CITZENSHIP through marriage - imigation law

At The Echavarria Law Firm Immigration Law, we specialize in various immigration matters, with over 15 years of experience in achieving client goals and a member of the american immigration. The Echavarria Law Firm in San Antonio is dedicated to providing personal and cost-effective immigration solutions. Led by principal attorney Elizabeth Echavarria , a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, our firm thoroughly reviews each case to determine the best solution for every client. call us us for Help we are the best immigration choice in San Antonio. contact our law firm at (210) 320-5633

When you marry a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you open a path toward obtaining a green card and achieving permanent residency in the United States. The process starts with your spouse filing essential petitions, such as Form I-130 and Form I-485, and gathering evidence to prove the authenticity of your marriage. From there, you’ll face a green card interview and navigate a timeline filled with various steps and costs. But what exactly do these forms entail, and how can you ensure a smooth journey through this complex process? Let’s break it down step-by-step.

Understanding the Marriage Green Card

A marriage green card lets the spouse of a U.S. citizen or green card holder live and work in the U.S. When you marry a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, you can apply for permanent resident status through this process. The marriage green card is your gateway to fully participating in American life, from employment opportunities to community involvement.

To start, your spouse will need to file a petition on your behalf. This petition is crucial as it establishes the genuineness of your marriage relationship in the eyes of U.S. immigration authorities. It’s not just about filling out forms; you’ll need to provide supporting documentation that proves your marriage isn’t just for immigration purposes.

Understanding the marriage green card process involves recognizing the specific steps and associated timelines. On average, it takes around 9.3 months to process, though this can vary depending on whether your sponsor is a U.S. citizen or a green card holder.

Keep in mind that maintaining continuous lawful status throughout the application period is essential for success. This journey may seem complex, but achieving permanent resident status is a significant step toward building your future in the United States.

Sponsorship Process (Form I-130)

Filing Form I-130 is the essential first step for a U.S. citizen or green card holder to sponsor their spouse for lawful permanent residency. This sponsorship process establishes the validity of your marriage, which is crucial for moving forward with the green card application.

As the sponsoring spouse, you’ll need to submit Form I-130 to USCIS along with a $675 fee and supporting documents that prove your marriage is bona fide.

Ensure that all information provided in Form I-130 is accurate and complete. USCIS will scrutinize these details to confirm your marriage is legitimate and not solely for immigration benefits. Essential documents include a marriage certificate, photos, joint financial records, and any other evidence demonstrating a genuine marital relationship.

Submitting Form I-130 successfully sets the stage for the next steps in the green card application process. Once USCIS approves your form, it signals that your marriage has been recognized, allowing you to proceed towards obtaining lawful permanent residency for your spouse.

Filing for a Green Card (Form I-485)

Once USCIS approves your Form I-130, you can move forward by submitting Form I-485 to apply for lawful permanent residency. This step is crucial if you’re seeking a green card based on your marriage to a US citizen. Form I-485, also known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is pivotal in transitioning from a temporary visa holder to a lawful permanent resident.

The filing fee for Form I-485 is $1440, and you must ensure that you meet all eligibility criteria, providing supporting documents such as your marriage certificate, proof of your US citizen spouse’s status, and any required medical examinations. It’s essential to maintain continuous lawful status throughout this process to avoid complications.

Processing times for Form I-485 can vary, averaging between 13.5 to 20.5 months. During this period, stay vigilant about any additional documentation requests from USCIS.

Successfully filing Form I-485 brings you one step closer to your green card and permanent residency. It’s a significant milestone in your journey, reflecting your commitment to building a life together with your US citizen spouse.

Green Card Interview and Approval

During the green card interview, USCIS officers will meticulously assess the authenticity of your marriage. They’ll review your documents and ask both spouses questions to ensure your marriage is genuine. It’s essential to be honest and prepared. The interview is a vital step in determining if your marriage is bona fide.

You and your spouse should expect questions about your relationship history, daily life together, and future plans. The officers are trained to spot inconsistencies, so it’s crucial that your answers align with the information provided in your application. Bring any requested documents, such as joint bank statements, lease agreements, or photos, to demonstrate your shared life.

Successful completion of the interview leads to the next steps, including visa stamping and payment of the immigrant fee. Once these are done, your green card is issued. If you’ve prepared well and your marriage is legitimate, the process should go smoothly.

Boundless can provide support and guidance throughout your green card interview and approval journey, ensuring you’re ready for this critical phase. Remember, authenticity is key to securing your lawful permanent residency.

Costs and Timeline

Navigating the costs and timeline for obtaining a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or green card holder often requires careful planning and financial preparation. The green card application process involves several steps, each with its own set of fees and waiting periods. The total cost, excluding the medical exam, is approximately $3005. This includes $675 for Form I-130, $1440 for Form I-485, and $120 for Form I-864.

Understanding the Visa Bulletin is crucial, especially for spouses of green card holders, as it can significantly impact the estimated time for your application. The estimated time to obtain a green card ranges from 13.5 to 20.5 months, depending on various factors such as processing delays in the F-2A category.

If you’re filing through a service like Boundless, you can benefit from a success rate of 99.7% in obtaining a green card. This high success rate can provide some peace of mind as you navigate the process.

Proper planning and understanding the timeline and costs involved will help ensure a smoother journey toward lawful permanent residency.


You’ve now got a basic understanding of the marriage green card process. By sponsoring your spouse with Form I-130, filing Form I-485, and preparing for the green card interview, you’re well on your way to lawful permanent residency.

Remember, while there are costs and timelines to consider, the end result is worth it. You’ll be able to live and work together in the U.S., building a future with your loved one.