Green Card Marriage – getting a green card through your spouse
Among all the green card holders and applicants, one of the largest types are those who apply through family. These include those whose parents or children are US citizens or permanent residents. People who apply for green card through marriage also fall into this category. In fact, it could be said that applications for green card on the basis of marriage is one of the most common. However, it is important that you know all about this and that you know how to go about this.
In order to be able to apply for a green card on the account of marriage, your spouse needs to be either a US citizen or a permanent resident. The first step in getting the marriage green card is for your spouse to fill in the I-130 USCIS form or the Petition for Alien relative. They will show that you are married to them this way. Then, they also need to prove that they are willing and able to sponsor you so that you do not become a burden to the US taxpayers. This is done by them filling the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support. In order for them to be able to do this, they need to have a regular income that is 125% of the national poverty level. The good news is that even if this is not the case, you can find a co-sponsor who will be willing to make up for the missing part.
One very important thing to remember about green card marriage and about getting a green card based on being married to a lawful US resident is the fact that there are numerous cases in which people engage in fake marriage in order to get a green card. Because of this, the United States Immigration and Citizenship Services will conduct an interview or a series of interviews during which they will determine if your marriage is real or if it is a sham. For those who are in a real marriage, these interviews should not be a problem, but it is always best to be prepared just to be on the safe side.
First of all, when you are coming in for the marriage interview, you need to make sure you have brought all the needed paperwork, documents, photos and so on. You will need to bring in the essential documents, such as driver’s license, current and previous passports, birth certificates for your spouse and you as well, the marriage certificate and any of the documents that show name changes. If you have a criminal record, you also need to bring copies of the court disposition and the charging document. If any of these documents should be in a language that is not English, make sure that you have certified and stamped translations, official translations.
It is also a good idea to bring additional, non-essential proof that you are married. Photos of you and your spouse together over extended periods of time and in various locations is a good indication of a real marriage, as well as phone records showing calls and text messages, joint credit cards, joint taxes and bank statements, admissions for various events that show you went together, all of this can contribute greatly.
The first green card marriage interview will be a more general one during which you and your spouse will be asked questions about each other, about your marriage and about various activities that you have engaged in together. They will also probably ask you if you have met their relatives, what their names are, where you met them and so on. You might also be described to describe your wedding, how the two of you met and so on. If you are not sure that your English is good enough, it can be a good idea to bring in a translator.
Your second interview will be more arduous and the questions will be somewhat more difficult. This interview is done separately, with you and your spouse answering questions that can only be answered by someone who know each other well and who are obviously married. You might be asked to describe various events, your spouse’s preferences, what they like and what they do not like, in essence, the basic stuff only a spouse would know.
Once you pass the interview and you prove that you are married, you need to wait for a visa number to become available (in most cases you will not even have to wait for it); then you fill out the I-485 form which is the actual application for permanent residence and that is it. You get your green card and you become a permanent US resident.