A Green Card marriage is one in which a foreign national marries a US citizen, resulting in the foreign national getting a US Green Card. The process isn’t necessarily more complicated than other Green Card applications, but it does involve more steps.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about a Green Card marriage, including the application process and the steps towards citizenship.
How a Green Card Marriage Works
A Green Card marriage simply involves a foreign national obtaining the right to permanently live in the USA as a result of marrying a US citizen. The marriage doesn’t have to happen in the US, providing your marriage certificate is recognized as a valid document.
The marriage can be between a foreign national and a US citizen or US Green Card holder. Regardless of their status, you’ll need documents to prove it when you apply for your own Green Card.
The basic process for getting a marriage Green Card is the same as other applications. You submit Form I-130 with appropriate evidence to prove your marriage is legitimate. The spouse with citizenship or Green Card status is automatically your sponsor.
It is important that you familiarize yourself with the laws of immigration before you apply for a Green Card. Any violation of the laws associated with a green card marriage can result in permanent deportation and hefty fines.
Extra Information for Approval
A Green Card via marriage is one of the most open to fraud. After all, marrying a US citizen for convenience is much easier than, say, finding a job that allows you to enter the country. In the past, the system was left wide open for abuse, which is why there are now further checks involved.
First and foremost, the relationship with your spouse must be based on genuine love. The relationship should not exist solely for the purpose of acquiring a Green Card to the United States. That said, if your husband or wife currently resides within the US and has acquired US citizenship this will make you instantly eligible for a Green Card.
On the other hand, if your husband or wife currently has permanent residency within the United States but they hold a Green Card instead of acquiring US citizenship, then the procedure for acquiring your Green Card will be different.
If your marriage is less than 2 years old, regardless of your spouse’s status, your results will be slightly different (more on this below). Also, you might have to go for further interviews in which you’ll both be quizzed about the other. You shouldn’t worry about this. Providing your marriage is legitimate, you should pass.
Green Card Approval
As usual, your Green Card marriage application goes through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once you have submitted your petition, the Department of State will inform your foreign national husband or wife that your Green Card is available.
Providing everything has been approved, the foreign national spouse will be issued with an IR1 Green Card. This is a standard 10-year Green Card.
If the foreign national spouse is temporarily outside of the United States at the time of approval, it will be necessary for them to go to the American Consulate to complete the Green Card process.
It is also important to mention when you apply for a visa and you are approved, there may not be a number immediately available. If you are visiting your foreign national spouse in the US, it may become necessary for you to return to your native country to avoid breaking the law for overstaying your visit in the United States.
When you apply for a Green Card you may only be awarded conditional status, also known as a CR1 Green Card. Conditional status occurs when you have been married for less than two years.
The purpose of conditional status is to avoid marriage scams that take place in an effort to acquire Green Card status. To remove the conditional status from your Green Card, you must wait until the second anniversary of your marriage. After this anniversary you have up to three months to submit a petition to eliminate the conditional status and switch to an IR1 card.
Green Card Marriage and Divorce
In the unfortunate event that the couple gets divorced, the Green Card holder doesn’t need to give up their permanent status. If it’s within the conditional period described above, this might be the case, but those issued an IR1 card have nothing to worry about.
The only thing it’ll really impact is the path to citizenship described below. Once someone has been issued an unconditional Green Card, there’s very little that’ll make USCIC take it away.
Citizenship from a Green Card Marriage
One of the biggest benefits of a Green Card marriage (other than the marriage, of course) is that holders only need to wait 3 years before applying for citizenship. Normally, it’s 5 years, so this is almost a 50% drop in waiting time before beginning a naturalization application.
The naturalization process is otherwise the same as normal; you just get to start it sooner. Although there’s no explicit reason why the timeline is shorter, USCIS likely assumes you’re more likely to remain in the country long-term if you’re married than if you’re working.
As you can imagine, there are a few specific conditions. The first is that the cardholder lives continuously in the USA, but this is normal. The second is that the couple lives together as a married couple for the 3 years before application.
