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Marriage Based Green Card

The marriage-based green card grants lawful permanent residency status to foreign nationals who marry a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) living in the United States. The individual applying for this type of visa must prove that their marriage is real and not just for immigration purposes. A successful application will result in obtaining permanent residency status, meaning that the individual can live permanently in the U.S., work legally, travel freely, receive public benefits, and eventually become eligible for citizenship. 


When you are married to a US citizen, you may be eligible for a marriage-based green card. Moreover, after five years of permanent residency (or three years if married to a U.S. citizen), you can petition for naturalized citizenship, which will grant you full voting rights in America. However, it is important to note that there are many requirements associated with obtaining such visas/adjustment statuses so please be sure to consult an experienced immigration attorney before applying. 


Advantage of Marriage-Based Green Card 

The most obvious benefit of obtaining a marriage-based green card is that it grants the foreign-born spouse the right to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation or removal proceedings. 

Grants them access to government benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Furthermore, they can apply for financial aid for educational purposes and gain eligibility to become naturalized citizens after five years of being married to their U.S.-born partner and living in the country continuously as a legal permanent resident. 
Provides an opportunity for couples who have been separated by long distances due to immigration laws to finally reunite in the United States and build their lives together without fear of being separated again in the future because of legal issues regarding residence status. Furthermore, since there are no numerical limits on how many individuals can receive this type of visa each year, it eliminates any wait time associated with other types of visas available through employment sponsorships or family petitions which are subject to yearly quotas set by Congress every year.
Having a valid marriage-based green card allows individuals who entered the country illegally or overstayed their visas (or otherwise would not qualify for traditional immigrant visas) another pathway toward legal residency status if they fall under certain exceptions outlined by U.S immigration law such as being married to an American citizen at least two years before applying for adjustment status or having already been granted permission to stay permanently through an application process known as “cancellation of removal” before filing Form I-130 with USCIS.  These exceptions provide another avenue towards gaining legal residency status even if traditional routes are not available due to prior illegal contact with US authorities such as border crossings without authorization or overstaying tourist visa periods

The Process of Obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card 

The process of obtaining a marriage-based green card is relatively straightforward, but it can take several months or even years depending on the circumstances. First, your spouse must file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is an application that outlines the details of your relationship and demonstrates that your marriage is genuine. After submitting this form, USCIS will conduct interviews with both spouses to ensure that the relationship is not fraudulent. 


Once USCIS has approved your I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, you can apply for a marriage-based immigrant visa at either an American embassy or consulate abroad or via adjustment of status if you are already living in the United States on another visa type (such as a student visa). The application will require detailed information about both spouses including financial documents, birth certificates, tax returns, and other records verifying your identity and relationship status. You may also need to pass medical exams before being granted the visa or adjustment of status. 


Eligibility Requirements for Marriage-Based Green Card 


First, it is important to note that only those who are legally married will be considered eligible for a marriage-based green card. This includes those couples that were married in civil ceremonies or religious ceremonies, as well as those couples who entered into common law marriages in certain states that recognize them. In addition, both parties must be legally free to marry – meaning they must not already be married to anyone else. Additionally, any prior marriages must have been terminated before the current marriage took place through a divorce or the death of the prior spouse. 


It is also important to note that same-sex partners are eligible for this type of visa if they have been legally married in their home country or any other country where same-sex marriages are recognized by law. However, there are some countries where same-sex marriages are not recognized and thus such couples may not be eligible for this type of visa. Therefore, it is important to check with your local immigration office about whether this applies to your particular case before applying for a marriage-based green card. 


The sponsoring partner (U.S citizen or Permanent Resident) must also meet certain criteria to sponsor their spouse’s visa application – including passing criminal background checks and demonstrating financial stability through proof of income or assets. In addition, any evidence demonstrating the bona fide nature of the relationship is essential – such as joint bank accounts and bills, and photos together. Supporting documentation will need to be provided along with each step of the process from providing proof of being legally able to marry, demonstrating the bona fide nature of the relationship, and passing medical tests and criminal background checks.


Lastly, both spouses must appear together at all interviews/appointments related to the application process if required by USCIS/Immigration Office so that they can answer questions about their relationship together in person if necessary when requested by USCIS/Immigration Office personnel during the processing stage. 


Meeting these requirements will result in obtaining a Marriage based Green Card allowing them entry into the USA with the right Live & Work Permanently as well as the right to apply for US Citizenship after 3 years residence period once all eligibility requirements have been satisfied fully during those 3 years post receiving Marriage-Based Green Card status from USCIS/Immigration Office authorities successfully.  


How Does it Differ from Other Types of Immigrant Visas? 

The other four main types of immigrant visas are employment-based visas, family preference visas, special immigrant visas, and diversity visas (also known as lottery visas). While all five types of visas can lead to permanent residency status, there are several key differences between them.


For example, with an employment-based visa, an individual must have an employer who sponsors them; with a family preference visa, they must have qualifying relatives in the U.S.; with special immigrant visas they must meet certain criteria, and with a diversity visa, they must enter through a lottery system. In contrast, with marriage-based green cards, there are no specific requirements other than being married to someone who holds citizenship or LPR status in the United States. 


All five types of immigrant visas can lead to legal permanent residence status but each has its own set of requirements that applicants must meet before being approved for the visa. Marriage-based green cards are among the most common types of immigrant visas as they require only proof that you’re married to someone who holds citizenship or LPR status in the United States and does not involve any additional criteria like other types of immigration do.


If you’re interested in applying for a marriage-based green card, make sure to consult an experienced attorney who can guide you through every step of your application process.