This is also a tricky situation since immigration has very clear rules on eligibility for green cards and they are very harsh if people break those rules. Although there is no restriction to getting married while on a tourist visa, there are very clear restrictions on coming to the U.S. on a tourist visa with the intention of getting married and filing for a green card. Many probably have heard of the 90-day rule for tourist visa holders. Basically, the law will assume you had fraudulent intentions if you enter the U.S. and file for a green card within the first 90 days of entry. If this is the case, immigration could not only deny your green card request but could also cancel your existing visa.
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Pricing and Plans
- Completion of all applicable immigration forms
- Assembly of required support documentation
- Lawyer review of all forms and support documentation
- Text and email support
- Case status update online
- Interview Preparation Conference Call (30 minutes)
- Mailing service, we will print and assemble your filling according to government requirements. We will send your package to the assigned USCIS office
- Request for Evidence (RFE) Discount*
- Minor child application discount
* If you receive an RFE from USCIS, Our office can assist you with preparing and responding to the government request at a discounted rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Like with most immigration cases, the answer depends on the facts of the case, specifically, what crime was committed. Typically, a conviction of domestic violence will make a person ineligible to sponsor someone for the residency process. Clearly, this law is intended to prevent bad people from targeting and preying upon an unsuspecting individual overseas for abuse or exploitation.
There is no waiting period in place for a marriage-based green card request. There is, however, a two-year requirement in place for certain marriage green card processes. This requirement, however, applies not to the eligibility of the applicant to file or even receive a green card, but to certain applicants who are granted “conditional residency” by filing their petition within the first 2 years of their marriage. All that is required to remove this condition and to receive a full 10-year green card is for the couple to prove they are still legitimately married after the first 2 years of residency.
Essentially, anything that can show the government you are more than just friends. The best documents are those that prove you are living together and share financial obligations. Proving that you are in a strong relationship can also be done by providing evidence of trips together, and providing snapshots of your relationship history (such as text messages or social media posts). Pictures of trips taken together are also very helpful, but even better are pictures of holiday events with other family members.
The answer depends on both the length of the relationships involved as well as the age of the children. First, the child must be under 21 years of age to be eligible for sponsorship immediately with their parent. If the child is not included in the initial process (maybe they decided to stay in their home country rather than relocate with their parent), the U.S. sponsor can file the paperwork later to sponsor the child, but will need to provide information about the relationship between the child and the step-parent.
If the child is over 21 or it is not possible to prove any true relationship with the U.S. sponsor, the child will need to wait for their parent to become a legal permanent resident first and then for that parent to sponsor their child directly. The advantage of this process is that there are no issues qualifying for the green card since the relationship between parent and child is easy to prove, usually with a birth certificate.
Immediately! One of the most common misconceptions out there is that an immigrant must wait at least 2 years after their marriage to apply for a green card. There is no truth to this. While it may be a bit easier to get approval after years of marriage, legally a filing can be submitted immediately after the wedding.
The required documents for a marriage green card are different depending on the history of the sponsor and immigrant. Generally speaking, the government requires proof that the sponsor and immigrant are in a “bona fide” marital relationship. There are many documents that can help prove this to the government. Some of the universally required documents are as follows: proof that the sponsor is a U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident; a copy of the marriage certificate; and evidence that the sponsoring spouse can financially support the immigrant spouse.
Since there are a number of ways to get a green card, the timeline for each method is different. Generally speaking, a marriage-based green card process can last as little as 10 months or as many as 3 years. Much depends on whether the process is in the U.S. or abroad as well as the country of origin.
Since the green card process can be very different for each applicant, the total cost will also vary. Government fees for marriage-based green cards in the U.S. are $1,760 and around $1,200 if the spouse lives abroad. Besides government fees, there are also costs for medical exams and document delivery services depending on the country and the U.S. embassy
To be eligible for a marriage-based green card, the applicant must have a U.S. financial sponsor who is always the sponsoring spouse, but may also include a co-sponsor. These sponsors will agree (certify) that their annual income is at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (or only 100% for military sponsors). The exact minimum income required depends completely on the size of the family and the number of dependents on income tax returns. For a couple with no children or other dependents, the minimum needed income for 2022 is $22,887.
The final step in the marriage-based green card process is the interview. Depending on whether your process is inside the U.S. or abroad, the interview will be either alone or with your spouse. Depending on the interview location, the government agent will focus on slightly different things. In the U.S., the officer’s primary goal is to assess the authenticity of the marriage and most questions will be about the relationship as well as daily activities and future plans as a married couple. While at the embassy, questions relate to the relationship, but also a fair amount about the immigrants' past immigration history and livelihood in their home country.
Depending on the type of criminal history a person has, there may be no effect on their green card process or it is possible the history could be a complete deal-breaker for them. Because of this, it is recommended that a person with any sort of criminal history consult with an immigration attorney to discover if you will be able to continue with your process. Please click the following link to be put in touch with Attorney Lee L. Marvin to further discuss your situation and how you can move forward. Just because your situation isn’t right for our online services, does not mean we cannot still help you!
An RFE (Request for Evidence) is the government’s method for obtaining additional documents or evidence needed to make a decision on a case. It is very common to receive these requests and most cases will eventually receive one prior to an interview or approval. If you receive an RFE for your case, Immigration will tell you exactly what you need to do. If you are confused and need additional assistance with an RFE, we would be happy to help put you in touch with one of Attorney Lee L. Marvin to help. Please click on the following link.
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