Green Card Marriage Application Guide
IMPORTANT: The sponsoring spouse (legally married husband or wife) can be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder). If the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen, you should download the application guide on this page. However, if the sponsoring spouse is a Green Card holder, you should download the “Green Card Through Marriage to Green Card Holder Application Guide”.
The Green Card through Marriage Application Guide is an easy to understand, step-by-step immigration marriage guide to help you file your Green Card application as efficiently and quickly as possible. If the foreign national is currently outside the United States, it is possible to obtain a K-1 Fiancé Visa so the individual can come to the United States to marry the U.S. citizen.
- Start Application Immediately
- Easy to Understand Instructions
- Apply Online or by Mail
- Pricing and Fee Information Included
- Checklist of Required Documents
- Unlimited Online Support
Marriage Green Card Guide
- Green Card Marriage overview
- How to apply if the marriage takes place in the United States
- How to apply if the marriage takes place outside of the United States
- Sample Green Card through Marriage interview questions and answers
- How to remove the 2-year Conditional Residence Status
- How to apply for a temporary work authorization to allow employment while the Green Card Marriage Application is being processed
- Eligibility Information
- List of Required Documents
- Information on Filing Fees
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- List of USCIS Offices Nationwide
- Green Card Marriage Interview Questions
- Marriage Green Card Timeline
Obtaining Green Card through Marriage
To obtain a US Green Card through marriage, the process begins with the US citizen or permanent resident spouse filing an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form establishes the qualifying relationship. However, the process varies depending on whether the sponsoring spouse is a US citizen or a Green Card holder:
- Marriage to a US Citizen: After the I-130 petition is approved, an immigrant visa number is immediately available. The foreign spouse can adjust their status to a permanent resident while in the US or apply for an immigrant visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad. Here is the detailed guide on Green Card through Marriage to a US citizen.
- Marriage to a Green Card Holder: Unlike marrying a US citizen, the foreign spouse will have to wait until a visa number becomes available before adjusting their status or applying for an immigrant visa. This could mean waiting for a few years. Here is the complete guide for a Green card through a marriage to a Green Card holder.
Both processes require the submission of additional forms for background and medical checks. The couple must also provide evidence of a bona fide marriage, including proof of shared finances, cohabitation, and possibly photographs and affidavits from third parties. The final step is an interview conducted by a USCIS officer.
Download Green Card Marriage Application Guide for more information
Green Card through Marriage Applications are excluded from all numerical quota limitations:
In the US immigration system, spouses of US citizens are bestowed with a significant benefit; they fall under the category of “immediate relatives.” This classification removes them from the standard numerical restrictions that apply to many other visa categories. To contextualize, the US issues over a million Green Cards each year, but the vast majority of these are subject to strict numerical caps. These quotas often result in extensive waiting times for hopeful applicants.
However, when it comes to marriage, the system is much more generous. Each year, over 450,000 US citizens marry foreign-born individuals and successfully petition for their spouses’ permanent residency. In these cases, there’s no need to wait for a visa number to become available post-petition approval. The lack of a numerical cap ensures that there is no backlogging of applications or prolonged waiting periods. Therefore, an unlimited number of Green Cards are available for foreign nationals marrying US citizens, facilitating a smoother, more direct pathway to permanent residency.