If the couple gets divorced during this period, the 3-year rule no longer applies. It doesn’t mean Green Card holders can’t apply for citizenship, it instead means they have to wait 5 years like everyone else. If this happens, the naturalization process reverts to normal.
Final Thoughts on a Green Card Marriage
Getting Your Green Card through Marriage is arguably “easier” than other routes into the country, it does require you to find a legitimate US spouse! Whether this is easier than finding a job is entirely up to you.
However, for the easiest option, you can always apply in the Green Card Lottery using the Online application form provided by US Green Card Office.
You don’t need a spouse or a job, and you can bring your whole family along.
Moving to the United States is, for most, a big decision. Therefore, it’s crucial to be well prepared when you apply for the Diversity Visa Program in the United States. We have made a list below of the most common questions we get from our applicants from all over the world. If you can’t find your answer below, we have a vast knowledge database where you can search and find most answers related to the Green Card Program. If you can’t find your answer, you are always welcome to contact our support directly by submitting a support ticket. Our immigration team is ready to assist you 365 days a year, and most support tickets are answered within a few hours. We are here to help you, live your dream, and move to the United States.
What is a Green Card?
A Green Card is a Permanent Residence Visa of the United States. As a Green Card holder, you get the legal rights to live and work permanently in the United States. Green Card holders receive health, education, and several other benefits while living in the USA. Applicants winning a Green Card may apply for U.S. Citizenship five years after obtaining the Green Card. As a Green Card holder, you must have physically lived in the United States for at least 30 months out of those five years to be considered for U.S. citizenship. The Green Card does not affect your present citizenship. You and your family could be lucky winners if you apply for the Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Get your Green Card application submitted today.
Who is eligible to apply for the Green Card Lottery?
An applicant must be a native of an eligible country. Please check the qualifying country list before you apply. Secondly, an applicant must either have a high school education or equivalent or two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience. Please also read the requirements for education and work experience below.
If you do not meet the above requirements, you should NOT submit an application to the Diversity Visa Lottery program.
You are eligible wherever you live, and you do not have to speak English. Also, you do not need a sponsor or have relatives in the United States. You can submit an application as long as you have a strong economy and will be able to take care of yourself in the United States.
What are the requirements for education or work experience?
U.S. law and regulations require that every applicant must have at least a high school education or its equivalent. Or, within the past five years, have two years of work experience in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience. A “high school education or equivalent” is defined as successful completion of a twelve-year course of elementary and secondary education in the United States or successful completion in another country of a formal study of elementary and secondary education comparable to high school education in the United States. Documentary proof of education or work experience should not be submitted online when applying for the Diversity Visa Lottery. Still, it must be presented to the immigration officer in the American Embassy at the time of the immigrant visa interview. To check if your occupation or work experience qualifies for the Diversity Visa Program, please visit www.onetonline.org
Must I re-apply every year for the Green Card Lottery to be considered?
The US Immigration law specifies that applicants must submit a new application each year. When you apply, you will have the option to choose a one-year or a two-year submission. If you select the two-year submission, your second year will automatically be submitted if your application is not selected the first year. However, it’s crucial to note application photo(s) should be updated each year. Therefore, if your application is not selected for the first year, you must upload a new and fresh photo(s) for your second-year submission.
How is the term “native” defined? Are there any bases upon which persons who have not been born in a qualifying country may be eligible to enter?
“Native” ordinarily means someone born within a particular country, regardless of the individual’s current country of residence or nationality. According to Section 202(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, if a person was born in an ineligible country, but their spouse was born in an eligible country, such person can claim the spouse’s country of birth rather than their own. For example, a person born in an excluded country such as Mexico may still apply if their spouse was born in a qualifying country. Also, if a person was born in an ineligible country, but neither of their parents was born there or resided there at the time of the birth, such person may be able to claim nativity in one of the parent’s countries of birth. For example, if one of your parents was born in France and the other was born in Germany, and you were born in Canada while your parents were visiting Canada but had not established residency in Canada, you could claim France or Germany as your Native qualifying country.
