Marriage Green Card Interview Question
Attorney Ili J. Subhan

Attorney Ili J. Subhan

Recipient of the Best Immigration Lawyer Award 2018

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How to Apply for Your Marriage Green Card - Easy Step-by-Step Guide

Today you are going to learn how to apply for your marriage green card including: the requirements to apply for a marriage green card, the marriage green card process, what documents you’ll need to assemble, what immigration forms you’ll need to prepare, what are the legal fees, how long is the marriage green card process, what questions will be asked at the marriage green card interview, what happens after the interview, and what are the benefits of having a green card. Let’s get started.

Overview

1. Introduction to applying for your marriage green card

2. Requirements to apply for your marriage green card

3. Documents are needed to apply for your marriage green card

4. Process to apply for a marriage green card

5. Legal fees to apply for a marriage green card

6. Length of the marriage green card process

7. Marriage green card interview questions

8. What happens after the marriage green card interview?

9. Benefits of having a green card in the USA

10. Conclusion

Marriage Green Card Interview Question

Congratulations on your marriage or planning your wedding!

Congratulations on your marriage or if you are planning your wedding. 

This is an exciting time in your life and you want to have the best information possible to make a well-informed decision on applying for your marriage green card.

First, I created this step-by-step guide to help you easily understand the marriage green card process. 

Now, let’s make sure that you are in the right place.

Are you married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (aka a green card holder) or are you planning to marry a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident?

If you answered “yes”, then you’re in the right place, and you are eligible to apply for a green card through marriage.

This guide will help you learn the step-by-step process to apply for your marriage green card. I hope you find it valuable and beneficial.

If you have any questions or if you need help applying for your marriage green card, please schedule a quick and easy phone call with me here.

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Introduction to Apply for Your Marriage Green Card

As the spouse of a U.S. citizen or green card holder, you may be eligible to apply for your green card through marriage. 

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) requires that you prove that you and your spouse are in a valid and genuine marriage relationship.

You prove that you are in a legitimate marriage relationship through documentation and attending a marriage green card interview.

Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

The first step is making sure that you are eligible to apply. 

You can check your eligibility using our marriage green card eligibility finder.

Step 2: Assemble Your Documents

Next, you want to gather all your supporting documentation.

We’ll provide you with a list of documents needed below.

In addition, we’ll be providing you with a FREE marriage green card checklist below to help you assemble your documents that you’ll need to file for your marriage green card.

Step 3: Prepare and File

Once you have assembled all your documents, then the U.S. citizen spouse or green card holder will prepare the I-130 Petition, along with additional steps that we will explain below.

Your spouse is called the petitioner or sponsor (the person filing the petition) and you are the called the beneficiary (the person benefitting from the petition).  

There are many benefits to obtaining a green card including, you can live, work, and play in the United States permanently, freely travel in and out of the U.S., own property, start and own a business, attend college or university, and eventually apply to become a U.S. citizen.

Step 4: Attend Your Marriage Green Card Interview or Marriage Visa Interview

The last step to the marriage green card process is to attend an interview. 

If you and your spouse are in the United States, you will attend a marriage green card interview together before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).

If your spouse is outside the U.S., then he or she will attend a marriage visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Did you know that denials are up by 37% and more than 1.6 million applications have been rejected or denied?

Applying for a green card through marriage is not an easy thing to do. 

Immigration law is one of the most complicated areas of law. 

There are multiple requirements and steps that must be carefully followed. Many of these steps require knowing and understanding U.S. immigration law. 

Failure to properly prepare the immigration forms and or provide the correct supporting documents can result in your case being delayed, rejected, or even worse, denied.

For example, denials under President Trump’s administration for 2018, are up 37%. More than 1.6 million applications were rejected or denied in 2017 due to mistakes or legal issues. 

When an application is rejected or denied, you lose all your legal fees and you may have other serious consequences depending on your circumstances. 

Here is a graph showing the increase in denials.

