Recently Married a U.S. Citizen? Here’s How You Can Adjust Status to Become a Permanent Resident


If you’re a foreign national who is recently married to an American citizen, then you might be qualified to apply for lawful permanent resident status or LPR status through adjustment of status. 

An adjustment of status is a process that you can use to apply for a Green Card (permanent resident card) if you’re here in the United States. This means that you can get a green card at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office without having to go to a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country to process your visa application.

Qualifying foreign nationals who are outside the U.S. may apply for a visa petition through consular processing. 

To know more about how you can apply for an adjustment of status, reach out to a North Carolina or California immigration lawyer

Who is Eligible to Get a Green Card Through Marriage?

adjust statusOnce you’re married to an American citizen, you’ll be eligible to get a green card as an “immediate relative” of a US citizen. To start your application for permanent residency, you must see to it that you’re eligible for a green card through marriage and that you’re qualified to adjust status. 

You have to prove that you entered a bona fide marriage, which means that you married your fiance to establish a life together as a couple, and not for the sole purpose of getting a green card. Doing the latter means that your marriage is a sham, or what they call a “fraudulent marriage.”

Eligibility to Adjust Status to Become a Green Card Holder

Overstaying with an expired visa or staying past the expected departure date under the terms of your U.S. visa is a serious immigration issue and can pose serious consequences, like being deported and becoming inadmissible to the U.S. For example, foreign nationals who have temporary U.S. visas (work visa, student visa, etc.)  aren’t qualified to adjust status and instead have to go back to their home country and process their visa in a U.S. consular. On other hand, if you’re married to a U.S. citizen, then overstaying will no longer be an issue and you can still apply for an adjustment of status.

What USCIS Forms and Documents Do I Need to File for Adjusting Status?

To adjust your visa status, you must submit a Form I-485 and other required paperwork at the USCIS office. To prove that you’re eligible to adjust status, you must prove that you’re married to your U.S. citizen partner who plans to sponsor your application. You must also submit petition Form I-130, or Petition for Alien Relative along with your marriage certificate.

Also since it is a family-based immigrant petition, your U.S. citizen spouse who is sponsoring your application must submit an Affidavit of Support for you. This is to show that they will support you financially for up to ten years or until you are capable of providing for yourself financially.

You must also undergo a medical examination in a medical facility approved by the USCIS to determine whether you have medical conditions that can be seen as a ground for inadmissibility and removal.

If you’re planning to apply for adjustment of status and you need legal assistance regarding your immigration status, our North Carolina or California immigration attorneys at Diener Law can help. We have immigration lawyers who can provide you with immigration solutions specific to your needs. Contact us today for a legal consultation. 

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LA VERDAD SOBRE LOS INMIGRANTES Y LA LEY

truth about immigrants and the law

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LA VERDAD SOBRE LOS INMIGRANTES Y LA LEY

truth about immigrants and the law

Lecciones aprendidas ayudando a más de 50,000 inmigrantes en todo el país.

LA VERDAD SOBRE LOS INMIGRANTES Y LA LEY

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THE TRUTH ABOUT IMMIGRANTS & THE LAW

truth about immigrants and the law

Lessons learned helping over 50,000 immigrants nationwide.

THE TRUTH ABOUT IMMIGRANTS & THE LAW

truth about immigrants and the law

Lessons learned helping over 50,000 immigrants nationwide.

THE TRUTH ABOUT IMMIGRANTS & THE LAW

truth about immigrants and the law

Lessons learned helping over 50,000 immigrants nationwide.

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