Green card Through Family
The U.S. State Department provides TWO groups of family-based immigrant visas — Immediate Relatives(Unlimited) and Family Preference Categories(Limited).
Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas (Unlimited): These visa types are based on a close family relationship with a United States (U.S.) citizen ONLY described as an Immediate Relative (IR)*. The number of immigrants in these categories is not limited to each fiscal year. Immediate relative visa types include:
- IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
- IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
- IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
- IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
- IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old
Family Preference Immigrant Visas (Limited): These visa types are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). There are fiscal year numerical limitations on family preference immigrants, shown at the end of each category. The family preference categories are:
- Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any.
- Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs.
- Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.
- Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age.
*Note: only Direct Relatives can petition for the applicant(s). Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration.
Can I get a Green Card if I Marry a United States Citizen?
Yes, you can get a green card if you marry a US citizen. As the spouse of a US citizen, you are eligible to apply for a marriage-based green card. To apply, your spouse must file a petition for you with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the petition is approved, you can apply for an immigrant visa through the National Visa Center and attend a consular interview at the US embassy or consulate in your home country. If your application is approved, you will receive a green card and become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. You may also be eligible to adjust your status while you are in the United States. However, it is important to note that there are certain eligibility requirements and the process can be complex, so it is recommended to consult with an immigration attorney or a trusted source for guidance.
Yes, you can adjust your status through marriage while in the United States. If you are in the United States and entered legally, you may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status to a permanent resident based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
To adjust status through marriage, you must first have a qualifying family relationship, in this case, marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You must also meet other eligibility requirements, such as having a valid entry and not being inadmissible based on certain grounds, such as criminal convictions or immigration violations.
To apply for adjustment of status, your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse must file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on your behalf. Once the I-130 is approved, you can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS.
It is important to note that the adjustment of status process can be complex, and any mistakes or omissions in your application can result in denial or delay. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that the process is completed accurately and efficiently.
How Long Does it take to get a Green Card through Marriage?
The processing time for a marriage-based green card can vary depending on various factors such as the complexity of the case and the workload of the immigration authorities. On average, the processing time for a marriage-based green card can take between 10-14 months, but this can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case.
The process involves several steps, including submitting a petition by your US citizen spouse, filing an application for an immigrant visa, and attending a consular or marriage interview if you have filed for adjustment in the United States. Additionally, USCIS may request additional evidence or documentation, which can further delay the processing time.
It is important to note that the process can be complex, and it is recommended to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that the process is completed accurately and efficiently.