Benefits of Working with an Immigration Lawyer

Working with an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer will help you:

  • determine your eligibility,
  • assemble the right documents,
  • avoid mistakes in preparing the immigration forms, saving you time and money, and 
  • ensure that your application is filed properly with the required documentation that USCIS expects under the law. 
Did you know that USCIS says it takes over 2335 hours to complete a marriage green card application including: “reviewing the instructions, gathering the required documentation and information, completing the application, preparing statements, attaching necessary documentation, and submitting the application.”
 

Now at $10 an hour that’s $23,335 worth of your valuable time. Most of our clients make well over that amount per hour. That’s why it is so valuable to work with an experienced immigration attorney because you will save time and money.

I have a 100% success rate in helping my clients apply for marriage green cards over the past 7 years. 

And, I offer a 100% money back guarantee because I am confident that I can help you get approved. 

Please note that we are very selective who we work with.

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Requirements to Apply for Your Marriage Green Card

Now let’s look into the requirements for applying for your marriage green card. 

The requirements are slightly different depending on whether you’re marrying a US citizen or a green card holder. 

I will clearly explain these differences throughout this guide. 

Here are the requirements to apply for a green card through marriage below. 

1. Must be in a Legitimate Marriage with a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

  • Must be in a legal, valid, and genuine marital relationship.
  • To determine whether the marriage is valid, USCIS looks to the couple’s intent at the time of marriage. Intent is proved through documentation. Joint documents are critical to prove a valid marriage.
  • The marriage cannot be entered into to evade immigration law. For example, you cannot pay someone to marry under a business transaction. This would be considered a sham or fraudulent marriage. 
  • The marriage must be consistent with U.S. federal and State law. For example, incest, polygamy, marrying a minor in state that permit’s it without parental consent, one person is still married, etc.

2. Minimum Income Requirement

  • The U.S. citizen or green card holder spouse must have income that is at least 125% of the federal poverty level.
  • Your spouse must sign an affidavit of support that s/he will support you and that you will not become a public charge to the U.S. government.
  • If you do not have income that meets the 125% poverty guidelines, then the U.S. citizen spouse or lawful permanent resident can use assets that are valued at over 3 times the income guidelines and or obtain a joint sponsor, which is someone whose income or assets will meet the requirement.

3. Must be Admissible to the United States

  • There are 10 categories under the Immigration and Nationality Act that make an immigrant inadmissible to be granted an immigration benefit including, health grounds, criminal history, security grounds, public charge, immigration violations, etc.
  • You cannot fall under any of these categories, unless there is a waiver or exemption available. 

4. You must prepare and file Form I-130 and Form I-130A with USCIS and get approved

5. You must complete an adjustment of status application or        
consular processing

Adjustment of Status Requirements

If you are Marrying a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

  • You must have entered the U.S. lawfully. This means you entered at a port of entry and that you were inspected by a Customs and Border Patrol Officer.
  • You must pass a medical examination by a USCIS certified doctor.

Additional Requirements ONLY if you are Marrying a Lawful Permanent Resident

  • Visa must be currently available. This means you must have a current priority date under the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.
  • Never worked without employment authorization in the U.S.
  • You have not accumulated any unlawful presence
  • You cannot have entered under the Visa Waiver Program

Consular Processing Requirements

If you are Marrying a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

  • You must pass a medical examination.
  • You may need to show a police certificate from everywhere you have lived for more than 6 months.
  • You will need to attend an interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Additional Requirements ONLY if you are Marrying a Lawful Permanent Resident

  • Visa must be currently available. This means you must have a current priority date under the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.

Documents Needed to Apply for Your Marriage Green Card

There are many documents that will need to be included with your application for a green card through marriage. 

The documents you include with your case will depend on your specific circumstances and the evidence that you have available or that can be obtained based on your relationship. 

First, USCIS will determine the validity of your marriage based on the documentation provided. Planning and obtaining the proper documents are essential for a green card approval.

For example, many clients find it unreasonable that USCIS will not simply accept a marriage certificate as proof of a valid marriage because that is what is required under State law.

However, immigration law is governed by federal law and requires that couples show many more documents as proof of a valid marriage. 

We help counsel our clients on obtaining the right documents.

Here is a general list of documents you should expect to provide when applying for your green card through marriage. This list is not exhaustive. 

Your immigration lawyer will need to review the specifics of your case with you in order to provide you with a comprehensive list of documents that you’ll need to apply based on your particular circumstances.