Why do certain countries not qualify for the Diversity Visa Program?
Diversity visas are intended to provide an immigration opportunity for persons from countries other than the primary source of immigration to the United States of America. The law states that no Diversity Visas shall be provided for “high admission” countries, that is, countries from which there were more than 50.000 immigrants in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visa categories during the previous five years. The list of countries, which do not qualify for the Green Card Lottery, is subject to change from one year to the next. So before you apply, always check the qualifying country list on our website.
Is each applicant limited to only one application in the Green Card Lottery?
Yes, if otherwise qualified, a husband and a wife may submit one Green Card Lottery application each. If you receive a Green Card through the lottery, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 will simultaneously get Green Cards. Unmarried children under 21 may be included on each of their parents’ application forms. All children over 21 years of age must file separate applications. When submitting your application via the US Green Card office, we will automatically submit individual applications for you and your spouse to double your chances of winning.
Is there a minimum age to apply for the Green Card Lottery?
There is no minimum age to apply for the Green Card Lottery. However, the requirement of a high school education or work experience for each principal applicant at the time of visa issuance will effectively disqualify most persons who are under age 18.
How does the Green Card Lottery work?
At the National Visa Center, all entries received will be separated into one of six geographic regions and individually numbered. After the end of the application period, a computer will randomly select cases from among all the mail received for each geographic region. Within each region, the first letter randomly selected will be the first case registered, the second letter selected for the second registration, etc. When a case has been registered, the applicant will immediately be sent a notification letter by the US Green Card Office, which will provide appropriate visa application instructions. US Green Card Office will assist all winners in submitting the DS-260 form and preparing for the visit interview at the American Embassy. Using the professional immigration service from US Green Card Office will ensure your application is not disqualified and you are well prepared for the Visa Interview, therefore, giving you and your family the best chance of getting Green Cards to the United States of America. We are here to make your dream come through.
How would I know if I win the Green Card Lottery?
Applicants will be selected at random by computer from among all qualified entries. All winners will be notified directly by US Green Card Office by mail at the address listed on their application. The notifications will be sent to the winners in May each year, along with instructions on how to submit the DS-260 form online before a Visa interview can be scheduled at the US Embassy. Applicants not selected will also be notified via email with instructions on how to upload a new photo(s) for the second-year submission or how to reapply for the next program. You do not need to check if you are selected as we will contact you directly. However, you may check if your application is selected on the US government website using your unique personal confirmation number that you will find within your Green Card Application Account.
May persons who are already living in the United States apply?
Yes, an applicant may apply if already living or visiting the United States. If you’re legally in the United States, you may apply no matter what visa you hold.
May persons who are already registered for an immigrant visa in another Visa category apply?
Yes, such persons may apply. Applying for the Diversity Visa Program will not affect any other Visa that is pending or already issued to the applicant.
What are my chances of winning the Green Card Lottery?
The winning chances cannot be determined at this time, as it would depend on the number of applications to be submitted this year. However, we recommend you look at our chance of winning page, which will give you a better understanding of your chance of winning a Green Card for the United States of America.
Where is the diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery held?
The program is held and monitored by the National Visa Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA
What is the cost of entering the Green Card Lottery?
The US Green Card Office processing fee is $80.00 for a single application and $120.00 for a family application. The family application includes two separate submissions giving a married couple a double chance of being selected. Children under the age of 21 can be added free of charge on any application submitted by the parent. Applicants under the age of 21 may submit an independent application if they qualify under the aforementioned requirements. The processing fee of the US Green Card Office includes the Visa interview fee and all other government fees.
What do the Airline Tickets and Moving Cost insurance include?
Airline Tickets Paid: If you order this service from US Green Card Office and your application is selected, all your flight expenses will be paid when moving to the United States.
Moving Cost Paid: If you order this service from US Green Card Office and your application is selected, all your moving expenses will be paid when moving to the United States.
КАК ДЛЯ ДЕРЖАТЕЛЯ ГРИН КАРТЫ ПРИВЕЗТИ В США СВОЮ ЖЕНУ/МУЖА?
