If you are married to a US citizen, you may be able to get a green card. This is through a process called adjustment of status, which allows you to get a green card while staying in the United States.
To obtain a green card, you must prove that you currently have, and have always been a person of good moral character. A USCIS officer can consider any prior criminal charges you have, even if they did not result in a conviction. Even an arrest can make your adjustment of status application much more complex and difficult.
What does a Green Card Do?
As a green card holder, you are allowed to permanently live and work in the United States.
Who is Eligible for a Marriage-Based Green Card?
To be eligible for adjustment of status, you must be legally married, and prove that your marriage is bona fide. This means that you must convince USCIS that your marriage is real and authentic, and that you did not just get married for immigration purposes.
You must also:
- Have entered the country legally;
- Have a good moral character;
- Have a financial co-sponsor who makes enough money willing to sign paperwork to sponsor you;
- Not fall under any bans from adjustment of status;
- Other various factors your immigration attorney can discuss with you
How Do I Prove My Bona Fide Marriage?
With your adjustment of status application, you should also send in your proof of your bona fide marriage. Proof of a bona fide marriage includes various documents that prove that you and your spouse live together, and commingle funds.
This can include:
- Apartment Lease with Both Spouses Listed
- Bank Statement with Both Spouses Listed
- Affidavits from People Familiar with Your Relationship
This can be complicated if you and your spouse don’t live together. I have assisted clients in getting green cards if they live apart, sometimes even states away, because of college or family obligations.
After your application has been submitted and processed, you will also be asked to go in for an interview. At this point, USCIS officers may separate you from your spouse. They will then ask you questions about your relationship to confirm that the marriage is bona fide.
I typically help my clients prepare for their immigration interview. This can involve going over previous questions I’ve seen asked and getting a flavor for the interview process. I can also attend the interview with you as well.
Getting a green card requires a lot of preparation. You need a lot of documents and to prepare forms. It’s very easy to make a mistake on these forms, risking your legal status in the country, and potentially costing you thousands of dollars.
What Could Prevent Me From Adjusting Status?
Typically, being married to a US citizen qualifies you to get a green card. However, there may be some complications if you:
- have a criminal record
- entered the country illegally
- violated your visa (by working without authorization or overstaying).
You should hire an immigration attorney to help you if any of these apply to you. I have assisted clients with these complications in getting green cards.
If you’re married to a US citizen and looking to get a green card, hiring an attorney is crucial. There are many factors that go into whether or not you will be granted an adjustment of status, and I have helped many people get a green card. I always try to make the process run as smoothly as possible, and I’d be glad to help with your marriage-based green card.
The process is complicated and requires a lot of paperwork. I simplify it by having an easy checklist for documents I will need, as well as an online questionnaire for you to fill out with the information I need.
Call or text me today at (617) 295-7500 and let’s get started on your application!