Marriage Green Cards
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Connecticut information on Marriage Green Cards.
What is the "fast track" to permanent residence?
Green cards through marriage is sometimes referred to as the “fast track” to lawful permanent residence. The spouse of a U.S. citizen is deemed an “immediate relative” under the law meaning that there are no quota restrictions on the number of people who can obtain green cards through marriage to U.S. citizens. The U.S. citizen starts the process by submitting a form I-130 visa petition on behalf of their foreign-born spouse. If the spouse entered the U.S. lawfully, he/she can file for adjustment of status (I-485 packet) without having to leave the U.S. Generally, the spouse receives an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) within 90-150 days, and may also be eligible for an Advance Parole document to travel abroad while their Application for Adjustment of Status is pending. If the foreign-born spouse entered the U.S. without inspection, he/she may have to return to his or her country and apply for a green card and any applicable waivers (I-212 and/or I-601, I-601A) through marriage and complete consular processing in his or her home country. He may, however, be eligible to apply for a provisional waiver in the United States, which will shorten the amount of wait time for consular processing in the home country.
How can I obtain a green card through marriage?
To obtain a green card through marriage, your marriage must be bonafide. This is a lot easier to prove if there is a wedding reception where the US citizen spouse’s relatives are present, where the couple has joint property and files joint income tax returns and especially if the couple has a child together. If the marriage is less than two years old when the green card is granted, it will have a two-year time limit. The couple must submit form I-751 during the 90-day prior before the expiration of the green card in order for the foreign-born spouse to obtain a ten-year green card. If the couple divorces before the end of the two-year period, the foreign-born spouse must use form I-751 to apply for a “good faith marriage waiver” of the joint petition requirement.