Married a United States citizen can I get a green card?

The good news is, if you have married a United States citizen, you will be given preferential treatment in the green card process. It should be easier for you to enter the United States to live and work permanently.

Consider, however, if you choose to file an I-130 fraudulently you could be deported and banned from reentering the United States for a period of time. For instance, if you are already married and your spouse entered the United States on a tourist visa they may need to return to their home country and file the right visa to reenter the United States. Talk to an immigration lawyer if you have questions.

Basic requirement to receive an I-130 marriage include:

If you are going to file an I-130 visa certain requirements must be met. For instance, the petitioner of the I-130 visa must be a United States citizen and they must be at least 18 years of age and have permanent residence in the United States. If they live abroad, they may request a Direct Consular Filing to receive a marriage based visa. Finally, the petitioner cannot be already married.

All proper forms must be completed and submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service with proper payment. Money orders or personal checks are accepted. In the I-130 packet you should include a cover letter with a table of contents identifying everything in the packet, including the Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Also include a copy of the full birth certificate for the United States citizen or a copy of their passport, proof of naturalization (if applicable) and proof of petitioner’s proof of permanent residency (if applicable). Next, include a copy of the immigrant’s birth certificate (and English translation), and a copy of the certified marriage certificate.

What happens after the petition is received reviewed? - After review, the information is sent to the National Visa Center where additional information is requested. The United State Embassy with jurisdiction will review the information and may hold a marriage interview.

You and your spouse will be expected to attend the marriage interview. A lawyer may also be present if desired. At the marriage interview the information in the application and the legitimacy of the marital union will be validated. If all goes well, the requesting spouse will be given a green card and be allowed to enter the United States. The green card may be conditional if the marriage is less than 2 years old.

What if I commit marriage fraud?

Many immigrants want to come to the United States, and it’s not unusual for some immigrants to take drastic measures, including committing marriage fraud, to achieve their goal. Because of this, immigration officials have become experts at spotting couples who are intentionally manipulating the system with the sole purpose of becoming a United States citizen. If you commit marriage fraud you will be charged with a crime. You will be sentenced to up to 5 years in prison, forced to pay a $250,000 fine and will eventually be removed from the United States. You also may be barred from ever immigrating to the United States.

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