Obtaining the green card by marriage In the United States:



If you are married to an American citizen and want to move to the United States, forget about ESTA! You need a Green Card (permanent resident card). The green card, offering permanent residence to its holder, is very popular. Obtaining it is subject to several eligibility criteria and a complex process similar to the obstacle course. There are several methods of obtaining it: by a family member, by an employer, for political reasons, due to a draw for the annual lottery (green card lottery), etc. Here we focus on getting a Green Card through marriage.


It goes without saying that the condition intrinsic to this method of obtaining the Green Card is marriage. The Green Card by marriage can be obtained by the husband or wife of a US citizen or Green Card holder, who then becomes the sponsor.


It is up to the US citizen, or holder of the green card, to take the steps on behalf of the person wishing to obtain the green card by marriage.

The first step is to complete Form I-130 which is the petition for a foreign family member. This form is composed of 12 pages, which gives an idea of ​​the intensity of the procedures requested by the American authorities. The slightest missing information will result in the refusal of the request. It is also possible to call on a specialized lawyer to put all the chances on your side.

The form should be sent to the Department of State, through the US Embassy or US Consulate in the home country, with payment of a $ 535 application fee.

If the application is approved by the US government, the file is sent to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa number. If it is refused, the reasons for the refusal are clearly stated. The possibility of appealing, if applicable, will also be mentioned.


Once the immigrant visa number has been issued, an appointment is made with the American Embassy so that the file can be presented. All the supporting documents will be given when making the appointment. Among them are proof of marriage (marriage certificate, proof of name change, etc.), proof of American nationality, a medical examination, etc.

If the request is accepted, the consular officer issues a “Visa Packet”. This envelope is reserved for the immigration officer at the point of entry, it is important not to open it. The border officer will study the contents of the envelope and decide whether or not to let the holder enter U.S. soil as a permanent resident.

Note that USCIS immigrant fees must be paid. They amount to $ 220.


The green card is delivered by mail, to the US residential address, within 45 days.

If the marriage is less than two years old, the green card by marriage is provisional. Within 90 days of the expiration of the provisional authorization, the couple must complete form I-751 together and attend an interview with the competent authorities. The reason for this provisional authorization is the fight against sham marriages and above all, the risk of threat to the internal security of the USA if a permanent resident card is given to the wrong person under the guise of unfounded family reunification.


If the applicant for a Green Card by marriage is in the United States, the procedures are different but the issue is the same.

Before even starting the procedures, it is important that the applicant is present in the United States in a legal manner. It would be frowned upon, especially given the current immigration policy, to officially declare that you are in an irregular situation.

As with a green card request by marriage abroad, the request must be made by the US national or the green card holder. The forms to fill out are I130 and I-485. Once again, the forms are very comprehensive and require the greatest concentration.

The documents to be provided are:

The forms mentioned above and proof of payment of the costs incurred

  • Two passport size photos
  • photocopy of biometric passport
  • a birth certificate
  • photocopy of the visa allowing entry to the USA – and any form related to it
  • photocopy of the passport page with the entry stamp
  • form I-864 (affidavit of support) corresponding to the applicant’s situation
  • form I-693 (medical examination and vaccination)
  • criminal record

The file is subject to the approval of USCIS, which organizes an interview where the couple must justify their request (and their union). Note that the fingerprints will be taken.

The green card is valid for 2 years, renewable using the I-90 form. Renew 2 year green card by the Dygreencard Services. Once the green card is in his pocket, the holder is a permanent resident, that is to say that he can live in the USA as a US citizen (or almost), which includes working in the United States. United, do an internship there, study at an American university, etc.

American naturalization, to obtain the same rights as American citizens, can be requested 5 years after obtaining the green card.

Note that a person who is engaged, and not married, can apply for a K1 non-immigrant visa before going to the United States for the wedding.

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