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United States Green Card by Marriage

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Marriage and Green Card Tips and Advice

Marrying a U.S citizen is often seen as a fast track approach to obtaining a Green Card. It entitles the holder of the card to live and work in the United States. The reality is much more complicated. The process of is long and complicated, it requires filing numerous forms, and submitting to scrutiny and interviews. Hiring an immigration attorney is an essential part of the process. An attorney will save time, effort, and potential legal ramifications.

The United States Citizenship Services (USCIS) are trained to weed out fraudulent applications. A couple caught in a fraudulent scheme risks arrest, penalties, and possible jail time. The foreign-born spouse will be deported and lose the possibility of ever applying again.
A U.S. citizen may sponsor their foreign spouse for permanent residency. Once the application is approved the non-citizen spouse is granted a Green Card entitling the spouse to live and work permanently in the United States. The spouse of a U.S. citizen is considered an “immediate relative.”

The The Process for Brining Your the Fiance to the United States

The U.S citizen files Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiance) on behalf of the fiancé. In order for the petition to be approved the following criteria have to be fulfilled. (1) Proof that the marriage will take place within 90 days after the fiancé enters the United States. (2) Proof that both the sponsoring spouse and the fiancé are free to marry. (3) The couple must meet in person within two years before filing the petition. There are a couple of exceptions to rule. The filing fees for all the forms may well exceed $1000.

After Form 1-129 is approved the USCIS sends the approval to the National Visa Center; The U.S. consulate in the home country of the fiancé invite to apply for fiancé visa. The application process requires a medical examination. The U.S. sponsoring spouse will be required to file forms proving the financial means of supporting the fiancé. Once the fiancé is approved she or he is issued a 90 day visa. The U.S. citizen and fiancé must marry within 90 days.

Applying for a Green Card

After the wedding, the foreign spouse can apply for permanent residency in the United States. The basic procedure requires filing Form 1-485 which the Application for Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status.

Tips to Remember

(1) Marry your foreign-born fiancé in the United States. This is the best strategy to follow because it substantially speeds up the process.

(2) Make the application in the United States after the wedding ceremony. Hold a wedding reception with lots of guests, hold a religious ceremony if appropriate, and hire a wedding photographer to takes lots of pictures. All of these steps will make a more persuasive case that the couple are legitimate and not fraudulent. It also helps to have joint assets such as bank accounts, credit cards, and tax returns.

(3) After submitting the application the spouse will be called in for fingerprints and interviews. The most important thing to remember is to always tell the truth. The questions will cover a variety of details about the marriage, about the U.S spouse, The point of the interview is to decide if the marriage is legitimate or fraudulent. An inadvertent or intentional misstatement of misrepresentation of the facts can lead to a denial of the card as well as a possible ban for future applications. It may have legal repercussion as well such as arrest, financial penalties, imprisoned and deportation. Stay calm, answer questions as carefully and truthfully as possible. Ask for clarification if a question in unclear or ambiguous.

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