What is the Process to Get a Marriage Green Card?
There are two ways to get a marriage green card (the card that proves a person has American lawful permanent residence) after marrying a U.S. citizen. One process occurs outside the USA (called “consular processing”) and the other process occurs inside the USA (called “adjustment of status” or AOS for short).
Do I Have a Choice Between Consular Processing and Adjustment of Status?
If a person seeking the marriage green card is outside of the USA, they are required to go through Consular Processing while waiting outside the USA, which is now taking 15 – 18 months. After a person starts consular processing, while they are waiting for their marriage green card they are not supposed to enter the USA on their B2 tourist visa.
If a person is inside the USA, they might be eligible for adjustment of status inside the USA, which is taking about 4-6 months. I say “might be” because there are a few factors to consider such as what type of visa they used to enter (some types of visas do not allow AOS, or require certain waivers). Some people are eligible for adjustment of status even though they overstayed their visa.
Whether they are inside the USA or outside the USA, all marriage green card applicants are interviewed. If they are interviewed at the U.S. Consulate outside the USA, the sponsoring spouse is not required to attend. If they are interviewed at a USCIS office inside the USA, the sponsoring spouse is required to attend.
What are the Fees to Get My Marriage Green Card?
We charge a flat legal fee to provide personalized immigration legal services for marriage green card applicants, which includes same sex married couples. Our flat fee is based on the green card applicants’ particular situation (whether they require a waiver or not, etc.).
After preparing the marriage green card package for the USCIS, we make a complete copy of the marriage green card applications and supporting documents for our files, and another copy for your files. We do not charge additional fees for phone calls, copies or express mailing. We accept credit card payments for the attorney’s legal fees.
The marriage green card application can be prepared prior to the wedding if you like.
In addition to the lawyer’s legal fees (which vary according to the complexities of your case), you will have to provide passport photos ($15-$25), a medical exam ($100-$200), and between $1,070.00 to $1,760.00 for the government filing fees (depending upon whether it is consular processing, or adjustment of status, or have you already have an approved I-130 petition).
We accept credit card payments for lawyer fees and the government fees required for the marriage green card.
Do You Handle Marriage Green Cards based on Same Sex Marriages ?
Yes! As of June 26, 2013 we started handling same sex marriage green cards. We are happy to report that every single same sex marriage green card based on marriage to a U.S. citizen has been successful, even if the applicant did not live in a same sex equality state.
It seems that so far the same sex marriage green card interviews are being conducted similar to the different sex marriage green card interviews, with a few differences to take into consideration the difficulty, in some cases, of proving that a same sex couple has been living together.
How Do We Hire You If You Are Based in San Diego?
We have developed a system where we can do everything for you to get the marriage green card over the phone, mail and internet.
We are not shy about picking up the telephone if we have questions for you or you need answers to questions like, “what is my status while my marriage green card is pending”?” We are easy to get in touch with over the phone – test it out by calling us to chat about your immigration wedding case.
Much of the marriage green card process is document intensive involving the exchange of information between the client and your immigration attorney. After over 14 years of experience in preparing marriage green card cases, we have developed a system that optimizes our legal expertise and provides our clients with an unmatched personalized experience, customized to their needs.
How Will We Be Treated? Is it Confidential?
We operate on a first name basis with our clients and are available to answer client questions throughout the marriage green card process, including the marriage green card interview.
We have handled and overseen all legal aspects of the marriage green card process for hundreds of clients and are proficient at fast, accurate and confidential communication between us and our clients. Imagine the relief when the burden of handling the marriage green card paperwork and processing is on someone else’s shoulders.
Husbands and wives and same sex partners have found that it helps out their new marital relationship tremendously to have an immigration attorney that they both trust and can call or email with questions during the entire process of getting the marriage green card (such as, can they access my Facebook?).
“Thank you very much for everything. I am glad that I was your fastest marriage green case even though I live with my husband in Alaska. You are a really good lawyer, and I am so happy that I found you. If somebody asks me for the name of a marriage green card attorney, I will recommend you.” Best regards, “Dushka” from Romania, 2013
“Thank you very much for the great job! Excellent! Blessings for you and your beautiful family.” Gratefully, Ana G., originally from Mexico, 2015
Why Can’t the Government Explain Easily Explain How to Apply for a Marriage Green Card?
Unfortunately, the American government has not yet figured out how to explain the marriage green card process in an easy to follow format. One of the reasons is that there are so many exceptions to the rules. For example, the I-485 application instructions for marriage green cards does not mention the 30/60/90 Day Rule.” I personally think preparing your tax return is easier, even when you own property or your own business.
Why Are Marriage Green Cards Delayed by the USCIS?
The instructions for marriage green card processing that are on the USCIS website are incomplete and complex. It’s not all the government’s fault – there are so many “exceptions to the rule” regarding marriage green cards that it is hard to list them all.
- The USCIS staff who answer the USCIS customer service phones are not trained beyond reading the answers off the USCIS website and often only a partial answer is given.
- The same sex marriage rules are new and officers are not familiar with the complications.
- Information shared by applicants on blog sites is often contradictory, erroneous and out of date.
- Unrepresented applicants have informed us that they were unable to get the USCIS to update their address when they moved, and the USCIS interview notices were sent back to the USCIS undeliverable.
- As a result, their adjustment of status cases were considered abandoned and closed, without a refund of the USCIS fees.
- In other instances, applicants were unaware of changes in USCIS regulations and sent incomplete AOS applications to the USCIS which were either rejected outright, or delayed for two to six months, sitting in the USCIS mailroom.
- The USCIS provides unclear direction concerning what documents to bring to the USCIS green card interview. If only one document is missing at the USCIS green card interview, the marriage green card can be delayed for 2-6 months.
We can eliminate approximately 98% of delays because marriage green card processing is what we do best! We welcome same sex marriage cases.
Call Attorney Nelisse toll free at (877) 884-6644 or (619) 235-8811 and ask for a confidential free telephone consultation to discuss whether legal representation is necessary in your marriage green card case.
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