Getting married to a U.S. citizen is one of the most common ways that people get a Green Card to the United States. However, these petitions are also among the most scrutinized applications because of the regular occurrence of fraudulent marriages. That’s why it is important to be completely prepared for the whole process. It is different, depending on whether one of the spouses is a U.S. citizen or the spouse applying has a relative that is a U.S. citizen.
Process for Alien Relative
It is much easier for a spouse applying for U.S. residency to get approval if they have relatives that are US citizens or residents. In these cases, the spouse applying to become a US resident will submit the Form I-130. Both the applicant and the U.S. resident will have to submit supporting biographical documentation for their relationship and evidence of the validity of the marriage.
Adjustment of Status for Spouse of US Citizen
The spouse of a U.S. Citizen can file for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident. You will be required to provide all required documentation to support your identities and marriage. Once all the documentation is submitted, you should be granted an interview with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The spouse applying for U.S. residency will have to submit fingerprints before the interview. If all documentation is original and certified, and if there are no questions about the validity of your marriage, the spouse will be granted permanent residency after the interview.
Process for Spouse of US Resident (Non-citizen)
The process is more difficult for the spouse of a U.S. resident that is not a U.S. citizen. The spouse will need to apply for a visa number and there is limited availability every year. You can find out more about the availability of visa numbers of the U.S. Department of State website. These cases are more complex and our firm can help determine the immigration options available if you are looking to obtain a visa number for your spouse as a non-citizen US resident.
Required Financial Documentation
If you are applying for U.S. residency, you will be required to provide evidence of sufficient financial support. The Affidavit of Support will include employment information, bank accounts, and any other assets that can be converted into cash within the next year. You must provide evidence of income that is 125% of the poverty level in order for your application to be approved.
Conditional Green Card for New Marriages
For those couples that have been married for less than two years, you will need to apply for a Conditional Green Card. You will be required to appear for a review of the Conditional Green Card at your two-year marriage anniversary. This process is required to make sure that you have lived together during the conditional period and the marriage is legitimate.
At Margaret W. Wong & Associates, we have combined experience of more than 80 years in immigration law. Our attorneys can guide you through the process of petitioning for your husband or wife to become a U.S. resident. Contact us today (216) 566-9908 to schedule an initial consultation or contact us online.