If you’re waiting to live with your foreign spouse, the last thing you want is to delay your green card application by making mistakes. Unfortunately, this is something that happens quite often. So what should you know about getting a green card through marriage? This article lists three of the most important steps on your green card journey.
If you want to apply for a green card in California based on marriage to a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident), you’ll need to meet certain eligibility criteria. First, you’ll need to have a legally valid marriage that’s recognized in the state of California. This means you’ll need to have a legal marriage certificate to serve as evidence of the marital relationship.
You’ll also need to provide proof that your marriage is genuine. Some people have fake marriages of convenience purely for immigration benefits. Applicants must therefore provide evidence that shows they have a real relationship.
This may include showing things like joint bank accounts, shared property, and photographs of the two of you together. You may also provide signed affidavits from family and friends. An immigration lawyer can help you get these things in order.
To actually obtain your green card, you’ll need to fill out a series of applications with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The first step is filling out Form I-130, which is the Petition for Alien Relative. This is when the U.S. Citizen (or permanent U.S. resident) files a form to establish their relationship with a foreign-born spouse.
Once the I-130 petition is approved, you’ll then file Form I-485, which is the Application to Register Permanent Residence. The foreign-born spouse files this application to adjust their status to a lawful permanent residence.
Mistakes with the forms can cause significant delays to your application. If you want to ensure you’re approved as quickly as possible, immigration lawyers can help.
Once you’ve successfully submitted these forms and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have approved them, the foreign spouse will be invited to a biometrics appointment. Here the immigration department will take a photograph and the fingerprints of the foreign-born spouse.
After this, the two of you will also need to attend an interview to evaluate whether the marriage is legitimate. During the interview it may help if you can provide evidence that the marriage is legitimate. Again, hiring an immigration attorney is the optimal way to ensure you’re properly prepared.
Getting a green card through marriage can be a difficult process, especially if you’re not correctly prepared. Given that mistakes in the application could have a huge impact on your family life, it makes sense to ensure you do it right.
If you’re looking for the best immigration lawyers in California to help you on your green card journey, contact us today. We take the stress out of the process by ensuring you and your partner are properly prepared.