How long does it take to get a marriage green card?
For many seeking to receive permanent resident status in the United States, the green card marriage timeline is crucial to understand. The green card marriage timeline varies based on a few different factors. The first factor is whether you are applying from within the United States or from abroad. Applications submitted from abroad tend to be processed between seven months to a year and a half. Domestic applications can take roughly two to three years. The second factor is the legal status of the applicant’s spouse. If your spouse is a U.S. citizen, your application may be processed faster than if your spouse is a green card holder. Applicants with a green card holder spouse can receive their green cards up to about a year and a half after those with citizen spouses, although this is not always the case. The green card marriage timeline generally follows this basic outline.
What should I expect when applying?
Before thinking about the green card marriage timeline, you need to know about the application process. First of all you should be prepared for the cost, which is $1,760 for an applicant who lives in the United States. There is also a cost for the medical examination, which can range from $200-$500. The first important form to submit is Form I-130, the “Petition for Alien Relative”, which demonstrates that the applicant and their spouse have a valid marriage. This form is sent to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with supporting documentation. This form is a necessary part of the green card marriage timeline regardless of where you live or whether your spouse is a naturalized citizen or a green card holder.
Is the marriage green card process different if I’m abroad or present in the U.S.?
The application process changes based on whether you are abroad or in the U.S., and this can also affect the green card marriage timeline. Marriage green card applicants living in the states will submit an I-485 filing package. This package includes proof of nationality, proof of lawful entry into the U.S., and proof that the sponsoring spouse can financially support the applicant spouse. The I-485 package adjusts the applicant’s resident status to lawful permanent resident status. Applicants living in the U.S. will then attend an interview with their spouse at a local USCIS office. For applicants living abroad, the process is different. Instead of an I-485, you submit a package of materials to the National Visa Center (NVC). This package includes a DS-260 green card application form, a police clearance certificate, and proof of nationality of the applicant. Applicants living abroad will then have an interview, without their spouse, at the U.S. embassy in their country. By carefully completing the proper forms correctly, applicants can best set themselves up to move through the green card marriage timeline quickly and without hiccups.
Picking the right Green Card Immigration Marriage Attorney
To move through the green card marriage timeline quickly, you’ll want help from someone who knows the process well. At Philip Levin & Associates, our marriage immigration lawyers have focused on cases like this since 1985. Our experience covers a wide variety of cases. We know what to do whether you are inside or outside the U.S., and whether the sponsoring spouse is a citizen or a green card holder. Reach out to Philip Levin & Associates to learn more about how we can help you through the green card marriage timeline.