Marriage Based Green Card
A marriage green card allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder to live and work anywhere in the United States. To qualify for a marriage green card, your marriage must be legal and officially recognized in the country in which it took place. To prove this, you must provide a marriage certificate and evidence that any prior marriages have been legally terminated through annulment, divorce, or death. The first step in getting a green card through marriage is to submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The main purpose of Form I-130, is to establish that a valid marriage exists. Some important elements of a complete I-130 filing include:
- Filing fee of $535
- Proof that the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen (copy of the sponsor's birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or U.S. passport) or permanent resident (copy of the sponsor's green card)
- Proof of a legal marriage existing (marriage certificate)
- Proof the marriage is not fraudulent (joint bank account statements, and picture together)
- Proof that any previous marriage of either spouse has been terminated (divorce document or death certificate)
If you and your spouse have been married for less than two years, then the spouse will receive a conditional green card which is valid for only two years. In the 90-day period before the expiration date of the condition green card, the couple must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence to obtain a permanent green card. Upon filing this form, USCIS will re-evaluate the couple's marriage to ensure it is authentic. If you and your spouse have been married for more than ten years, then the spouse will receive a permanent green card which is valid for ten years. The process to renew a permanent green card is simple and doesn't require USCIS to ensure the authenticity of the marriage again.