A green card marriage is a marriage agreement between a US citizen and a non-citizen for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card for the non-citizen. The foreign national can be granted “conditional permanent resident” status, which can then be removed and replaced by lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. LPR status allows them to work and live legally and permanently in the United States.

The Marriage

Marriages of this type can occur in the United States or in another foreign country that is not the native country of this marriage. If the couple is currently in the US, the citizen can apply for an “adjustment of status” for their spouse. Generally, the couple must present proof of the marriage, in addition to proof that it was not entered into fraudulently or for the purpose of misleading immigration officials. Lastly, the non-citizen must have a clean criminal record and be in the United States with a valid visa.

Green Card Validation

How are green card marriages validated? Immigration laws are strict to prevent marriage fraud, but as long as fraud is not an issue, the process is fairly streamlined. For individuals applying for a marriage-based visa, they must be able to validate the marriage and may be required to provide some of the following items:

  • Shared bank statements
  • Marriage certificate
  • Tax returns
  • Photos and video of the couple together
  • Travel documentation
  • Witness testimony on the marital status of the couple

The Process

 After obtaining a marriage certificate, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Petition for Alien Relative
  • Application for Registration of Permanent Residence status
  • Biographical information
  • Affidavit of Support
  • Results of medical examinations
  • The filing fee and any other supporting documentation

Once the documents are submitted to immigration, the following steps must be completed before a non-citizen is qualified as a “conditional permanent resident.”

Consult with a Lawyer

Green card marriage laws are strict and require numerous legal documents and forms. Any mistake can have permanent consequences. A green card lawyer Los Angeles can help you prepare for the interview process, ensuring compliance with all requirements, and can also represent you during formal immigration court proceedings.