In addition, all documents that are not in English will require a certified translation.

Documentation from U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

  • Copy of passport and birth certificate
  • Copy of naturalization certificate, if applicable
  • Copy of green card, if applicable
  • 2×2 passport photos
  • Last 3 years federal income tax returns
  • Employment verification letter, if applicable
  • Divorce decree(s), if applicable

Documentation from Foreign National Seeking Green Card through Marriage

  • Copy of passport and birth certificate
  • 2×2 passport photos
  • Copies of previous USCIS approvals
  • Divorce decree(s), if applicable

Joint Documents and Assets to Prove Valid Marriage

  • Marriage certificate
  • Joint lease, mortgage, or deed
  • Joint bank accounts
  • Joint health insurance
  • Joint car insurance
  • Joint utilities
  • Joint phone bill
  • 401K beneficiary designations
  • Life insurance beneficiary designations
  • Evidence of trips taken together
  • Wedding photos
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Process to Apply for Your Marriage Green Card or Marriage Visa

Depending on whether your spouse is applying from within the United States or will be going through Consular Processing at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate overseas, there will be different immigration forms involved. The number of federal agencies involved will also differ. 

For example, if you and your spouse are applying from within the United States, you will be filing with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). 

However, if your spouse is outside the U.S., you will be filing applications with USCIS and the U.S. Department of State. 

Here is a quick overview of the steps needed to apply for a green card through marriage:

  • Marry a U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder
  • File Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative
  • File for Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing
  • Attend Marriage Interview
  • Receive a Conditional 2 Year Green Card or 10 Year Green Card
  • File to Remove Conditions to Become a Legal Permanent Resident, if You Received a 2 Year Green Card
  • Apply for Citizenship/Naturalization (Optional)

1. Marry a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

The first step to qualify for a marriage green card is to marry a U.S. citizen or green card holder also known as a lawful permanent resident. 

The marriage must take place and you must have your marriage certificate recorded before you can file your application for a green card through marriage.

Must be in a Legitimate Marriage with a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident

  • Must be in a legal, valid, and genuine marital relationship.
  • To determine whether the marriage is valid, USCIS looks to the couple’s intent at the time of marriage. Intent is proved through documentation. Joint documents are critical to prove a valid marriage.
  • The marriage cannot be entered into to evade immigration law. For example, you cannot pay someone to marry under a business transaction. This would be considered a sham or fraudulent marriage. 
  • The marriage must be consistent with U.S. federal and State law. For example, incest, polygamy, marrying a minor in state that permit’s it without parental consent, one person is still married, etc.

2. File Form I-130 for Alien Relative

Once married, your next step is to begin assembling all your joint documents and then preparing and filing the Form I-130. The I-130 is called the “Petition for Alien Relative.” This is the first form that is required to be filed with USCIS.
 
The I-130 Petition is filed along with numerous supporting documents including: your marriage certificate, copies of passports and birth certificates, many joint documents proving the legitimacy of your marriage, etc.
 
Basically, the I-130 along with all the supporting documentation provides proof that you and your spouse are in a real and genuine marital relationship. If you can satisfy this burden of proof, then your spouse will move on to the next step.

3. File for Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing

The next step in the marriage green card process is to either file for adjustment of status, if your spouse is in the U.S., or consular processing, if your spouse is outside the U.S.
 
If your foreign spouse is in the U.S., then you’ll file to adjust status using the Form I-130 Petition, along with the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
 
If your spouse is outside the U.S., you’ll file Form I-130 and then apply for an immigrant visa also known as a marriage visa from a U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad – this is known as Consular Processing.
 
The Form I-130 establishes your basis to apply for a green card through marriage. 
 
Once you and your spouse have proven that you are in a bona fide marital relationship, then your spouse is eligible to apply for either adjustment of status or consular processing depending on your particular circumstances. 
 
I’ll explain both options below so you have a better understanding and appreciation of which is right for your situation.

Adjustment of Status

Adjustment of status is the process where a person who is in the U.S. “adjusts” or converts his or her current status into that of a lawful permanent resident also known as a green card holder.
 
