Both American citizens as legal residents may file for a Residency Card (also known as the Green Card) for their spouses. Marriage is one of the fastest paths to obtain the legal residency status. However, in order to complete this immigration proceeding, a series of requirements must be met.

Requirements immigration through marriage

For the purposes of obtaining the approval of immigration authorities in a Residency Card through marriage application, it is essential that the following requirements are met:

4 marriage requirements for the Green Card


The marriage must be a legal one and you must have the official document that certifies its solemnization. Both religious and civil ceremonies are valid for this purpose.

Good faith

This means that it must be a real marriage – contrary to one that has been celebrated for the purposes of obtaining the residency for one of the parties sham marriages are prosecuted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and sentences and fines can be severe.

Attendance to the wedding

Both Groom and Bride must be present at the wedding – that is, as a general rule, marriages by proxy are not allowed.

Single status

Bigamy and polygamy are not allowed. An individual must be single, divorced, a widower or they must have obtained the annulment of any previous marriage.

If the marriage is solemnized in the United States:4 marriage requirements for the Green Card

Marriages and requirements are regulated by each states. Thus, you will have to comply with the law of your place of residence. You must take into account the following 4 requirements:


  • In certain cases, you will have to be a resident of the State where you intend to marry for a number of days before you can get married. This means that you can get married in some States where you are not a resident but not in other States. The most important thing that you must take into account is that, once the marriage has been celebrated abiding by the Law, it will be recognized by all States and, of course, by Immigration and the Federal Government.
  • You must be of legal age in order to get marry. If you are a minor, you will have to go through the Law of your State, since people 16 years old or older can marry in many States, but in others the person shall have the permission of their parents. For people younger than 16 years of age will need the permission of their parents to marry – and, in some cases, the permission of a judge.
  • If you wish to marry a cousin, you will have to go through your local Laws. This is because about half of the States prohibit it or establish hash conditions for it.
  • Common Law. In some states, the union of two people who have agreed to live together and present themselves as spouses is considered a valid marriage. This is possible if you live in Alabama, South Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah and the District of Columbia.


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