Держатель грин карты (лицо с постоянным видом на жительство в США) имеет право подать ходатайство о воссоединении со своим(ей) мужем или женой, которые проживают за границей. Утверждение этого ходатайства предоставит для них возможность переехать в США на постоянное место жительства и получить грин карту.
Как долго длится процесс выдачи грин карты для мужа или жены держателя грин карты?
Правительство США ежегодно контролирует количество иммигрантов, которые хотят воссоединиться со своими родственниками в Америке и выделяет определенное количество иммиграционных виз для членов семьи, которые проживают в других странах. Поскольку количество желающих воссоединиться со своими родственниками в США является чрезвычайно большым, был разработан так называемый “приоритетный список” который поделил всех родственников в зависимости от степени родства на две категории: близкие члены семьи и другие члены семьи. Основной целью классификации родственников на две категории было предоставление приоритетности для иммиграции близких членов семьи.
В соответствии с Законом “Об иммиграции и гражданстве” муж или жена держателя грин карты классифицируются как другие члены семьи и в приоритетном списке находятся во второй категории (F2A category). Как только вы начнете их иммиграционный процесс, им будет присвоена дата в приоритетном списке (“priority date”), по которой можно будет определить ориентировочный период времени нахождения в очереди вашей(го) супруги или супруга на выдачу иммиграционной визы. Для того, чтобы определить скорость продвижения вашей очереди, вы можете посетить вебсайт Госдепартамента и просмотреть обновленный Visa Bulletin на предмет наличия иммиграционной визы для вашей(го) супруги или супруга. Как правило, средняя продолжительность ожидания иммиграционных виз для жены или мужа держателя грин карты для большинства стран на сегодняшний день составляет 2 года.
И даже после того, как процесс ожидания на иммиграционную визу для вашей(го) супруги или супруга закончится, им придется столкнуться еще с формальной процедурой подачей документов на получение грин карты, которая займет еще несколько месяцев. В связи с этим, важно иметь на своей стороне опытного иммиграционного адвоката, который сумел бы помочь вам в этом долгожданном процессе. Ведь небольшая ошибка, сделанная на этапе подачи ходатайства о воссоединении, может стоить для вас еще несколько дополнительных лет ожидания.
КАК ПРИВЕЗТИ ДЛЯ ДЕРЖАТЕЛЯ ГРИН КАРТЫ ЖЕНУ ИЛИ МУЖА НА ПОСТОЯННОЕ МЕСТО ЖИТЕЛЬСТВА В США?
Существует два пути получения грин карты для вашей(го) супруги или супруга:
1. Ваш(а) муж/жена сейчас находятся в США. В этом случае держатель грин карты должен подать ходатайство о воссоединении с женой/мужем и ждать несколько лет пока для них не будут выданы иммиграционные визы. В течение этих нескольких лет ожидания в очереди ваш(а) муж/жена должны отдельно поддерживать свой легальный статус нахождения в США (например, на студенческой или бизнес визе). Если на момент наличия иммиграционных виз, мужчина/женщина находятся в США в легальном неиммиграционном статусе, они могут изменить свой статус на иммиграционный и получить грин карту (Form I-485).
2. Ваш(а) муж/жена сейчас находятся за пределами США. В этом случае процесс оформления грин карты происходит через американское посольство. Держатель грин карты и жена/муж должны пройти через следующие шаги:
Не злоупотребляйте туристической визой!
Некоторые пытаются избежать долгожданного процесса оформления документов через посольство и приезжают в США по туристической визе за несколько месяцев до появления для них иммиграционных виз. Делают это для того, чтобы изменить свой статус чем быстрее, находясь в США. Однако, это не очень хорошая идея. Нецелевое использование туристической визы и въезд в США без туристической цели рассматривается как иммиграционный обман, что может привести к отказу в выдаче грин карты.
Список документов, необходимых для подачи на грин карту.
Если вы планируете подавать документы на оформления зеленой карты для своего родственника, в приложении – список документов, необходимый для того, чтобы запустить этот процесс.
