How Long Does it Take to Get a Marriage Based Green Card?
The processing time to obtain a marriage-based green card (adjustment of status) in the U.S. can vary widely depending on various factors. Here are some factors that can influence the overall timeline:
- USCIS Processing Times: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes green card applications. USCIS provides estimated processing times for various types of applications on their website. However, these times can change based on workload and policy changes.
- Service Center: The specific USCIS service center handling your case can affect processing times. Some service centers might have shorter processing times than others.
- Completeness and Accuracy of Application: Ensuring that your application is complete, accurate, and includes all required documentation can help avoid delays due to requests for additional information.
- Interview Requirement: Depending on USCIS policies and the complexity of your case, you may be required to attend an in-person interview. The interview adds an additional step to the process and can impact the timeline.
- Background Checks and Security Clearance: Background checks and security clearances can lead to delays in the processing of your application.
- Country of Origin: If you are applying from certain countries, there might be additional security checks or administrative processing that can extend the processing time.
- Volume of Applications: USCIS processing times can be affected by the overall volume of applications being received.
As a rough estimate, as of my last update:
- Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) processing time: Several months to a year.
- Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) processing time: Several months to a year.
- Green card interview scheduling and processing: Additional months.
This means that the entire process from submitting your application to receiving your green card could take anywhere from around 8 months to 2 years or more, depending on the factors mentioned above.
Please note that these timelines are subject to change, and the most accurate and up-to-date information can be found on the official USCIS website. It’s essential to be patient throughout the process and plan accordingly. If you have specific questions about your case, it’s advisable to consult with an immigration attorney or seek guidance from USCIS.
What is a marriage green card?
A marriage green card, officially known as a “Permanent Resident Card,” is a legal document that allows a foreign national who is married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) to live and work in the United States as a lawful permanent resident. It signifies that the individual has been granted the status of a permanent resident, which provides them with the right to reside in the U.S. indefinitely and enjoy many of the benefits and privileges that come with that status.
When a U.S. citizen or green card holder marries a foreign national, they can sponsor their spouse for lawful permanent residency. The process involves demonstrating the legitimacy of the marriage and meeting specific eligibility requirements. The foreign spouse will need to go through the immigration process to obtain the marriage green card, which typically involves submitting forms, providing supporting documentation, attending interviews, and undergoing background checks.
The marriage green card provides the following benefits to the foreign spouse:
- Legal Permanent Residency: The foreign spouse becomes a lawful permanent resident of the United States, which allows them to live and work in the country permanently.
- Work Authorization: The spouse can apply for a work permit (employment authorization document) while the green card application is pending, which allows them to work legally in the U.S.
- Travel: Once the spouse receives the travel permit (advance parole) while the green card application is pending, they can travel abroad and return to the U.S. without jeopardizing their application.
- Healthcare and Social Benefits: The spouse becomes eligible for certain healthcare and social benefits available to lawful permanent residents.
- Path to Citizenship: After a certain period of time as a lawful permanent resident, the individual may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship if they meet the requirements.
It’s important to note that obtaining a marriage green card involves a comprehensive application process, including the submission of forms, evidence of the marital relationship, and interviews. The application process can vary based on whether the foreign spouse is applying from within the U.S. (adjustment of status) or from abroad (consular processing).
As immigration policies and procedures can change, it’s recommended to check the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or consult with an immigration attorney for the most up-to-date and accurate information about the marriage green card process.
What immigration forms must be filed to apply for a marriage green card?
To apply for a marriage-based green card, several immigration forms must typically be filed, depending on your specific circumstances and whether you are applying from within the U.S. (adjustment of status) or from abroad (consular processing). As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, here are some of the primary forms involved in the process:
Adjustment of Status (Applying from within the U.S.):
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: This form is filed by the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse to establish the qualifying family relationship with the foreign spouse.
- Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: This is the main form used to apply for the marriage green card from within the U.S. It includes information about the foreign spouse’s background, immigration history, and other relevant details.
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization: If the foreign spouse wishes to work in the U.S. while the green card application is pending, they can apply for an employment authorization document (EAD) using this form.
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document: If the foreign spouse needs to travel outside the U.S. while the green card application is pending, they can apply for a travel document (advance parole) using this form.
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support: The U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner must demonstrate the ability to financially support the foreign spouse. This form is used to prove the petitioner’s financial eligibility.
Consular Processing (Applying from Abroad):
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: Similar to the adjustment of status process, this form is filed by the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse to establish the qualifying family relationship with the foreign spouse.
- Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application: This form is submitted online by the foreign spouse after the I-130 petition is approved and the case is transferred to the National Visa Center. It collects information about the foreign spouse’s background and immigration history.
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support: Just like in the adjustment of status process, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner must provide financial support for the foreign spouse. This form is also used in the consular processing context.
These are some of the key forms involved in the marriage-based green card process. Keep in mind that immigration policies and forms can change, so it’s crucial to refer to the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or consult with an immigration attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information about the required forms and application process. Buoc Chan Lang Tham Nguyen Si Kha • Rainy Day Memories • 2023