Determining the green card process depends on whether the noncitizen spouse is in the U.S or not. If he or she is in the U.S. it is possible they can utilize a process called “adjustment of status”. Otherwise, if they can’t use this process the noncitizen spouse is required to immigrant visa process. If adjustment of status is possible, this is often referred to as a “one-step” process because all applications are filed at the same time. Whereas the immigrant visa process requires at least 3 stages and working with 3 different government offices.
Knowing whether or not you can go through “adjustment of status” is therefore important because marriage does not automatically confer a green card. First, the marriage must be proven to be a bona fide marriage. Procuring a green card by marriage to a U.S. citizen is a very complex procedure that must be followed, particularly for those who are applying for a green card within 2 years of their marriage. Of course, there are inadmissibility issues that must be considered when dealing with this process.
It is important to note that even a green card holder spouse may sponsor a noncitizen spouse for a green card. It may take a little longer but this is also a viable path toward lawful residency for the noncitizen spouse.
Learn more about the immigration services provided by Philip Levin & Associates.