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What is the Process Like to Obtain a Family or Marriage Green Card/Residency?

There are three different procedures depending upon the status of the petitioner, their relationship with the beneficiary and individual circumstances of the applicants. Navigating through each stage requires the skill and guidance of an experienced marriage green card lawyer or family immigration lawyer.

Local US Immigration Service office process:

Stage One:

  • Prepare and file the appropriate forms and supporting documents with the local U.S. Immigration Service office
    1. Form G-28
    2. Form I-181 (if required by the local U.S. Immigration Service office)
    3. Form I-130
    4. Form I-131
    5. Form G-325-petitioner
    6. Form G-325-beneficiary
    7. Form I-485
    8. Form I-485 A (only if beneficiary requires benefits under the former 245(i) law)
    9. Form I-864 (Petitioner)
    10. Form I-864 (Additional Sponsor if petitioner’s income doesn’t qualify). This should be accompanied with evidence of citizenship or legal permanent residency
    11. Form I-765
    12. Form IRS-9003
    13. Form I-693 (medical examination by a USCIS approved doctor)
  • Obtain an Employment Authorization Document (Work Authorization Card) from the U.S. Immigration Service if desired

Stage Two:

  • Appear at the U.S. Immigration Service support center for fingerprints on date scheduled by the U.S. Immigration Service
  • Prepare for the U.S. Immigration Service interview if one is required and submit documents in support of the petition to the U.S. Immigration Service
  • Appear at the U.S. Immigration Service office for an interview and obtain legal permanent residence (spouses of U.S. Citizens get a conditional legal permanent residence if marriage is less than 2 years on date of interview)

Stage Three (for conditional residency only):

  • If granted conditional permanent residency the alien must submit an additional petition to the U.S. Immigration Service 90 days prior to the expiration of the conditional residency
  • Please remember to contact us 6 months before the expiration of your conditional residency in order to have enough time to gather all the documentation required to prepare this petition.

The US Immigration Service Center process:

Stage One:

  • Prepare and file the appropriate forms and supporting documents with the regional USCIS Service center
    1. Form G-28
    2. Form I-130
    3. Form G-325-petitioner
    4. Form G-325-beneficiary
    5. Supporting documents
  • Obtain approved I-130 petition

Stage Two:

  • Wait for green card availability (according to priorities specified in eligibility section)
  • When a visa is available file I-485 (adjustment of status) petition with the local U.S. Immigration Service office
    1. Form I-485
    2. Form I-485 A (only if beneficiary did not enter with a valid Visa)
    3. Form I-864 (Petitioner)
    4. Form I-864 (Additional Sponsor if petitioner’s income doesn’t qualify). This should be accompanied with evidence of citizenship or legal permanent residency
    5. Form I-765
    6. Form I-693 (a medical examination by a U.S. Immigration Service approved doctor)
  • Apply for work authorization (Work Authorization Card) if desired
  • Appear at the U.S. Immigration Service support center for fingerprints on date scheduled by the U.S. Immigration Service
  • Prepare for the U.S. Immigration Service interview if one is required and submit documents in support of the petition to the U.S. Immigration Service
  • Appear at the U.S. Immigration Service office for an interview and obtain legal permanent residence (spouses of U.S. Citizens get a conditional legal permanent residence if marriage is less than 2 years on date of interview)

Stage Three:

  • If granted conditional U.S. residency through marriage or family, the alien must submit an additional petition to the USCIS 90 days prior to the expiration of the conditional residency
  • Please remember to contact us 6 months before the expiration of your conditional residency in order to have enough time to gather all documentation required to prepare this petition.
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