В случаи отсутсвия некоторых документов, пожалуйста свяжитесь с нами. Мы можем помочь вам получить свидетльства о рождении, документы о разводе и т.д в США или за рубежом за отдельную плату.
Если у вас есть вопросы по поводу иммиграции в США, пожалуйста оставьте для нас сообщение или запишитесь к нам на консультацию на этой странице.
For centuries now, the United States has been a popular country to visit, and for almost as long, people have been wanting to live and work in the USA. The American Dream is an idea known and loved by people around the world, and the first step to achieving it is to get through the red tape. It can be a difficult process that takes time, paperwork, and patience, but if it is what your really want, it will feel like the easiest thing in the world. It can even lead to becoming a United States citizen. Here is how to get a green card.
If A Family Member Lives In the USA
The easiest and most popular way to get one is to have a relative petition to grant you one. All they have to do is fill out Form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative). Once it’s correctly filed and approved, you can come to the USA and fill out a second form, which will qualify you for a card. If you can’t get your United States family member to participate, you can also complete this process exclusively on your end. You just have to work with the US Immigration Services, and they can help you through the process.
If Your Employer Lives in the USA
If you are offered the chance to work in the USA, your employer can petition for you to get a green card. The employer just has to fill out a form on your behalf. Once it’s approved, you’ll get a visa that will allow you to come and fill out the rest of the paperwork. You can complete this process within or outside the US, but you will need your employer’s help regardless. If you are living in the US at the time of this process, you will also need to complete several items such as the USCIS Medical Exam and an inspection.
If You are an Entrepreneur
If you are a wealthy business man or woman, you can invest in the USA’s economy and earn the right to live there. The investment has to create or maintain at least 10 jobs and has to be at least $1,000,000, or it can be at least $500,000 in certain, qualifying areas. Once that’s done, you can come over and even bring your spouse and children.
If You are a Refugee or Asylee
Unfortunately, some people are living in tough times. If you are a refugee or asylee, you can get a green card after one year. A refugee is someone that moved to the USA because of either natural or political hardships in their country. An asylee is someone that is going through a more personal hardship in their country such as religious persecution or being the victim of an unjust law. A refugee is required to get a card after one year, but an asylee is simply allowed to apply for one if he or she wants to do so.
If You Win the Green Card Lottery
The Green Card Lottery is probably the most surprising ways to get into the States. The technical name for it is the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. This program is designed to raise diversity in the USA. Each year, 50,000 visas are given randomly to citizens of countries that don’t normally immigrate to the US. Once they are selected, they complete the rest of the process with help from the US Immigration Services.
What happens after getting a Green Card?
That’s how to get a green card. Once you have one, there are a few things to keep in mind, like for example that as a Green Card holder you have some benefits. It proves your eligibility to work, allows you to apply for both a social security card and a driver’s license.
While with other visas or U.S. Immigration statuses leaving the U.S. may cost you your the benefit of living in the States, if you are a Green Card Holder you are allowed to leave the USA as often as you like as long as you are not gone for longer than one year. But maybe, the greatests benefit of all is that you are also eligible to start the citizenship application. Before you can apply for naturalization, you must have held your card and lived in the US for at least five years, speak and write English, have sufficient knowledge of US history because you will have to pass the Naturalization Test. Once you are a citizen, you will get all the rights and responsibilities of every US citizen. If you do not submit a citizenship application, you must apply to renew your Green Card.
Keep in mind that you are required to renew green card. If it is a 10-year card, it will need to be renewed every 10 years, and you should start the process at least six months before it expires. If it is a 2-year card, you can’t renew it, but you can try to remove the conditions on it as long as you start that process at least three months before it expires.
Green Card Application Husband Wife US Citizen Legal Permanent Resident
You may be eligible for one of the three application procedures outlined below (click on the appropriate item):
1. You are a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (Green Card holder) applying to bring your husband or wife to the United States to live:
Please note that there are certain eligibility requirements for using Form I-485.
