Are you an immigrant married to a U.S. citizen? Interested in moving to the U.S. on a marriage-based green card? Sounds simple enough, right? Well, as experts in immigration law, we are here to tell you that unfortunately, the process of obtaining a marriage-based green card is not always so cut and dry.
If you want to obtain a green card that is based on marriage, you must first prove that your marriage is bona fide. A bona fide marriage is one where both parties intend—from the very beginning—to establish a life together. So, how do you do that? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how to get a marriage-based green card.
How to Prove a Bona Fide Marriage
As we mentioned earlier, an important step in obtaining a marriage-based green card is proving your marriage is bona fide (aka the real deal). While this might seem fairly straightforward, the U.S. immigration authorities are perpetually on the lookout for marriage fraud. Therefore, there are a few ways that you can prove that your marriage is legitimate:
1. Join your lives.
It’s essential that you don’t wait until the last minute to start crafting a life together. To show the immigration authorities that your lives are truthfully intertwined, there are several things you can do. Consider making your spouse a beneficiary on your retirement account, covering them with your health insurance policy, adding them to your mortgage or apartment lease, opening joint bank accounts, and other things of that nature.
2. Document your relationship.
Throughout the immigration process, you will be asked to supply documented proof of your shared life together. Therefore, you should keep a record of wedding plans, trip receipts, phone records, letters sent to one another at the same address, and your children’s birth certificates.
3. Test your knowledge.
The final step in obtaining a green card is conducting an interview with a consular or USCIS officer. In the interview, you will be asked certain questions to validate your marriage, ranging anywhere from which side of the bed you sleep on to how you celebrated your last birthday. To prepare, make sure you are up-to-date on things like where and how you met, where you go on dates, how many people attended your wedding, and any other important details about your relationship.
What Is Form I-751?
If you have been married for less than 2 years, then you will likely receive a “conditional” green card that is valid for just 2 years (as opposed to the usual 10). Before this green card expires, you will need to file a Form I-751 to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status. This will allow you to receive a permanent green card that is renewable every 10 years.
Top Immigration Attorneys in Phoenix, AZ
Hopefully, this post on how to get a marriage-based green card has helped to clear things up for you. As you can see, obtaining a green card is a lengthy and convoluted process. For that reason, you should always seek the help of a skilled Phoenix immigration attorney to guide you through the process.
Partnering with our expert legal team at Milovic Law Firm ensures that your immigration goals will be met sufficiently, quickly, and painlessly. To learn more about what we can do for you, browse our service page or contact our team for a free consultation today.