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Legal » Immigration » Marrying-usa-citizen-051020
Marrying a USA citizen?

Sudhir Shah Sudhir Shah
A Member of American Immigration Lawyers Association of USA and a practicing Lawyer of Mumbai. He is an expert on USA Immigration Laws. He provides guidance on how to prepare, apply and obtain a visa to travel to the USA upon marrying someone residing there.

Marriage with a USA citizen puts you in the Immediate Relative Category. To invite an alien as Immediate Relative there are no quota restrictions. Thus, it becomes possible to travel to USA within few months upon marrying a USA citizen. If you are desirous of marrying a USA citizen, you are also eligible to enter USA on a fiancé, K-1 visa and marry that USA citizen within 90 days upon entering USA and thereafter, stay in USA and adjust your status there as a permanent resident. As against this, upon marrying a permanent resident of USA i.e. a green card holder, you can only travel to USA upon the Petition under Family 2A Preference Category becoming current. Quota numbers restricts these petitions and the present waiting period for Indians is as long as 5 years.

The procedure to receive Green Card based upon marriage with a USA Citizen or a Green Card holder however is same and is described herein below:
  • After Marriage USA citizen / Green Card files I-130 Petition with USCIS.
  • Upon approval, Petition forwarded to National Visa Center (NVC).
  • NVC sends Form I-864, Affidavit of Support to US Citizen / Green card Holder.
  • US Citizen / Green Card Holder fills form I-864 and sends to NVC.
  • Upon approval of Form I-864, NVC sends packet III Forms to the foreign spouse and Petition to the overseas Consulate.
  • Foreign spouse fills Packet III Forms and sends to Consulate.
  • Foreign spouse called for fingerprinting.
  • Fingerprints compared with FBI records.
  • Foreign spouse received Packet IV and appointment for interview.
  • Foreign spouse fills packet IV Forms and gives interview with supporting documents.
  • Additional proofs may be asked.
  • Upon application of foreign spouse being approved, immigrant visas issued.
  • Foreign spouse must enter US within six months.
  • Foreign spouse issued two years conditional green card.
  • Joint Petition Form I-751 must be filed between 21st and 24th month.
  • Both spouses interviewed.
  • Permanent green card issued. If refused removal proceedings initiated.
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