immigration lawyer, miami fl

Getting a Green Card Through Marriage to a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident

May 22, 2017

Getting a Green Card Through Marriage to a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident

AUTHOR MICHAEL G. MURRAY,
IMMIGRATION LAWYER (MIAMI)
MICHAEL G. MURRAY, P.A., IMMIGRATION LAWYER (MIAMI)
May 22, 2017

As a Miami immigration lawyer and an Austin immigration lawyer, one of the most common and sought-after U.S. immigration benefit is obtaining permanent resident status. One of the most common ways an immigrant will get a green card is through the marriage to a US Citizen or permanent resident. Below are some frequently asked questions.

What is the first step to getting my green card through marriage to a United States citizen or Legal Permanent Resident spouse?
Before you do anything, I would recommend consulting with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer. Your immigration lawyer will speak with you to determine your eligibility. If your Miami immigration lawyer determines that you are eligible, he/she will help you file Form I-130, which is the first step towards getting an alien resident into the US. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

What other information would I need to submit in order to get my green card through marriage to a United States citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident?
Both the applicant seeking immigration and the US resident will need to submit details about biographic information. Each applicant has the burden of proving the bona fides, i.e. good faith, of the marriage. Therefore, in addition to the submission of the forms, applicants are required to submit evidence of a valid marriage with documents such as birth and marriage certificates, wedding announcements, banking and insurance accounts, joint auto registration, driver’s license and joint credit card statements if available.  If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney or an Austin immigration attorney.

Is the green card application process different for marriages to a United States citizen?
Yes. Spouses of US Citizens can concurrently file for adjustment of status by submitting the Adjust of Status form, Medical Report, Affidavit of Support, an employment authorization document (EAD) and the Advance Parole (Travel Document), the associated photographs and fees. If your Miami immigration attorney or Austin immigration attorney has properly submitted the documents, then your spouse is sent for a biometric (fingerprint) appointment. Shortly thereafter the US Citizen and spouse are scheduled for an immigration interview with the nearest USCIS Service Center. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

How the green card application process different for marriages to a Legal Permanent Resident?
For spouses of non-citizen US residents, a visa number must be available in order for the USCIS to process the petition. Spouses of non-US citizens generally have to go through consular processing in their home country and have to submit the relevant forms along with an affidavit of support with attachments to the National Visa Center before the interview is scheduled at the Consulate abroad. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

What is the Affidavit of Support?
The affidavit of support is a way for the petitioning spouse to prove to the US Government that he or she will be able to support the immigrant(s) financially. This is done with the Affidavit of Support. The household income must be at least at 125% of the current poverty level. This income requirement must be proven by the spouse that currently resides in the United States by providing copies of tax returns for the last three years, job letters for the petitioner and beneficiary if applicable and asset documents if it is being used to qualify financially. Assets include banks statements for the last 12 months, ownership documents for stocks, bonds and certificates of deposit, evidence of personal property and date acquired, evidence of ownership of real estate, date acquired and liens or liabilities attached to same.  If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney or an Austin immigration attorney.

I’ve already submitted my petition. Do I get my green card right away?
No, you don’t. For those couples who petition the USCIS prior to their two year marriage anniversary and a granted the permanent resident card, a “conditional green card” will be issued, which may require green card renewal later. This means that upon the two year marriage anniversary, both spouses will be required to appear for an interview with either an immigration official or consular officer to remove the conditions from the permanent resident card. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer or an Austin immigration lawyer.

Why do we have to go through a separate interview?
This interview is designed to determine two main things:

  1. Two Years of Residence together: Both spouses must have lived together for the two years after getting married.
  2. Legitimate Marriage: The immigration officer will need to be convinced that the marriage is genuine, and not simply a means of gaining permanent US residence.

If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney or an Austin immigration attorney.

I am applying for my green through marriage; will my children be automatically included in my green card application?
No, your children will need to apply for permanent residence separately.

If you would like more information on obtaining a green card via marriage to a United States citizen or legal permanent residence, deportation defense, obtaining  U.S. citizenship, or obtaining a green card, please contact Miami immigration lawyer and Austin immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.

CONTACT Michael G. Murray, P.A. for assistance with immigration law in miami and south florida.
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