Adjustment of Status to Legal Permanent Residency (Green Cards)
In order to qualify you must meet one of the following requirements
- You were admitted to the U.S. as a K1 fiance(e) of a U.S. citizen and married that citizen within 90 days of your entry
- You were admitted to the U.S. as a K3 spouse
- You are married or will be married to a U.S. citizen
- You are on an current visa authorized to apply for a green card
Once you have been admitted to the United States and have become married to a US Citizen, you may wish or be required to apply for Legal Permanent Residency. This is typically referred to as getting your “green card”. Ki Fiance visa holders are required to apply for their Legal Permanent Residency after becoming married. CR1 and IR1 Marriage Visas holders do not as they already have Legal Permanent Residency status. Students who get married while in the United States will have to apply for their Legal Permanent Residency to remain in the United States after finishing their course of study. Spouses who entered the United States lawfully but over stayed their Visa will have to apply for their Legal Permanent Residency in order to remain in the US legally. In such cases, this should be done immediately as to avoid in unexpected removal problems. Immediate relatives who entered unlawfully will have to obtain a waiver before adjusting status to Legal Permanent Residency.
The process to become a Legal Permanent Resident (“LPR”) starts with the filing of an I-485 application to adjust status. Once the I-485 petition is filed, the sponsor of the spouse will need to file an I-864 application which requires a certain minimum income for support of the foreign spouse.
The married couple will then be required to submit to an Adjustment of Status interview. The relationship must be genuine and based on an honest love for one another. If you successfully pass the interview, your spouse will receive his/her Green Card in the mail in about 4-8 weeks.
A person who has LPR status by virtue of marrying a U.S. Citizen is eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship three years after first obtaining LPR status.