Green Card Through Marriage:
How to Apply for a Green Card After Marriage

Green card through marriage sounds easy, but it is very complicated. This is the one more thing that non-U.S citizens who married to U.S. Citizens have to worry about. It is very stressful because of the limited information.

Immigration laws are complicated. Very complicate. This page is not meant to offer legal advice. But I wanted to offer an informative page that provides some directions regarding a green card through marriage, instead of going through endless internet surfing and feeling overwhelmed. Immigration laws are changing every minutes. So eventually you will need to consult with your immigration lawyer about how to apply for green cards and legal issues.

After you got married with your loved one, all you want to do is relaxed and enjoy the new life with your partner. However, those people, who married to an American citizen, and who are not an American citizen, need to go through another hoop, "a green card." Obtaining a green card after marriage is the next step so that you can legally stay in the United States and enjoy the new life with your partner.

As of 2008, you needed the following forms and fees to adjust your status from a student visa to a legal resident:

  1. I-485 with $1010.00
  2. I-485 for children under age 14 with $600.00
  3. I-130 with $355.00
  4. I-765 (Optional) Employment Authorization Document

The definitions of petitioner and beneficiary are as follows:
  • Petitioner:U.S. citizen who is petitioning for eligible family member.

  • Beneficiary: Eligible family member who is seeking to adjust to permanent resident status.

    1. You have to complete and sign all forms above and attach required fee.

    2. You have to submit photos of beneficiary that comply with CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) photo requirements.

    3. Attach the following items to I-485 in the following order:
      I-693, Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status, and vaccination supplement as appropriate. You have to use only CIS approved clinics and doctors.
      Photocopy of beneficiary's government issues birth certificate with English translation.
      I-864, Affidavit of Support, with last 3 years income tax returns and supporting documents.
      Proof of legal entry into the U.S. such as I-94 and visa stamp in passport.
      Beneficiary must complete and sign the entire Form G-325A.

    4. You need to attach the following items to I-130 in the following order:
      2 photos of petitioner
      Photocopy of petitioner's certified birth certificate.
      If petitioning for spouse, photocopy of death certificate or termination of any prior marriages for both the petitioner and beneficiary.
      If petitioning for spouse or child, photocopy of petitioner and his/her souse's government issued marriage certificate.
      Petitioner must complete and sign Form G-325A.

    You can also file a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to travel outside the U. S. while the I-485 is pending. Upon approval, an I-512, Authorization for Parole of an Alien into the U.S will be issues. Without permission, you should not travel outside the U.S. while the I-485 is pending. The I-485 is considered abandoned if the beneficiary leaves the U.S. without the permission.

    Please go to CIS website at http://www.uscis.govor call 1-800-375-5383 to get information about the immigration laws, regulations, green card through marriage, or obtain the appropriate forms.

    You also need to consult with your immigration lawyer to insure that you filed the appropriate documentations and forms for applying for a green card.

    If you are looking for a immigration lawyer in St. Cloud area in Minnesota, I recommend Laura Tripiciano at Law. You can reach her at 320-224-6535.

    This is NOT meant to be a legal advice. It is merely reflections on one's experience. The information presented here on this page may not apply to your specific situations. Please consult with your immigration lawyer for a help.

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