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

In the vast and intricate world of U.S. immigration law, obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card is a major achievement for couples who dream of building a life together in the United States. We understand that this journey can be overwhelming at times, and we want you to know that we are here to offer our support and assist you in any way possible.

We know that one of the most important aspects of the application process is proper documentation. It cannot be stressed enough how crucial it is to provide thorough and accurate documentation to ensure a successful application and a smooth approval process. This means gathering evidence of your genuine and valid marriage, such as marriage certificates, joint financial documents, photographs, and testimonials from loved ones.

Another factor to consider is the processing times and potential delays that may arise during the application process. We understand that waiting can be frustrating, but being aware of the current processing times can help manage your expectations. The reality is that due to the high volume of applications, it is not uncommon for the process to take several months or even longer in certain cases.

We strongly recommend seeking guidance from experienced immigration attorneys or reputable organizations specializing in immigration matters. These professionals can provide valuable advice and assistance throughout the application process, ensuring that all necessary forms are completed accurately and submitted within the specified deadlines.

Lastly, it is crucial to understand that the Marriage-Based Green Card is initially granted on a conditional basis for a period of two years. It is essential to know the requirements for removing these conditions within the 90-day period before the expiration date. This knowledge will enable you to maintain your lawful permanent residency and avoid any potential complications in the future.

By staying informed and following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, we truly believe that you and your partner can navigate the complex process of obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card with confidence. We are here to support you every step of the way and increase your chances of a successful outcome. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. We’re here to help!

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.

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