Marriage is one of the fastest ways to get the Green Card, and it is also the most common way to do this.
- The Application Process
In the process of applying for the Green Card, government offices are involved and there are many forms to be filled. In general, there are two types of procedure: If the spouse lives abroad, the I-130 form and necessary documents must be sent to the USCIS. If the foreign spouse already lives in the U.S., he or she needs to adjust his or her legal status to the permanent resident status without leaving the United States. If the spouse’s status is illegal, this cannot be done.
- The Duration of the Process
This may vary from year to year.
- But I’m so in love I can’t wait!
When lovers are in different countries, waiting can be exasperating. These are some alternative options:
- Unmarried citizen: In this case, it is possible to request a fiancé visa, and get married in the U.S. This does not apply to resident boyfriends/girlfriends.
- Spouse of a citizen who wants to enter the U.S. on a tourist visa: once there, the American citizen requests his/her spouse’s papers as status adjustment. This can work out or it can be considered fraud.
- Traveling and Working While Waiting
Traveling and working are two things that need to be clear for the non-resident.
The best thing to do is not to travel abroad until you get all your papers. If you travel without an advance parole your entry may be denied, and the authorities will presume that you have given up the application for the Green Card.
Work permit. For spouses who can adjust their status in the U.S., it is possible to order a work permit. If permission is requested, this is granted before the adjustment. Therefore, you get a few months to work there legally.
- How Can I Be Sure That the Process Is Going Well?
You may not know about your case for weeks, even months. If the time to process the request has not come yet, you will not be able to know anything about it.
If the USCIS needs more information, they will send a Request for Evidence (RFE) to your lawyer (if you have one) or to the interested party. To avoid losing contact with Immigration, you should make sure to notify your change of address and that your full name is on your mailbox.
If you have not heard anything yet, and the regular processing period of time has already passed, you should contact the USCIS or the National Visa Center or the InfoPass service.