Obtaining a Green Card through Marriage
Experienced San Jose, CA Immigration Attorney
If your spouse is an alien and you’re hoping to obtain a green card
through marriage, you may want to consider hiring the legal counsel of
a successful, experienced San Jose immigration attorney to help you achieve
your American dream. With over twenty years of experience, you can count
on a San Jose marriage-based immigration attorney from our team at Verma
Law Firm to provide you with reliable guidance for your application.
Who is eligible for a Green Card by Marriage?
An alien can apply for a green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen
or permanent resident. While both the spouse of a US citizen and a spouse
of a permanent resident can lawfully enter the US by marriage, the process
is different for each.
The Spouse of a US Citizen is deemed by law an “immediate relative”. An
immediate relative has special priority and does not have to wait in line for a visa to become
available for them to enter the country. There are no annual quota restrictions
on the number of green cards available to spouses of U.S. citizens
The Spouse of a Permanent Resident belongs to the “Second Preference” category of people who are
eligible for an immigrant visa. Unlike spouses of U.S. citizens, spouses
of permanent residents are subject to the annual per-country limit of
If the spouse in question was not lawfully admitted into the U.S. (entered
the U.S. without inspection), s/he is not eligible to adjust status and
may have to apply for a green card at a U.S. consular office in his/her
home country. However, since the individual did not enter the U.S. lawfully,
s/he is subject to a 3-year or 10-year bar to re-entering the U.S. In
those circumstances, the alien spouse may be eligible for a provisional
waiver in the U.S.
Reach out to our office today at (408) 560-4622 to
set up an appointment.
Due to the amount of marriage fraud committed, the United States has a
certain set of qualifications both spouses of US citizens and spouses
of permanent residents must meet in order to be eligible for a green card
through marriage including:
You are legally married – You do not need to be married in the US to qualify for legal marriage.
The US recognizes a variety of wedding procedures.
The marriage must be bona fide: This means, your marriage is not just for the green card. These marriages
are called sham or fraudulent marriages and the USCIS is extremely motivated
to uncover these marriages.
You can only have one marriage: any other previous marriages must have either ended in death, divorce
or annulment. If you have previously been married, you must have documentation
proving your previous marriage has ended.
The couple must attend an interview with the USCIS: If your marriage is legitimate, you shouldn’t stress too much about
these interviews. We suggest you and your spouse bring photographs and
documents with both your names as evidence your marriage is in good faith.
Examples of documentation you could bring include:
- Mortgage or lease agreements
- Medical Insurance
- Life insurance Policies
- Bank accounts / credit card statements
- Travel documents
Be able to answer biographical/ personal questions about your marriage: While each examiner asks different questions, people have commonly reported
the USCIS asking couples questions concerning:
- The development of their relationships
- Details about the wedding
- Regular routines
- Your children
- Information about your house
- Family and family celebrations
The petition must be approved by the USCIS: In order for the green card to be processed and approved, your spouse has
to file an I-130 form with the USCIS.
What if We’ve Only been Married a Short Time?
If your marriage is less than two years old at the time you are approved,
you will be given a conditional permanent residence. This means your green
card will only be valid for 2 years. About 90 days before the expiration
of your green card, you must file a Form I-751 showing your marriage has
continued through the 20 years sand is still in good faith. Along with
the Form I-751, you will need to provide documents showing you continue
to live together and share financial assets.
Get the Advice of an Immigration Lawyer
You can count on a San Jose based Immigration Attorney at Verma Law Firm
specializing in marriage based Green Cards to provide you with reliable
guidance in filing your Green Card application and attending the USCIS
interview with you.