A Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card in the United States


In the complex landscape of U.S. immigration law, acquiring a Marriage-Based Green Card is a significant milestone for couples seeking to build a life together in the United States. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the requirements and procedures involved in obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card, ensuring that your journey towards lawful permanent residency is as smooth as possible.

Understanding Marriage-Based Green Cards

Before delving into the specifics, let’s define what a Marriage-Based Green Card is. This type of Green Card is issued to spouses of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, allowing them to live and work in the United States indefinitely. It’s a crucial step towards achieving the American dream for many couples.

Requirements for Marriage-Based Green Cards

To be eligible for a Marriage-Based Green Card, several requirements must be met:

  1. Valid Marriage: The marriage between the foreign spouse and the U.S. citizen or permanent resident must be legally valid.
  2. U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency: The sponsoring spouse must be either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident.
  3. Proof of Genuine Relationship: Both partners must provide evidence that their marriage is genuine and not solely for immigration benefits.
  4. Financial Support: The sponsoring spouse must demonstrate the ability to financially support the immigrant spouse.
  5. Medical Examination: The immigrant spouse must undergo a medical examination.
  6. Criminal Record Check: A thorough background check is conducted to ensure the immigrant spouse doesn’t have a criminal record.
  7. Affidavit of Support: The sponsoring spouse must file an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to prove financial capability.

Procedures for Obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card

The process of obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card involves several steps:

  1. Petition Filing: The U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. Visa Availability: Waiting for visa availability, especially if the sponsoring spouse is a permanent resident, can take time due to visa quotas.
  3. Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing: Depending on the immigrant spouse’s location, they can either apply for an Adjustment of Status (if in the U.S.) or go through Consular Processing (if abroad).
  4. Interview: Both spouses will be interviewed by USCIS to confirm the validity of their marriage.
  5. Conditional Green Card: If the marriage is less than two years old at the time of approval, the immigrant spouse receives a Conditional Green Card.
  6. Removing Conditions: After two years, the immigrant spouse must jointly file Form I-751 to remove the conditions on their Green Card.

Expert Guidance from a New York and New Jersey Immigration Attorney

Navigating the Marriage-Based Green Card process can be daunting. As an experienced immigration and criminal defense attorney in New York and New Jersey, I have helped numerous clients successfully obtain their Marriage-Based Green Cards. My expertise in immigration law can provide you with the guidance and support you need throughout this journey.


Obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card is a significant step towards building a life together in the United States. By understanding the requirements and procedures outlined in this guide, you can embark on this journey with confidence. Remember that expert legal assistance can make the process smoother and increase your chances of success.

Related Article Ideas:

  1. “Common Marriage-Based Green Card Interview Questions and How to Prepare”
  2. “Maintaining Legal Permanent Residency: What You Need to Know After Getting a Marriage-Based Green Card”
  3. “Alternatives to Marriage-Based Green Cards: Exploring Family-Sponsored Visa Options”
  4. “The Impact of Divorce on Marriage-Based Green Card Holders: What You Should Be Aware Of”
  5. “Navigating the U.S. Immigration System: A Comprehensive Guide to Green Cards and Visas”

External Links:

  1. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  2. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
  3. https://criminalimmigrationlawyer.com/2023/09/05/empowering-unaccompanied-minors-legal-advocacy-for-rights-and-well-being/
  4. https://criminalimmigrationlawyer.com/2023/09/26/international-examples-of-writ-of-mandamus/
  5. https://criminalimmigrationlawyer.com/practice-areas/
  6. Becoming a Citizen: Marriage, Immigration, and Assimilation
  7. Using the “Green Card Marriage” to Model Demand for United States Immigrant Visas
  8. Fiance and Marriage Visas: A Couple’s Guide to US Immigration

Please note that immigration laws and procedures may change, so it’s essential to consult with an attorney or refer to the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information.

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