How Long After My Marriage Can I Apply For A Green Card?
If you are married to a U.S. citizen, you may be able to apply for a Green Card (also known as a permanent resident card) to live and work in the United States permanently. However, there are a few important things to consider when determining how long after your marriage you can apply for a Green Card.
First, it’s important to note that the process for obtaining a Green Card through marriage can vary depending on whether you are currently in the United States or outside of the country. If you are already in the United States, you may be able to apply for a Green Card through the process known as “adjustment of status.” This process allows you to apply for a Green Card without leaving the United States, as long as you are eligible and meet all the requirements.
On the other hand, if you are currently outside of the United States, you will need to go through a different process called “consular processing.” This process involves applying for a Green Card at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.
Regardless of which process you are going through, there are a few key factors that will determine how long after your marriage you can apply for a Green Card.
First, you must be legally married to a U.S. citizen. This means that your marriage must be recognized as valid under the laws of the place where it took place, and you must have a marriage certificate to prove it. If you are not legally married, you will not be able to apply for a Green Card through marriage.
Second, you must be able to prove that your marriage is genuine and not simply a way to obtain a Green Card. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review your application to ensure that your marriage is not a “sham” or a fraudulent attempt to obtain a Green Card. You will need to provide evidence of your relationship, such as shared bills, photographs, and other documentation that shows you are living together and have a genuine relationship.
Finally, you will need to meet all the other requirements for a Green Card, including being admissible to the United States. This means that you must not have any criminal convictions, be inadmissible for any other reason (such as having a communicable disease or being a security risk), and must not have violated any U.S. immigration laws in the past. More info here.
So, how long after your marriage can you apply for a Green Card? If you are already in the United States and are eligible to apply for adjustment of status, you can typically apply as soon as you are married. However, if you are going through consular processing and are outside of the United States, you will need to wait until your U.S. citizen spouse petitions for a family-based immigrant visa on your behalf. This process can take several months or longer, depending on the backlog of applications and the availability of visas.
In conclusion, the length of time it will take you to apply for a Green Card after your marriage depends on a number of factors, including your current location, whether your marriage is recognized as legal, and whether you meet all the other requirements for a Green Card. It’s important to work with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that you are following the correct process and to help you navigate any challenges that may arise.
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