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Marriage Based Green Card for Person Already in the US

A marriage-based green card is an official document issued by the U.S. government that allows a foreign national to live and work permanently in the United States. If you are approved for this type of visa, you will be able to remain in the country indefinitely, so long as you abide by all laws and regulations set forth by the government. Let’s take a closer look at what it takes to get a marriage-based green card.  

How to Apply for a Marriage-Based Green Card if you are already in the US 

If you are married to a US citizen, you may qualify for a marriage-based green card. This is a great way to gain permanent residence status in the US and open up pathways to citizenship. But, if you are already living in the United States, then some special considerations must be taken into account when applying for your marriage-based green card.

Let’s look at how to apply for a marriage-based green card if you are already living in the US. 

Requirements for Application- The process of applying for a marriage-based green card begins with filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The petitioner must include proof that they are legally married, as well as proof of their own US citizenship or legal permanent resident status. The petitioner must also provide evidence that any previous marriages were legally terminated before entering into their current marriage. Once this form is filed and approved, it can be forwarded to the National Visa Center which will issue instructions on how to submit further forms and documents required to complete the application process.
Filing Form I-485- Once the petition has been approved by USCIS, those applying from within the US will need to file Form I-485, Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with USCIS. This form will require detailed information about both applicants, such as biographical information (including birth dates and places of birth), criminal history, medical history, and employment history. In addition, applicants will also need to provide evidence of financial support and submit original copies of important documents such as birth certificates and passports. Once this form has been submitted and all necessary documents have been received by USCIS, an interview may be scheduled before a decision is made on whether or not to grant lawful permanent residence status via this marriage-based green card application process.
Financial Considerations- In addition to filing fees associated with each stage of the application process ($535 for Form I130; $1140 for Form I-485), applicants should also consider related expenses such as travel costs associated with attending interviews or obtaining documentation required in support of their applications (e.g., obtaining certified copies of birth certificates). It is always best practice to research estimated costs associated with the entire application process upfront so that there are no surprises down the road.  

Applying for a marriage-based green card while already residing in the United States requires careful planning and consideration of all fees associated with each step of the process – beginning with filing Form I-130 through completion of Form I-485 processing – as well as any additional related costs such as travel expenses associated with attending interviews or obtaining necessary documentation required in support of your application (such as Certified Copies of Birth Certificates). With careful preparation and attention paid to detail throughout this process – you can ensure that your Marriage-Based Green Card application runs smoothly.

The Application Process 

Once you have gathered all of the necessary documents and evidence needed for your application process, it’s time to submit everything electronically through USCIS’s online portal known as ELIS (Electronic Immigration System). You will then receive an email confirmation from USCIS when they have received your application materials and begun processing them accordingly. Typically it takes anywhere from 4-8 weeks before you will receive an official notice regarding whether or not you have been approved for a marriage-based green card; however, this can vary depending on each case’s circumstances so please keep this in mind throughout the process!

Advantages of Marriage-Based Green Cards for People already in the US 

For people already in the US and married to a US citizen, one of the best options for staying in the country is to apply for a Marriage-Based Green Card. This type of green card allows you to live and work legally in the United States without having to worry about deportation or other immigration issues.

No Need to Leave the Country to Apply – The most important benefit of applying for a Marriage-Based Green Card is that you don’t have to leave the United States while your application is pending. If you are not married to a US citizen and instead apply through your job or family member, you may be required to return home while your application is being processed. By applying through marriage, however, you can remain in the country throughout the entire process.  

Immediate Legal Status – Once your application has been approved and you have received your green card, you will have immediate legal status and can work, travel, and study in any state within the United States. Additionally, if you have any family members who are also in the process of applying for a green card, they may be able to join you more quickly as well.  

Access to Government Benefits – Once you have obtained your green card, certain government benefits become available such as food stamps, Medicaid/Medicare coverage, student loans, social security benefits, and more. Although it may take some time before these benefits kick in (depending on which state you currently reside in), they are still incredibly valuable resources that can help ease some of life’s financial burdens.
 As with everything relating to immigration law, persons interested in acquiring a Marriage-Based Green Card should see an expert attorney who can answer all of their concerns and help them through the whole process—from filing their petition to receiving their real green card. While there are numerous benefits to being allowed to stay lawfully in the United States with this form of visa, there are also specific standards that must be satisfied before permission is given; hence, applicants must understand what is expected of them before proceeding with their application.

Applicants can rest assured that their chances of successfully obtaining their green card will be significantly increased if they have a deep understanding of all the factors involved in obtaining a marriage-based green card and have received expert legal counsel from an experienced attorney at every stage of their journey.