This process is completed entirely from within the United States and is started by preparing and filing Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with USCIS.
 
You can file Form I-130 and I-485 together at the same time, this is called a “concurrent filing.” This is done in most cases and it saves money when filing for your work authorization and travel permit concurrently as well. However, there is currently a USCIS proposal to change this policy and increase fees by 21%.

Requirements for Adjustment of Status

  • You must have entered the U.S. legally 
  • You are physically present in the U.S. at the time the I-485 is filed
  • You cannot be inadmissible under immigration law. There are 10 categories of reasons why someone may be inadmissible to the U.S. including: health grounds, criminal history, security grounds, public charge, immigration violations, etc.

Special Provision that Applies if You Marry a U.S. Citizen

Under U.S. immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), Section 245(a), an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (spouse, parent, or child under 21 years of age), shall be forgiven for overstaying his or her visa and unauthorized work. 
 
Therefore, if your spouse entered the U.S. legally and then overstayed his or her visa, such overstay will be forgiven, if marrying a U.S. citizen, and none of the other inadmissibility factors are present.

If You are Marrying a Lawful Permanent Resident also known a Green Card Holder there are also some Additional Requirements to Adjust Status

  • You must have a visa currently available under the current priority dates. There are limits to the number of visas issued to spouses of green card holders. To adjust status, you must be in the U.S. legally and your priority date must be current for you to be able to file Form I-485. You can check your priority date and visa availability using this link to the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.
  • You must have never worked without authorization in the U.S. This means to work you must have received work authorization from USCIS, otherwise your employment is considered unlawful.
  • You must have maintained legal status in the U.S. since your initial entry. This means that you cannot have overstayed your authorized period of stay as shown on your Form I-94. 
  • You cannot have entered under the Visa Waiver Program

I-485 Approval

Once your Form I-485 is approved, you will either receive conditional permanent residency or “unconditional” permanent residency, depending on the length of your marriage at the time of filing. 
 
If your marriage is less than 2 years old at the time your residency was granted, you will be given conditional residence. In order to remain a permanent resident, you must file a petition to remove conditions during the 90 days before your green card expires. You do this by filing Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. 
 
If your marriage is more than 2 years old at the time your residency was granted, you will be given permanent residence or a 10 year green card, rather than a 2 year green card. You then renew your green card 90 days prior to your 10 year expiration date. 

Consular Processing

Consular processing also known as visa processing is the process of applying for an immigrant visa or marriage visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. 
 
If you are living outside of the U.S. or if you do not meet the requirements for doing an adjustment of status, then you must apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate office abroad. 
 
To apply for an immigrant visa or a marriage visa, you must prepare and submit a Form DS-260. The DS-260 referred to as the Immigrant Visa Electronic Application is an electronic application submitted online to the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”).
 
 
Please note that if you entered the U.S. without documentation or may be inadmissible do to one of the 10 categories discussed above, then you will need a waiver to immigrate to the U.S. Waivers are beyond the scope of this article. 
 
Please contact us for more information.

Requirements to apply for an immigrant visa or marriage visa

  • Your I-130 Petition must be approved
  • You cannot be inadmissible under any of the 10 categories inadmissibility including: health grounds, criminal history, security grounds, public charge, immigration violations, etc.
  • A visa must be currently available for you. You can check your priority date and visa availability using this link to the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin.
  • You must undergo a medical examination by a DOS certified physician.
  • You must attend a marriage visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. At the interview, the Consular Officer will review the documents of your marriage visa case, your medical examination results, and other supporting evidence. They will also ask you questions to determine the validity of your marriage.

Consular Processing/Marriage Visa Approval

Upon successful completion of the consular interview, if approved, you will be informed how and when your passport will be returned to you. 

Generally, a marriage visa will be affixed to your passport within about 7 days from the date of the interview.

You will then seek entry to the United States using your immigrant visa. 

Please note that a visa is a document that allow the person to seek to be admitted to the U.S., but it does not guarantee entry. 

Only after you have been inspected by a Customs and Border Patrol officer who admits you to the U.S., will you then enter as a conditional or permanent resident depending on your particular circumstances as described above.

