embassy offices;
April 2021, passed  interview ;
May 2021, enter the United States;
The green card is currently waiting.

Tip: Marriage green card, from the date of marriage to the green card approval date, there is no two years, and the two-year conditional green card is issued; there have been two years from the marriage date to the green card approval date, and the green card issued is a 10-year green card. It is estimated that this case will receive a ten-year green card.

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