According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the United States admitted more than 1 million (out of more than 6 million applicants) green card holders in 2015. Of this number, 25.2% were spouses of US citizens. That is a quarter of the total number of permanent residents (or green card holders). This makes marrying a US citizen one of the fastest ways to lawfully enter the country and become a citizen.
Approval is not guaranteed, however, which is why it’s recommended to get help from immigration lawyers when seeking a marriage green card in Provo, Utah or any other cities in the country. In addition, petitions for marriage green card undergo strict examinations and inspections to ensure that you and your fiancé are not entering marriage in the US just to gain immigration benefits.
Here’s what you need to know about the different options on getting a green card through marriage in the US:
Option 1: Marriage to a US Citizen
If you are a US citizen, you can sponsor your spouse and file for a petition using Form I-130 for immediate relatives. What’s good about this option is that visa numbers are immediately available as soon as you file your petition. Once approved, your spouse (beneficiary) can already apply for a green card. The process, however, would depend on where your spouse lives.
If the beneficiary is living outside the US, the beneficiary should go to a US consulate or embassy in the beneficiary’s home country and apply for a US immigration visa. On the other hand, if a beneficiary is already living in the US, the beneficiary’s status can be adjusted to permanent residency.
Option 2: Marriage to a Permanent Resident or Green Card Holder
If you’re not a US citizen, but a permanent resident, you can also file for a marriage green card for your spouse. However, it’ll take longer because you will have to wait for a visa number before proceeding with the application.
Option 3: Getting a K1 Visa First
The third option is to get a K1 visa or fiancé visa first, and then get married in the US. Your fiancé can stay for 90 days in the US and later adjust status to permanent residency.
All options for green card application involve many factors. Just remember that no single option is easier than the others. But you can navigate through the complexities of the process by working with an experienced green card lawyer.