4. Attend Marriage Green Card Interview or Marriage Visa Interview

After the I-130 is filed, USCIS may schedule an interview or investigate the merits of your case. USCIS always schedules an interview when you file the I-130 and I-485 concurrently. 

In addition, DOS schedules a marriage visa interview after filing the DS-260 application.

Marriage green card or marriage visa interviews are conducted to determine the validity of your marriage. When USCIS or DOS schedules a marriage interview, you should be prepared to prove that your marriage is real, genuine, and valid. 

You prove the legitimacy of your marriage through providing documentation and giving testimony during the interview. You should be prepared to provide joint documents including: lease, mortgage, or deed, bank accounts, utility bills, phone bills, health insurance, photos, affidavits from family and friends, etc.

At the marriage interview conducted by USCIS, the immigration officer may interview you together or separately. Questions will cover 4 main topics including: biographical information, marital information, employment information, and criminal history.

For more information on the marriage green card interview including: the process, interview questions, and other helpful tips, read our article 101 Marriage Green Card Questions and Tips – What to Expect.

5. Receive a 2 Year Conditional Green Card or 10 Year Green Card

If your marriage is less than 2 years old at the time your residency was granted, you will be given conditional residence and your status will be a “conditional” permanent resident.

Your status is “conditional” because you are granted a green card through marriage based on the condition that you need to prove again in 2 years that you did not marry to evade immigration laws.

As a conditional permanent resident, you have all the same rights, privileges, and obligations as permanent residents. You will be granted a permanent resident card also known as a “green card.”

During the 2 year period that you will hold conditional permanent resident status, USCIS can terminate your conditional green card if it discovers that your marriage was not legitimate or if the marriage terminates within the 2 year period through a divorce or annulment.

Please note that a “divorce waiver” may be available to the foreign spouse if the marriage terminated within the 2 year period. 90 days before the expiration of the 2 year green card, you must apply to remove conditions using Form I-751.

Lastly, if your marriage is more than 2 years old at the time your residency was granted, you will be given permanent residence or a 10 year green card, rather than a 2 year green card. You then renew your green card 90 days prior to your 10 year expiration date. 

6. File to Remove Condition to Become a Legal Permanent Resident, If You Received a 2 Year Green Card

At the end of the 2 year period of conditional permanent residence, you are required to file a “joint petition” to have the conditions removed from your permanent resident status. 

The form used to remove conditions is Form I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. You can access the Form I-751 here. You are eligible to file Form I-751 within 90 days of the expiration of your conditional green card.

The conditional green card is like a probationary period, where a newly married couple will acquire more joint assets, photos, etc. over a two year period. So at the end of two years, USCIS follows up with the couple to see how everything has progressed over the past two years. An interview is generally required after filing the Form I-751.

The two year conditional residency period is in place to help prevent marriage fraud and or misrepresentation. Therefore, couples need to take this filing and interview very seriously.

The Form I-751 is required to be filed jointly, meaning you and your spouse are required to sign the form and declare that your marriage is real and genuine.

However, under certain situations, you may be able to apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirement. This would allow the foreign national spouse to file Form I-751 without the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse. 

Here are the reasons USCIS may grant a waiver of the joint filing requirement:

  • Your marriage was entered into in good faith, but ended in divorce or annulment,
  • U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse dies,
  •  You would suffer extreme hardship if you returned to your home country, or
  • You suffered battery or extreme mental cruelty by the U.S. citizen spouse.

Documents to submit with Form I-751:

  • Joint lease, mortgage, and or deed,
  • Joint bank accounts, brokerage accounts, trust accounts, etc.,
  •  Birth certificates of any children born during the marriage,
  • Joint car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, 401K, etc.
  • Affidavits from family and friends
  • Additional joint documents and photos

Based on a new USCIS policy memorandum issued on November 30, 2018, generally, officers must interview a conditional permanent resident who has obtained lawful permanent resident status on a conditional basis and who is the principal petitioner on a Form I-751, unless the interview is waived. Therefore, you may be required to attend an interview. We have been successful with having all of our clients interviews waived.

Once the Form I-751 is approved, you are officially a lawful permanent resident and you’ll receive a 10 year green card.

