All you need to know about getting a marriage Green Card in Texas

San Antonio, TX – If you’re a US citizen or legal permanent resident, when you marry a foreign national your spouse will be able to obtain a marriage-based Green Card, allowing him or her to live and work legally in Texas. The process is basically the same if your spouse is already in Texas or lives in their country of origin. However, the wait times may be longer for foreign nationals living abroad.

To speed up the process, you should seek legal counsel from an experienced Green Card lawyer in San Antonio, who can guide you through the process and help you avoid common mistakes. 

What is a marriage-based Green Card?

If your new spouse applies for a marriage-based Green Card, this will give them legal permanent resident status. They can join you in the US or, if already here, their legal status will protect them from deportation if they entered the country illegally or overstayed their visa. Besides having the right to live anywhere they want in the US and get a job, a marriage-based Green Card holder becomes eligible to apply for US citizenship after three years.

How to get a marriage-based Green Card?

Step 1 – Establishing the marriage relationship 

The first step is to submit Form I-130 (“Petition for Alien Relative”) to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will also have to submit various documents to prove that your marriage is valid. Keep in mind that any errors in your I-130 Form or missing documents can get your application delayed or even denied. Have your Texas immigration lawyers check all your forms and documents before filing them. Also, make sure you pay the appropriate fees to the right office. This can be tricky sometimes and you don’t want to put your life on hold because of a technical error. 

The required documents include:

  • Proof that the sponsoring spouse is a US citizen ( birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or valid U.S. passport) or legal permanent resident (copy of their Green Card)
  • Marriage certificate showing the names of both spouses, as well as the place and date of the ceremony
  • Proof that the marriage is not fraudulent, such as a joint lease, joint bank account statements, and pictures together
  • Proof you paid the fees

Step 2 – Proving the spouse is eligible for a Green Card

There are two situations here:

  • If the spouse wishing to apply for a Green Card lives in Texas, the next step is to file Form I-485 (“Adjustment of Status” application)
  • If the spouse lives abroad, they will have to go through consular processing. They will have to apply with the National Visa Center (NVC), which is run by the State Department. 

Step 3 – Attending the Green Card interview 

The final step in the marriage-based Green Card process is the interview, which is basically meant to prove the marriage is not fraudulent.

If both spouses live in Texas, they will attend the interview together at the USCIS office in San Antonio. Your immigration lawyers will explain what sort of questions you can expect and how to answer them.

If the spouse applying for a Green Card is still in their country of origin the interview will take place at the local US Consulate. They may receive a visa allowing them to join their spouse in Texas.

In both cases, the Green Card will be mailed to their US address within 2-3 weeks. 

If you want to marry a foreign national and start a life together as soon as possible, get in touch with an experienced lawyer at the Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen in San Antonio and let them help you with the paperwork. 

Contact info:

Law Office of J. Joseph Cohen

206 East Locust Street

San Antonio, TX 78212

Phone: (210) 769-3273

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