Welcome to The Ranchod Law Group Website. Here you will find general information about marriage-based green cards, one of our most popular types of cases. We have a considerable amount of experience in this field.
Marriage based green cards are not issued automatically
People think that if you get married, you’re going to get a green card, but it’s important to note that approval is not automatic just by getting married. You have to go through, actually, quite laborious steps to get your green card. Immigration officers will scrutinize your application to ensure that you have a real marriage and that your application will not obtain immigration benefits.
Filling a marriage-based green card application
Let’s examine the marriage-based green card application. First of all, you need to apply with the USCIS and produce a host of forms. Some of those forms are the I-864 affidavit of support, and there you demonstrate that you can support your spouse, who’s from another country. You must prove that you’re 125% above the poverty guidelines.
What do you do if you’re not above the poverty guidelines?
You can get a joint sponsor. You may also be able to use assets in certain circumstances as well. You must submit form I-130, then the G-325 forms, the I-131, and the I-485 and the I-765. These are some of the forms that you submit in the marriage-based green card application.
Documents for a marriage-based green card application
It would be best if you also produced a host of documents. We are going to list some of the most important documents you should prepare for your green card application:
- if you are divorced, produce copies of your divorce decree;
- you want to have the judgment, so you don’t want to have the notice of entry of judgment. That’s where many people make mistakes;
- copy of the certified copy of the marriage certificate — and not the wall-hanger! Make sure it’s an actual copy of the certified copy or the real certified copy itself;
- birth certificate;
- passport photos for both of you;
- medical examination from a designated USCIS physician.
Those are some of the most important documents that you will need with your green card application. However, there are more documents that you’ll need than that. Contact our office for an updated, complete list of documents.
How long does a green card application take?
This question is a very popular one that we get from people interested in green card applications: How long will it take?
Generally, it takes anywhere — we get cases sometimes approved as fast as three months, and then sometimes it will take as long as twelve months. Based on experience, an average green car approval timing is around four to seven months, but that also changes, depending upon the government’s backlogs and processing times are always changing. Contact our office for an update on green card approval timelines.
So, let’s go back to the first step: You apply with the USCIS, then after that, you’re going to get a receipt notice, usually within a month. Then, the USCIS will issue a fingerprinting notice, which is also called “biometrics” notice. They will take your fingerprints and take a photo of you. The office will then run an FBI background check, make sure you don’t have a criminal record.
If you have ANY criminal issue, you need to contact an attorney because it’s very serious. A criminal record could cause you to be removed, depending upon the type of crime you have, and I would not want you to apply for a green card if you have something that makes you removable.
Even if it’s not going to make you removable, you need to make sure that you present your application in the right manner and provide the correct documents. Once you have the fingerprinting appointment, the last step is your interview. They usually give you about a month’s notice before they schedule the interview. The interview will evaluate and review the joint documents you provide and your affidavit of support documents to ensure you qualify for the green card. They will establish that you have a real relationship, meet the affidavit of support requirements, and don’t meet any other inadmissibilities that would make you ineligible for the green card.
Within months after that interview, you should get an answer and then get the green card!
Married less than two years, you will receive a conditional green card
If you have been married for less than two years, you will receive a conditional green card. That means you need to remove the conditions after a year and nine months to get your permanent green card.
You can apply for citizenship after two years and nine months through marriage, and if you’re not married, you will get citizenship usually four years and nine months after applying.
This is the marriage-based green card application in a nutshell! We hope this information is helpful.
Call us at (916) 613-3553 if you have additional questions or use the contact form on this page, and we will contact you to examine your specific case.