In all other cases:
The USCIS will notify you when your I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is approved or denied. If it is approved, your wife or husband will be notified by the State Department when an immigrant visa number is available. If your husband or wife is outside the country, your husband or wife must then go to the local U.S. consulate for processing. If your wife or husband is legally inside the United States when a visa number becomes available, your wife or husband should apply for a Green Card to adjust to Permanent Resident Status.
2. Your U.S. citizen parent, or your U.S. citizen brother or sister, is applying to bring you to the United States to live. You would like to bring your husband or wife to live in the United States with you.
Your parent, or brother or sister, will be notified by the USCIS when their Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is approved or denied. If it is approved, you and your husband or wife will be notified by the State Department when an immigrant visa number is available. If you are outside the country, you then must go to the local U.S. consulate for processing. If you are legally inside the United States when a visa number becomes available, you should apply to adjust to permanent resident (Green Card) status.
3. You were married before you became a legal permanent resident (Green Card holder), and your wife or husband did not physically accompany you to the United States. You would now like your wife or husband to join you in the United States.
If the I-824 is approved, USCIS will notify a U.S. consulate that your status has been adjusted to that of a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) so that your wife or husband can apply for a Green Card (immigrant visa). You must then ask your husband or wife to report to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing.
Green Card for My Spouse (Husband or Wife) to Live in the USA
Work Permits for My Wife or Husband (Spouse)
Your wife or husband (spouse) does not need to apply for a work permit once they are admitted in the USA as an immigrant with their Green Card (immigrant visa) or have already been approved for their Green Card (adjustment to permanent resident status).
As a legal permanent resident, your wife or husband should receive a Permanent Resident Card (commonly referred to as a “Green Card”) that will prove that they have a right to live and work in the United States permanently. If your husband or wife is now outside the United States, they will receive a passport stamp upon arrival in the United States. This stamp will prove that your husband or wife is allowed to work until a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) is created.
Help! with a Green Card for My Spouse (Wife or Husband)
Additional Information: a Green Card for My Wife or Husband (Spouse)
For details on filing an immigrant visa petition for your spouse, see:
Green Card Application for My Wife or Husband to Live in the U.S. as a Permanent Resident
For details on sponsorship eligibility, including the income requirement, see:
Affidavit of Support Guide (Form I-864)
For an overview of the preference system, see:
The Preference System: US Immigration Visa Preference Categories for Green Card
If your spouse is in the U.S. and wants to work while their application to adjust to permanent resident status is pending, see:
Obtaining a Work Permit
If your spouse is in the U.S. and needs to travel outside the U.S. while their application to adjust to permanent resident status is pending, see:
Advance Parole: Foreign Travel with a Pending Green Card Immigration Application
For details about removing conditional resident status, see:
Removing Conditional Resident Status (for Marriage-Based Green Card)
For online forms and fee information, including fee waivers, see:
USCIS Forms / INS Forms and Other US Immigration Forms, Fees & Filing Locations
If you are outside of the United States and need information regarding immigrating to the United States, contact your nearest U.S. Consulate:
US Embassies and US Consulates
back to: Marriage
Green Card Wife Husband Sponsor Spouse Visa USA Permanent Resident Immigration Marriage US Citizen
The Green Card Process for My Spouse (Wife or Husband)
An immigrant (also called a “lawful permanent resident” and Green Card holder) is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of living and working permanently in the United States. Your spouse (husband or wife) must go through a multi-step process to become an immigrant. First, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve an immigrant petition (application) that you file for your husband or wife. Second, the State Department must give your spouse an immigrant visa number, even if your wife or husband is already in the United States. Third, if your wife or husband is already in the United States, your wife or husband may apply to adjust to permanent resident status. If your husband or wife is outside the United States, your husband or wife will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa.
How Do I Apply for a Green Card for My Wife or Husband (Spouse)?
To find out how you can petition (apply) for your spouse (wife or husband) to live in the United States permanently, please see Green Card Application for My Wife or Husband to Live in the U.S. as a Permanent Resident.