7. File for Citizenship/Naturalization (Optional)

Naturalization is the process of applying for and becoming a U.S. citizen. 

You are not required to become a U.S. citizen but you have the opportunity and privilege to do so after a certain period of time holding permanent resident status.


You are eligible to naturalize after being a permanent resident for 3 years, if obtaining your green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen.

If you did not obtain your green card through marriage, then you can apply for citizenship after 5 years.

Here are some of the requirements to apply for citizenship:

  • Must be at least 18 years old at the time of filing;
  • Must be a green card holder for 3 years if obtained through marriage to a U.S. citizen or;
  • Must be a green card holder for 5 years if obtained any other way;
  • Must have lived in the state you are applying for citizenship in for at least 3 months;
  • You must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months within the 5 years immediately preceding the filing of your citizenship application;
  • You must have good moral character;
  • You must pass Civics and English test, unless a waiver applies;
  • You must have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years prior to filing your naturalization application (no continuous absences for 180 days or longer or the continuous residence requirement shall be broken).
To learn more about applying for citizenship, contact us now.
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Immigration Attorney Fees & U.S. Government Fees to Apply for Your Marriage Green Card or Marriage Visa

Marriage Green Card (adjust status in the United States)

You pay $2995 at the start of the representation and then $1760 at the time of filing.

Attorneys fees and USCIS filing fees are subject to change.

Marriage Visa/Consular Processing (obtain visa abroad)

We offer an installment plan for marriage visa cases. You will pay an upfront flat fee of $2995 for the first step of the application process and approximately 12-18 months later you will pay an additional $1255.00 for the second step. 
 
Any document not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Translation fees vary.
 
Attorneys fees and U.S. government filing fees are subject to change without notice.  

What the Attorney Fee Includes:

  • Guidance from start to finish from a top-rated immigration attorney, recipient of the Best Immigration Lawyer Award 2018 and 2019 and the Legal Innovator Award 2019
  • Access to an on-demand learning center to learn how to apply for your marriage green card step-by-step
  • Access to a secure client portal to upload and share your documents
  • On-demand video on how to use the portal
  • Unlimited communication through a designated communication channel
  • Access to an online questionnaire
  • Access to a marriage green card checklist to help you assemble your documents
  • Document review of all your documents
  • Employment verification letter template
  • Template affidavits for family and friends
  • Last will and testament through third party provider (over $1500 value)
  • Preparing and filing all immigration forms on your behalf
  • On-demand video and e-guide on how to sign and how to deliver your signed application to your attorney
  • On-demand video on 4 key milestones in the processing timeline
  • USCIS case status update tool
  • USCIS case processing tomes update tool
  • Template for filing request to expedite work and travel permit
  • Respond to all government requests for more evidence or information
  • Access to online client dashboard to see overview of timeline on your case
  • Access to speak with your attorney via phone or video conference
  • Access to your file 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Access to all of our tools to help streamline the immigration process
  • Mock interview and sample questions will be provided to you
  • On-demand video explaining the interview process will also be provided to you
  • 1 hour mock interview session with your attorney via phone or video conference

Time Involved & U.S. Government Filing Fees, if Filing on Your Own

Marriage Green Card (Adjust status in the U.S.)

Marriage Visa/Consular Processing (Obtain visa in abroad)

  • Form I-130 USCIS Filing Fee is $535
  • DS-260 DOS Filing Fee is $445
  • USCIS Immigrant Fee is $220
  • Medical Examination Fee is $150 to $550

Time Involved to Complete on Your Own: Over 2335 hours according to USCIS

For marriage green card cases, there are generally 7 immigration forms that will be filed with USCIS. 

Did you know that USCIS says it takes approximately 1200 hours to complete just the I-485 including: “reviewing the instructions, gathering the required documentation and information, completing the application, preparing statements, attaching necessary documentation, and submitting the application.” (See I-485 Instructions, Page 19, Paperwork Reduction Act, 6.15 hours per response, more than 195 responses).

This means that if you make $10 an hour that it would cost you more than $12,000 of your time to complete just one form and more than $23,350 of your time to complete all 7 forms! Most of our clients make well above that, so you can see how valuable it is to work with an attorney. 

