How To Apply for a Green Card if You Marry

If you want to migrate to the United States, obtaining a green card is the only way to do it.  The easiest way is to marry an American citizen.  It is your one way ticket to living and working permanently and legally in the U.S.  Here's a step by step guide in green card application on how to do it.

1.    Marry an American.  It is essential to find a bona fide American to acquire your green card.  It should be someone that you can trust since the application process would take at least 2 years to complete.

2.    Document Preparation.  Once you're married, you should prepare all supporting documents.  This include:

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Updated Passport, social security card and driver's license
  • Joint Bank Account
  • Utility Bills should show both of your names
  • *Wedding and Honeymoon pictures
  • *Emails/Messages from each other, etc.
*This will ensure that your marriage is not a scam.

When all of these documents are ready, go to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.  You'll find all the required documents that you need.  Read the requirements first before filling them up since some of them are optional.  Forms are as follows:

  • I-485
  • I-130 (to be filled by your American spouse)
  • I-864 (to be filled by your American spouse)
  • G-325A (to be filled by both of you)
  • I-693 (you need to have a medical examination scheduled with a civil surgeon that is found in the USCIS website list)
3.    Payable Fees.  You also need to pay some fees ranging from $1,000 to $1,500, while you are filing your documents.

4.    Get scanned and fingerprinted.  Once you have submitted the documents and have paid all the fees, you'll be receiving a call from an immigrant agent. An arranged schedule will be done for your fingerprinting and biometrics scanning.

5.    Travel and work permission.  You'll be allowed to go to the U.S. and work.  To be clear, this isn't your green card.  You'll receive this authorization around 90 days after submission of all documents.

6.    Live together.  Upon arriving, it is crucial to move in with your spouse immediately so that your marriage will be more credible.

7.    The First Interview.  Officials will call you, after 6-9 months from arriving, to schedule an interview.  Bring all photos of time spent together with you and your spouse, all supporting and relevant documents (please see step 2) that will make your marriage plausible.  They will then start asking questions, most of them are about mundane things.  Reply coolly and correctly, they will cross-reference your answers and your spouse's. 

8.    The Second Interview.  Not all applicants undergo this stage.  If by any chance, you were scheduled for another interview, that means they're not confident about your marriage.  Be more prepared since they will ask you harder questions.

9.    The Fraud Team.  If they are still not convinced, you'll be directed to the fraud unit.  They'll ask more intense questions and check all crevices of your married life.  If they found out that your marriage isn't real, you will be jailed and be fined.

10.    A Temporary Green Card.  However, once your turnabouts are successful, they'll give you a stamp (a.k.a. temporary green card) that will change your status to “Conditional Permanent Resident.”  Your real green card will be mailed to you after 1-2 months.

11.    Form I-751 Submission.  On your 2nd anniversary, file a I-751 form to remove your “Conditional Permanent Resident” status. When you're done with this, you are now an American citizen and holds a permanent residency in the U.S.

It is relatively easy to file for a green card when you're marrying an American citizen.  Just make sure you cover everything to guarantee your success in this endeavor that you are about to partake.


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