There are certain goals in life for which you have to wait and you don’t have an idea for how long. Green Card is one of those dreams millions wished for. You get a chance, you apply and once it is processed, you cannot wait for more to hold the permanent resident status in your hands.
For getting a green card you have to go through a legal process, and you must wait a bit long for the completion of that process. You can get a green card in different ways based on its categories.
The most common way practiced to get a green card is through marriage. Marrying a US citizen makes you eligible for permanent resident of the US. However, there is no limit to the people applying for the green card through marriage as it was in the case of green card lottery.
Application and Duration
The marriage based green card can be obtained by following the three step process:
In starting up the process for getting the green card through marriage, you must file I-130 form to USCIS along with the relevant documentation which includes petitioner’s birth certificate, naturalization certificate, US green card or passports, photographs, marriage certificate, joint lease or homeownership, joint bank account, and other related documents to prove the legitimacy of their relationship.
After completion and submission of the I-130 form to USCIS through the mail, the sponsor will receive a notice within 2 weeks.
In case of requirement of any additional information or proofs, the sponsor will receive the Request for Evidence from USCIS within 2-3 months and in between 7-15 months, the sponsor will be notified about the approval or denial of his/her application.
After that your application is approved the next step is fulfilling certain requirements to be eligible for marriage base green card depending upon whether you are outside the premises of the US or you are residing inside the US.
For the applicants residing in US
If you are spouse is residing in US and you are sponsoring him/her for green card you have to file I-485 form through USCIS to make them eligible for permanent residence. Moreover if the sponsor is US citizen they can file I-485 with I-30 form concurrently that will take about 9-11 months.
For the applicants outside the US
You should apply for a marriage green card through the US consulate in your home country. You have to fill the DS-260 form for the further process with the relevant documents that include proof of your spouse’s nationality, police clearance certificate for the spouse, proof that the sponsor can financially support the spouse in the US, and other related certificates. US consulates upon receiving your application call you for a visa interview. There your request for an immigrant visa will be approved or denied based on the fulfillment of your requirements. This process takes 3-5 months to be completed.
The final step for getting permanent resident in the US is interview. It takes place usually 3 months after your marriage green card is filed. So it is important to prepare yourself for the interview or you may experience a denial in your application if you are unable to provide and present the proper information that is needed.
Following the above process for getting a marriage-based green card will take quite a long time however some applicants might get over within 10 months and for some it may take even 30-38 months also. So in between the 10-38 months process, you might get permanent residency in the United States.