Imagine waking up to the promise of a bright future, one where you can live, work, and build a life with the person you love most in the world – right here in the United States. For many, this American dream seems elusive. Yet, for those who have tied the knot with a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, this dream can be a reality. Yes, through marriage, you can navigate the path towards getting a green card and ultimately, American citizenship. At the American Dream® Law Office, we’re your committed partners in this journey, ready to guide you every step of the way.
Firstly, you should know that a green card gives you the legal status of a permanent resident in the U.S., opening the door to citizenship down the line. The marriage-based path to a green card is not a guarantee and requires strict adherence to the rules and processes set by the U.S. government.
The Initial Petition: Form I-130
The process starts with your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse filing a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This is essentially a request to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to recognize the relationship between you two. It is critical to ensure this form is filled out accurately and submitted with all necessary documentation, including a marriage certificate and proof that the marriage is bona fide or genuine.
Adjusting Your Status: Form I-485
After the I-130 petition is approved, the next step for spouses already in the U.S. is to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. If you’re living abroad, the U.S. Department of State will guide you through visa processing.
The Importance of the Interview
One key part of this process is the interview, which both spouses must attend. The purpose of this interview is to confirm the authenticity of the marriage. Our attorney will prepare you thoroughly for this critical meeting, guiding you on the kind of questions you might be asked and advising on any potential challenges.
After the Green Card Approval
On approval of the green card, you will become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. If your marriage is less than two years old at the time of approval, you will receive a conditional green card valid for two years. To remove these conditions and obtain a permanent green card, you’ll need to file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, within the 90-day period before your conditional green card expires.
Remember, the journey doesn’t end with a green card. This is just a step towards potential U.S. citizenship, a process we can guide you through when the time is right.
American Dream® Law Office: Guiding You Home
Our approach at the American Dream® Law Office is one of personalized attention and dedication. We understand how important this journey is to you and we’re here to help make the dream of living and working in America a reality.
For help applying for citizenship after gaining permanent residence in Florida or anywhere in the country, contact the American Dream® Law Office, PLLC. The firm’s staff speaks English, Spanish, and Arabic. Call today at (813) 499-1250 or complete the online form to schedule a strategy session with an experienced immigration attorney.