Applying for U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card) based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is relatively straightforward, and a commonly used path to a green card.
But there is still lots to know -- particularly if you have been laboring under the common misconception that marriage offers immediate or automatic U.S. citizenship. The truth is that applicants must still get through a long and demanding application process, and prove that their marriage is both valid and real, before being awarded a U.S. green card. Some will wish to enter the U.S. before getting married, on a nonimmigrant, fiance visa. Find out the details on all these possibilties here.
Legal Requirements for a Marriage-Based Visa or Green Card
Married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident? Here's how to apply for U.S. lawful permanent residence, otherwise known as a marriage-based immigrant visa or green card.
Legal Requirements for a K-1 Fiancé Visa
Circumstances under which a foreign national's planned marriage to a U.S. citizen qualifies him or her for a U.S. fiance visa.
Living in the U.S. and Married to a U.S. Permanent Resident: What Are the Immigration Options?
How your eventual eligibility for a green card may be complicated by long waits and inadmissibility issues.
Can an Illegal Immigrant Get a Green Card Based on Marriage to a U.S. Citizen?
Circumstances under which an undocumented person can succeed in obtaining a marriage-based green card.
Marriage-Based Green Card: Your Children's Eligibility
How a foreign national spouse can include children in the immigration process.
How Spouses and Minor, Unmarried Children of Permanent Residents Can Change Visa Category
A green card holder's spouse and children may move faster or slower in their quest for a green card depending on things like whether the petitioner becomes a U.S. citizen.
Entered the U.S. Illegally and Married a U.S. Citizen: Can I Get a Green Card?
As a foreign national living in the U.S. after entering unlawfully, your marriage to a U.S. citizen may not, unfortunately, create a straightforward path to a U.S. green card.
When Religious or Traditional Marriage Ceremonies Are Valid for Immigration Purposes
When foreign nationals seek admission to the U.S. as spouses of U.S.
What's a Valid, Bona Fide Marriage for Immigration Purposes?
The basic requirement for a good faith marriage is that the parties intend to share a life together as spouses and are not only marrying to seek an immigration benefit.
Same-Sex Marriage a Basis for U.S. Lawful Permanent Residence (a Green Card)
If you are a noncitizen in a same-sex relationship with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, everything you will read about the rules for marriage-based visas or green cards should apply to you, too.
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Risks of Entering the U.S. as a Tourist, Then Applying for Marriage-Based Green Card
Arriving in the U.S. as a tourist expecting to then apply for a green card based on marriage can result in an accusation of visa fraud.
What's Better for Low-Income Couples: K-1 Fiancé Visa or Marriage-Based Immigrant Visa?
When it comes to both direct expenses and ability to prove sufficient income, the K-1 fiance visa can present greater hurdles than a marriage-based immigrant visa.
K-1 Fiance Visa or Marriage Visa: Which Is Better for Me?
If you are in a relationship with a U.S. citizen, and think that you are ready to take the next step and make your home in the U.S., you may consider applying for either a marriage-based visa or a fiancé(e) visa with which to enter the United States. However, these visas have very different requirements, and allow you to do different things on differing timelines.
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Preparing I-130 Petition for the Immigrating Spouse of U.S. Citizen
If you are a U.S. citizen wishing to sponsor your foreign-born husband or wife for a U.S. green card, here's how to fill out the form that starts off the process.
How to Prove You're a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident
Your best proof that you are either a U.S. permanent resident or a conditional permanent resident (who received status either as an investor or as the spouse of a U.S. citizen) is a green card.