It’ll save you a lot of time and money and best of all give you peace of mind knowing that everything is being done properly. More than 1.6 million applications were rejected or denied last year due to mistakes and or legal issues, which many could have been prevented by working with an experienced immigration attorney.

Working with us, after you complete our online questionnaire and upload all your documents, we’ll prepare your application for your signature within 3 business days!

Then we’ll file and all your postage and handling fees are included. 

Any further correspondence with USCIS on your behalf is also included. Everything is included. Get peace of mind knowing everything is being done for you, the right way.

We have a 100% success rate in obtaining green card approvals over 7 years. We also offer a 100% money back guarantee.

Contact us now to discuss your case in more detail.
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Length of the Marriage Green Card or Marriage Visa Process

Processing times fluctuate throughout the year and it’s based on the volume of petitions and or applications being processed and the number of U.S. government officers assigned to adjudicate such submissions.

Below is an estimated timeline of the marriage green card process.

Step 1: Filing I-130 Petition

Step 2: Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing

Immigration law is one of the most complex areas of law, outside of tax law, and therefore you should seek advice from an experienced immigration attorney to guide you through the process.
 

Contact us now to discuss your case in more detail. 

Marriage Green Card Interview Questions

The final step in the marriage green card process or marriage visa process is to attend an interview. 

There is a difference between an adjustment of status interview and a consular processing interview. 

The main difference is that generally you and your spouse must appear at an adjustment of status interview before a USCIS officer and only your foreign spouse must appear at the consular processing interview before a DOS consular officer.

4 main topics covered at marriage green card interview or marriage visa interview

Typically, there are 4 main topics that are covered at the interview including:

  • Biographic Information – What’s your name, date of birth, address, etc.
  • Martial Information – When, where, and how did you met, where do you go on your first date, when and where did you get married, who attended your wedding, etc.
  • Employment Information – Where does your spouse work, job title, salary, etc.
  • Criminal History – Have you ever been convicted of a crime, terrorist, Communist, etc.

For more information on the marriage green card interview including: the marriage green cad process, marriage green card interview questions, and other helpful tips, read our article 101 Marriage Green Card Questions and Tips – What to Expect

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What Happens After the Marriage Green Card Interview or Marriage Visa Interview?

A marriage green card or adjustment of status interview is completed before a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services immigration officer.

Whereas, a marriage visa interview is completed before a U.S. Department of State consular officer.

I will explain what will happen based on each type of interview below.

What Happens After Marriage Green Card Interview (Adjust status in U.S.)

First, after attending a marriage green card interview, typically, if approved, you will receive your green card in the mail within 90 days. 

If you also filed for a work permit and social security card at the time of filing, then you should expect to receive your social security card within 2 weeks after receiving your green card. 

With your green card, you are now able to live, work, and play in the USA, permanently.

What Happens After Marriage Visa Interview (Obtain visa abroad)

After attending your marriage visa interview abroad also known as consular processing, the consular officer will ask to keep your passport and affix your marriage visa inside of it usually within 7 days. 

Also, the officer will let you know when you can come back to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to pick up your passport and visa.

Once you have the marriage visa, then you will be able to travel to the U.S. 

Lastly, you will show your visa to a Customs and Border Patrol officer and then he or she will likely admit you to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. Please note that a visa does not guarantee admission. 

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Benefits of a Green Card through Marriage

Here is a list of benefits of having a green cad also known as lawful permanent residence:

  • Once you receive your green card, you are now eligible to live, work, and play in the USA permanently.
  • You are exempt from the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 which requires buyers to withhold 10% of the purchase price of real property and submit such withholding to the IRS.
  • You can own shares in a C or S-corporation.
  • You can form a limited liability company in any state.
  • You can purchase and own real estate, cars, and other property.
  • You can attend any college or university that you are eligible, and you may be able to receive in-state tuition and financial aid.
  • You are eligible for Small Business Administration Loans and other bank loans such as home mortgage loans.
  • If you work for 10 years in the US, you will be eligible for Social Security Benefits when you are eligible for retirement.
  • You can travel outside the US for up to 5 months and 30 days at one-time.
  • Any trip that you plan to be outside of the US for more than one year will require a I-131 Advance Parole/Travel Document application. If you are outside the US for more than one year without apply for a I-131 or SB-1 Returning Resident Visa, your green card will be considered abandoned under the law.
  • You may be eligible for certain county, state, and federal health benefits.
  • You can live anywhere in the US including: all 50 states and any US possession or territory.
  • You can work anywhere in the US including: all 50 states and any US possession or territory.
  • You may be eligible for citizenship in 3 years, if you obtained your green card through marriage to a US citizen, or you may be eligible for citizenship in 5 years, if obtained another way.
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Benefits of Working with Subhan Law Office, LLC

