The Process Of Obtaining A Green Card Through Marriage

By Published On: May 3, 2024Categories: Blog, Green Card

Marriage is not only a union of hearts but also a gateway to new opportunities. For couples, the excitement of starting a life together in the United States can be overshadowed by the intimidating process of obtaining a Green Card through marriage.

This journey promises to unlock numerous opportunities, from securing employment to accessing essential government benefits. However, the complex immigration law often presents a formidable challenge that leaves couples feeling uncertain and overwhelmed.

If you just tied the knot with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR), the guidance of a Marriage Visa Attorney is just what you need to get a Green Card. This new chapter of your life deserves the skills of a legal professional to guide you through achieving permanent residency.

Navigating Green Card Acquisition Via Marriage In The U.S.

A Marriage Visa Attorney Guides You In Getting A Green Card

For those keen to build a life with their partner on American soil, obtaining a Green Card signifies more than just legal status. It opens doors to work, education, and public services. A marriage Visa attorney holds high regard for this desire of those who want to pursue permanent residency in their beloved’s homeland. 

These legal professionals serve as trusted guides and advocates throughout the Green Card application journey. They personalize guidance tailored to each couple’s unique circumstances. From understanding eligibility requirements to handling potential challenges, they ensure the process proceeds smoothly and efficiently.

Having a skilled ally advocating for you and your significant other’s future together in the United States makes the elaborate process all worth it. When you consult a qualified lawyer, one of the first points of discussion is whether you satisfy all the requirements to move forward with the application.

Eligibility Requirements For Marriage-Based Green Cards

Applying for a marriage-based Green Card requires you to meet specific criteria outlined by U.S. immigration laws.

Proof Of Genuine Relationship

The primary requirement is a bona fide marital relationship between you and your U.S. citizen or LPR spouse. Both of you must demonstrate genuine love, commitment, and intention to build a life together. This can be supported by evidence such as joint financial accounts, shared property, and correspondence.

No Legal Impediments

Both individuals must be lawfully eligible to marry, meaning you and your spouse are of legal age and not already married to someone else. For marriages that took place outside the United States, the union must be legally recognized in the jurisdiction where it occurred and comply with U.S. immigration laws. Matrimonial evidence, such as a marriage certificate, is typically required as part of the process.

Financial Support

Your sponsoring spouse must meet specific financial requirements to show their ability to support the foreign spouse financially without relying on government assistance. This often involves meeting the minimum income threshold the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services set. They may also need to provide evidence of alternative means of financial support, such as assets or a joint sponsor’s income.


Both spouses must be admissible to the United States. You and your spouse should not have disqualifying factors such as criminal convictions, immigration violations, or health-related issues. In some cases, waivers may be available for specific grounds of inadmissibility. Still, it’s essential to consult with a qualified immigration attorney to explore options and address any potential challenges in the application process.

If none of these eligibility requirements can hinder your application, you are set to proceed with the application process.

The Application Process

Think of the marriage-based Green Card application process similar to other family-based petitions. In this scenario, your spouse acts as the petitioner, and you, as the beneficiary, seek the Green Card. The process is divided into key stages, and you must handle them precisely and carefully.

File The Form I-130

The application typically begins with your U.S. citizen or LPR spouse filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with USCIS. This form solidifies the connection between you and your spouse and initiates the process. Along with Form I-130, supporting evidence proving the genuine nature of the marriage, such as marriage certificates, joint financial records, and photographs, must be submitted.

Attend Interviews & Biometric Appointments

Once USCIS receives and processes the Form I-130, both spouses may be required to attend an interview at a USCIS field office. During the interview, immigration officers will verify the marriage’s authenticity and assess your eligibility for a Green Card. Additionally, you will be scheduled for biometric appointments. This step requires you to provide photographs, fingerprints, and signatures for identity verification purposes.

Apply For Adjustment Of Status (AOS) Or Consular Process

After the petition is approved and the necessary appointments are completed, depending on your circumstances, you can continue with either adjustment of status or consular processing. Adjustment of status involves applying for a Green Card while residing in the United States. Conversely, consular processing entails applying for an immigrant Visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy in your home country.

Receive Conditional Permanent Resident Status

If your marriage is less than two years old when your Green Card is granted, you will attain conditional permanent residency. This status is valid for two years.

