We serve immigration clients nationwide. Contact Us to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers today.

Most applicants for green cards come to the United States through family-sponsored visas. The National Immigration Forum reports that close relatives who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPR) sponsor almost half of new immigrants. In 1965, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) recognized it as the most common way people legally immigrate.

Family visas take priority over other categories, and if you recently married a U.S. citizen or LPR, applying for a green card is your next logical step. Your new commitment to a spouse is enhanced by the benefits of becoming a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. Our dedicated attorneys could guide your journey by helping with the process of filing a marriage-based green card petition in Berwyn.

Decoding a Spouse’s Eligibility for a Family Visa

As a spouse of a U.S. citizen or LPR, you have an edge over family preference groups because you are an immediate relative, whereas family preference immigrants are more distant relatives. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will want to vet your situation to ensure your marriage is legitimate because arranged marriages for immigration purposes have plagued the process in the past. You must ask yourself some questions before filing your marriage-based application:

  • If the country you were married in recognizes your marriage as legal
  • If you have proof such as leases or joint bank accounts that your marriage is legitimate
  • If you can provide proof that your spouse is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • If you or your spouse was previously married, you have proof that your current marriage is legitimate because the former spouse died or was divorced

The process may seem intrusive but an experienced attorney in Berwyn can instruct you about filing a marriage-based petition for a green card.

A Spouse’s Family Visa Requirements

If your family sponsor is your spouse, he or she must be a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident. You must fill out a USCIS application, submit to numerous screenings, including one for medical conditions and vaccines and others for criminal background checks. There is also an interview you must pass, and fees apply. Your spouse must be at least 18, or in some jurisdictions 21, and live in the U.S.

Your spouse sponsor must also file a petition with USCIS showing there is a family relationship and documenting his or her income requirements to show they can support you as a new resident. Background checks will be conducted to ascertain if the applicant is going to need public assistance. Berwyn-based attorneys can minimize the stress associated with filing for a marriage-backed green card.

The Interview with Immigration Authorities

Because some immigrants have paid Americans to marry them for citizenship in the past, the USCIS has become attuned to spotting sham marriages that disqualify you for family-based citizenship.

USCIS agents will delve into your relationship to ensure it is a legitimate marriage and you have plans for your future as a couple. They will ask many questions. If red flags pop up, you may be asked additional questions. Red flags include huge cultural differences, a very short courtship, and an expansive age gap.

Contact Our Berwyn Attorneys For Guidance On the Marriage-Based Green Card Process

When you are married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident but reside in a different country, you will want to do everything possible to be together. We can help you with that challenge. A spouse is a close family member and U.S. immigration visas recognize that unequivocally.

Families belong together, and as a nation built on immigrants’ strength, candor, and determination, our attorneys want you to feel welcome, and we want to make the immigration process as painless as possible. Call today to schedule a meeting and get started on the process of filing a marriage-based green card in Berwyn.

Lead Counsel Rated
Illinois State Bar Association
American Immigration Lawyers Association