First, we are authorized to practice U.S. immigration law in all 50 states, U.S. territories and possessions, and U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world.

In addition, we are the ONLY immigration firm in the USA that uses an on-demand learning center to walk our clients through the marriage green card process step by step. 

For this innovative solution, we were awarded the Legal Innovator of the Year Award for 2019. Also, we have a 100% success rate on getting marriage green cards approved over the past 7 years!

We are very responsive and we use the latest cloud technology to help streamline the immigration process. 

When working with my firm, you’ll work directly with me, Attorney Ili Subhan. I was awarded the Best Immigration Lawyer Award for 2018 & 2019. I won this award based on my clients awesome reviews and their confidence in my firm and me and for that I am very grateful. 

Please know that I’m here to help you in any way that I can

Schedule a consultation with me now.

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Conclusion

Now I hope that you have a better understanding and appreciation for the marriage green card process and the marriage visa process. 

You should now understand the steps needed to take to file for a green card through marriage including: the process of applying for a marriage green card, the requirements, documents needed to file, the marriage green card interview questions, what happens after the interview, and the benefits of becoming a green card holder or permanent resident.

I know that this a lot of information to take in on one sitting or even several sittings. So please do not get frustrated or discouraged, if things seem complicated. 

This guide is for informational purposes only. Working with us, you’ll receive access to technology to simplify and streamline the marriage green card or marriage visa process. 

We make the immigration process as easy and convenient as possible. We are authorized to practice immigration law in all 50 States and our firm is setup to work with you remotely. Everything can be done online, except signing and mailing the forms.

We were just awarded the Legal Innovator of the Year Award for 2019 for inventing an on-demand learning center to help our clients learn the process to apply for a marriage green card step by step. Clients have access to the on-demand learning center 24 hours a day, 7 days, basically giving them a lawyer on-demand.

If you need help applying for your green card through marriage, please contact us now. 

Check your eligibility to apply for a green card through marriage here.

https://www.cato.org/blog/immigration-application-denials-jump-37-percent-under-trump

https://www.uscis.gov/tools/reports-studies/immigration-forms-data

FAQ

Most frequently asked questions and answers

You apply for a marriage green card if in the U.S. by using the I-130 Petition and Form I-485. If outside the U.S., you will use the I-130 Petition and Consular Processing. 

The marriage green card process if applying in the U.S. takes between 6-24 months depending on the State you reside. And, if going through Consular Processing, it takes between 12-24 months. 

You will need 7 types of documents including: (1) essential documents – joint lease, joint bank account, (2) joint bills, (3) insurance, (4) retirement plans, (5) communications between each other,  (6) evidence of trips taken together, and (7) evidence of wedding. 

If applying from within the U.S., the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) charges $535 to file the Form I-130 and $1225 to file the I-485 Form. If outside the U.S., you will pay separate fees to the U.S. Department of State. Attorneys fees varies.

First, you want to prepare for the marriage green card interview questions. Second, you want to make sure to bring all the proper supporting documents. Lastly, when attending your interview make sure to dress well, I’d recommend business casual, answer ever question truthfully and honestly, and answer only what the officer is asking of you. Bring lots of photos, be positive, and also stay calm and collected. Read our article on 101 marriage green card interview questions and tips and what to expect to learn more.

Generally, marriage green card interviews are between 30 minutes to an hour.

Generally, if approved, you will receive your green card within 90 days. Also, you will either receive a 2 year conditional green card, if married less then two years when you filed, or a 10 year green card.