Within 90 days before this conditional Green Card expires, you and your partner must jointly file Form I-751. Also referred to as Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, this form requests to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status. It demonstrates that the marriage was entered into in good faith.

In addition to submitting the form, you must show that the marriage is genuine and ongoing. You need to submit evidence of continued marital union, such as joint bank accounts and shared household expenses. Affidavits from friends and family attesting to the authenticity of the relationship also help.

On the other hand, if your marriage was already three years old when you obtained your Green Card, you will likely not be subject to the conditional status requirement. Instead, you will receive a regular, 10-year permanent residency without conditions.

Pursue Naturalization (Optional)

After maintaining permanent resident status for a specified period, typically three to five years, you may be qualified to pursue U.S. citizenship through naturalization. This process involves meeting additional requirements, including continuous residence, good moral character, physical presence, and passing an English language and civics test.

While optional, naturalization offers full participation in U.S. civic life and additional benefits, such as voting rights and eligibility for federal jobs.

The overall process for a marriage-based Green Card is an undertaking that needs enormous time and resources. It’s an affair that leaves no room for mistakes. You can employ helpful strategies to avoid application delays or denials.

Tips For A Successful Immigration

Success in marriage-based immigration equates to promising benefits in the United States. Thus, you need to bring your A-game to secure lasting victory. Here are some tips to enhance the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Maintain Authenticity

Ensure that all aspects of your marriage are genuine and well-documented. USCIS scrutinizes marriage-based Green Card applications to prevent fraud, so providing evidence of a bona fide marital relationship is essential.

Stay Organized

Keep track of all required documents, forms, and deadlines throughout the application process. Create a checklist to ensure that you submit everything accurately and on time. Missing or incomplete documentation can delay your application or lead to denial.

Prepare For Interviews

Be prepared to attend interviews with USCIS officials. Get acquainted with the usual interview questions and practice answering them with your spouse. Always provide truthful and consistent responses to demonstrate the authenticity of your relationship.

Communicate Effectively

Maintain open and transparent communication with your spouse throughout the process. Discuss and address any concerns or issues proactively. Clear communication can mitigate misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Seek Professional Guidance

Seek guidance from an immigration lawyer with experience in spousal permanent residency cases. A knowledgeable lawyer can navigate complex laws, advise you on the best course of action, and represent you from start to finish.

With your future at stake, it’s best to lend the matter to capable hands. Partnering with a respected law firm can make all the difference in your application.

Achieve Permanent Residency With Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

How A Marriage Visa Attorney Facilitates Green Card Acquisition

Reaching significant milestones, such as obtaining legal residency status in the United States, calls for a professional approach. With the assistance of experienced legal partners like Lincoln-Goldfinch Law, dealing with the immigration process becomes more manageable and efficient.

This law firm, based in Austin, Texas, takes pride in its team of skilled attorneys who understand the nuances of immigration law. They work proactively to advocate for your interests every step of the way. Whether facing challenges with documentation, interviews, or legal procedures, they offer strategic solutions and advocacy to overcome challenges. Lincoln-Goldfinch Law stands ready to assist you in realizing your dreams of building a secure and prosperous future in the United States.


Securing a Green Card via marriage is a remarkable achievement on the journey to permanent residency. The roadmap to success is challenging but manageable with the support of a marriage Visa attorney. As a foreign spouse or beneficiary, you must establish eligibility and undergo a series of steps with your U.S. citizen or LPR spouse.

A trusted law firm can be your legal partner, from filing Form I-130 to navigating conditional permanent resident status. The guidance of a knowledgeable immigration lawyer from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can help you realize your dream of establishing a new life in the United States.

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as green cards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job.

Share this story!

Contact a U.S. Immigration Attorney Today!

    How To Find Us

    Austin Office
    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1005 E 40th St
    Austin, TX 78751

    Waco Office

    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1616 Austin Avenue, Suite A
    Waco, TX 76701
    By Appointment Only

    Austin & Waco
    Call or Text: (855) 502-0555
    Fax: (512) 323-9351

    What Our Clients Say

    “This Lawfirm is great, very professional and helpful. I love that they are always in communication and always available for when you have questions . 100% recommended by me and my family. Thank you Lincoln-Goldfinch Law”