Discover the step-by-step process to obtain a US Green Card through marriage in this comprehensive guide. Your path to permanent residency starts here.

Welcome to the ultimate guide on obtaining a US Green Card through marriage. This comprehensive step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire process, from eligibility criteria to frequently asked questions. So, let’s embark on your journey towards permanent residency.

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Eligibility Criteria for Marriage-Based Green Card

To apply for a US Green Card through marriage, you must meet specific eligibility criteria. Here are the key requirements:

  1. Marriage Validity: Your marriage must be legally recognized in the United States.
  2. Citizenship Status: Your spouse must be a US citizen or a Green Card holder.
  3. Eligibility Documentation: You must provide evidence of your eligibility, such as marriage certificates and proof of your spouse’s status.
  4. Good Faith Marriage: USCIS will scrutinize the authenticity of your marriage to ensure it’s genuine and not for immigration purposes.
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Gathering Required Documents

Before you begin the application process, gather the necessary documents:

  • Marriage Certificate: A copy of your marriage certificate.
  • Proof of Spouse’s Status: If your spouse is a Green Card holder, provide a copy of their Green Card. If they are a US citizen, provide proof of citizenship.
  • Identification Documents: Copies of your passports, birth certificates, and other identification.
  • Financial Documents: Proof of your financial stability, such as tax returns, bank statements, and pay stubs.
  • Affidavit of Support: Form I-864 to demonstrate your financial ability to support your spouse.

Filing Form I-130

The first step is to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form establishes the relationship between you and your spouse as legitimate. USCIS will review and approve this petition.

Filing Form I-485

Once Form I-130 is approved, you can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This form initiates the process of obtaining your Green Card.

Attending the USCIS Interview

After submitting your forms, you and your spouse will be invited to attend a USCIS interview. This interview aims to assess the authenticity of your marriage. Be prepared to answer questions about your relationship and provide further evidence if requested.

Conditional vs. Permanent Green Card

If your marriage is less than two years old at the time of approval, you will receive a conditional Green Card valid for two years. To convert it into a permanent Green Card, you’ll need to apply to remove the conditions during the 90-day window before it expires.

Maintaining Legal Status

While your application is in progress, ensure you maintain legal status. Avoid overstaying visas or engaging in activities that could jeopardize your application.

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Renewal and Citizenship

After obtaining a permanent Green Card, you can apply for US citizenship if you meet the eligibility criteria. This typically involves living in the US for at least five years (or three years if married to a US citizen) and meeting other requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I apply for a US Green Card through marriage?

To apply, follow the steps outlined in this guide: establish eligibility, gather documents, file Form I-130, file Form I-485, attend the USCIS interview, and maintain legal status.

What are the eligibility criteria for a marriage-based Green Card?

Eligibility includes a legally recognized marriage, a US citizen or Green Card-holding spouse, proof of eligibility, and a genuine marriage.

What documents do I need to gather for the application?

Collect documents like marriage certificates, identification, financial records, and an affidavit of support.

How do I file Form I-130 and Form I-485?

File Form I-130 to establish the relationship and Form I-485 to adjust status. Submit them to USCIS with the required fees.

What happens during the USCIS interview?

You and your spouse will be interviewed to assess the authenticity of your marriage. Expect questions about your relationship.

What’s the difference between a conditional and a permanent Green Card?

A conditional Green Card is valid for two years and requires you to apply for its removal. A permanent Green Card is valid for ten years and can lead to US citizenship.


Obtaining a US Green Card through marriage is a significant step toward permanent residency and eventual US citizenship. By following this step-by-step guide and meeting the eligibility criteria, you can navigate the process with confidence. Remember to maintain legal status throughout the process, and soon, you’ll be on your way to achieving your American dream.

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