Obtaining a Green Card Through
Print this page
What is a green card
It is perfectly legal to get married to a US citizen or
permanent resident and obtain permanent residency in the United
States . This type of marriage is often called a green card
marriage. You must understand, however, that your so called
green card marriage will only be valid for immigration purposes
if it was not a mere sham to obtain an immigration benefit. To
that extent the term “green card marriage is often
misunderstood—it is absolutely legal to obtain an immigration
benefit by getting married, so long as the main purpose of your
marriage was a traditional one, that is, for love and affection
It cannot be for the sole purpose of obtaining the immigration
If you and your spouse were fortunate enough to fall in love
and now wish to take advantage of this country’s wonderful
immigration law permitting you to apply as an immediate
relative of a US citizen (or spouse of a permanent resident) we
congratulate you on your legitimate “green card marriage.”
If, on the other hand your marriage was entered into for the
main purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit then we are
sorry to inform you that you have what is known in immigration
law a “sham marriage” and you are therefore not eligible for
any benefit at all. In fact, to apply under such circumstances
would be a crime.
Remember, if your green card marriage was based on
traditional values such as love and affection, you need not be
concerned at all. The United States has a long history of
welcoming legitimately married aliens as permanent residents
and eventually as citizens.
Goldman & Loughlin PLLC: We are US immigration lawyers
and we handle immigration cases nationwide, and worldwide. If
you need a green card we can assist you whether wherever you
live in the United States or any country around the world. All
documents and filings can be made by overnight delivery, fax
and email. No need to make an appointment.
handle most immigration cases
no matter where you live or
Need Help? Call Us
MOST CASES CAN BE PREPARED IN 7 DAYS OR
We represent green card marriage clients who married
for traditional and lawful purposes.
OK, now you know that a green card marriage can and should
be a good thing, let’s now take a look at the process of
becoming a permanent resident through marriage.
Step Process to Obtaining a Green Card Through
- The USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition that
you file for your spouse.
- The State Department visa bulletin must show that a
spouse immigrant visa is available to your spouse, based on
the date you filed the immigrant visa application.
- If your spouse is outside the United States when your
visa petition is approved and when an immigrant visa number
(if required) becomes available, your spouse will be
notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the
processing for an immigrant visa. If your spouse is legally
inside the U.S. when your visa petition is approved and
when an immigrant visa number (if required) becomes
available, he or she may apply to adjust his or her status
to that of a lawful permanent resident.
for the US Citizen Spouse
If you are a U.S. citizen, your spouse is considered an
immediate relative and is immediately eligible for an immigrant
visa if your petition is approved. Generally, if your spouse is
in the U.S. (through a lawful admission or parole) at the time
you file a Petition for Alien Relative, your spouse may file an
Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status
at the same time. If he or she is outside the U.S. , your green
card marriage spouse will need to go to the nearest U.S.
consulate to apply for an immigrant visa.
for Permanent Residents Who Marry an Alien
If you are a lawful permanent resident and your petition for
your spouse is approved, your spouse will be notified by the
Department of State when a visa number becomes available. If
your spouse is outside of the United States at the time of
notification, he or she must then go to the local U.S.
consulate to complete visa processing. If your spouse is inside
the U.S. through a lawful admission or parole and is
maintaining that status at the time of notification, he or she
may file to adjust status when the visa number becomes
available. If that is not the case but the petition was filed
on or before 04/30/01 , he or she may be eligible to benefit
under section 245(i). Please consult with a green card marriage
lawyer to discuss this issue.
If you do not have the visa number issued by the Department
of State, you must wait for a number to become current. Your
spouse may need to depart the United States to avoid accruing
If you have been married less than two years when your
spouse is granted lawful permanent resident status, your spouse
will receive permanent resident status on a conditional basis.
You and your green card marriage spouse must apply together to
remove the conditions on residence. Please note – you must
apply to remove conditional status within 90 days before the
2-year anniversary of the award date of your spouse’s
conditional legal permanent resident status. If you fail to
file during this time, your spouse will be considered out of
status as of the 2-year anniversary, and may be subject to
removal from the U.S.
Can My Spouse Come to the U.S. to Live
While the Visa Petition Is Pending?
If you are a U.S. Citizen, once you petition for your green
card marriage spouse he or she is eligible to apply for a
nonimmigrant K-3 Visa. This will entitle him or her to come to
the U.S. to live and work while the visa petition is pending.
Seeking a K-3 visa can be a method for him or her to come to
the U.S. more quickly .
with preparing and filing green card marriage application or
just want to be sure it’s right for you?
Why not give us a call. Our Law firm practices Immigration Law
Only. We can assist you whether wherever you live in the
United States or any country around the world. All documents
and filings can be made by overnight delivery, fax and email.
No need to make an appointment.
handle most immigration cases
no matter where you live or