If you reached the point where the USCIS accepted your I-130 and I-148 application, there’s still work to be done.
If you’re not at this point yet, please see our previous blog about the first two steps of getting a marriage green card. Once you digest that information, come back here for the next steps.
No matter where you are in the process, if you decide to try to go on your own with the USCIS and need help, MyImmigration can step in to be your partner on this journey. As your partner, we will give you the right guidance and support to apply for your marriage green card correctly.
How to take the next steps
The journey continues after the I-130 and I-148 form approvals.
Step 3: Interview
After the USCIS receives and accepts your application, they will put you on the long list for an in-person interview. USCIS interview will be conducted at your local USCIS district office, and they give the applicants a few weeks’ notice to prepare. Please see your interview checklist here. [link].
If you filed your I-130 separately, then USCIS typically will conduct an interview on the I-130. Then, after you file your I-485, USCIS will interview you on that application. If you filed your I-130 and I-485 concurrently, then USCIS will conduct a single interview on both those applications together.
Please note that after you file your form I-485, you MUST NOT leave the country without USCIS permission. If you leave, the law says you will have given up (or abandoned) your adjustment of status application. You will need to start all over again and apply for permission to re-enter.
Lawful permanent resident vs. Conditional permanent resident Once you pass your interview process, you’ll be categorized as a conditional permanent resident or lawful permanent resident. What this means:
Lawful Permanent (LPR): If you’ve been married for more than two years at the time USCIS approves your I-485, then you directly become a lawful permanent resident, and you will receive your green card. You don’t have to renew this green card for ten years!
Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR): If you’ve been married for less than two years at the time USCIS approves your I-485, USCIS classifies you as a conditional permanent resident for 2-years. You will be issued a two-year green card.
During these two years, USCIS can terminate your conditional status and green card if it discovers that the marriage was not legitimate. A divorce can result in termination too, but a waiver is available to overcome the termination.
At the end of the 2-year period of conditional permanent residence, you must file a joint petition to have the conditions removed from your conditional resident status. You and your spouse must sign the petition and declare the marriage is legitimate. You can file the I-751 within 90 days before your 2-year conditional resident status expires.
After USCIS receives your I-751 petition, they will send you a notice extending your green card’s expiration date for four additional years while you wait for USCIS to process your I-751 petition.
In certain situations, you may be able to apply for a waiver of the joint filing requirement. This would allow you to file your I-751 without your spouse.
The USCIS may grant a waiver of the joint filing in the following instances:
- US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse has died
- The conditional permanent resident suffered battery or extreme cruelty at the hands of the US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse
- The marriage has ended through divorce or annulment but was entered into in good faith
- Termination and removal from the US would result in extreme hardship
More Documents to submit with Form I-751
- A lease agreement or mortgage showing a shared residence
- Evidence of shared bank accounts or credit card accounts (commingled funds)
- Birth certificates of children that were born during the marriage
- Joint tax returns
- Travel itinerary showing you two traveling together
- A sampling of your communication (text messages, Whats App, etc.)
- Photos with your spouse at different times and places
- Joint car and health insurance
- Signed statements from friends and family that have personal knowledge of the legitimacy of the marriage
- See the checklist linked here for more examples
Once the USCIS approves your I-751, you are officially a lawful permanent resident; you will receive a 10 year green card.
MyImmigration Manages the Process
We hope you better understand how to get a marriage green card. This is a lot of complex information, and we haven’t included many intricate details.
Do not be discouraged. You have a partner by your side with MyImmigration. We make the process much easier and less stressful. Our digital platform and legal and customer support can make the process go smoothly and faster.