Immigrant services, performed by immigrants

Marrying an Immigrant


They say love has no boundaries. Possibly, if you are reading this article, you are proving them right. Have you found a non-US citizen partner who wants to get married but doesn’t know where to start? Marriage, it’s not easy, especially internationally. We are here to guide you in your process of marrying an Immigrant, step-by-step. We will talk about a few different scenarios and how you should proceed, such as:

1 – If you are living in the United States, but your partner is living abroad

2 – If you and your partner are already in the United States

If you are in the United States and your partner is in a different country, the process must take longer, but there is no need to worry. Currently, you have two options:

Get a fiancé visa for your future husband/wife so that they can enter the country without any issues. This type of visa is called K-1 and is available for people who wish to marry an American citizen. A green card through marriage is required for eligibility for a K-1, both parties must be free to marry (single, divorced, or widowed), and the couple must have met in person within the past two years.

The meeting requirement is tightly enforced because the couple must show proof that they are in a genuine relationship. It is recommended to provide evidence, such as pictures, passport stamps, copies of travel itineraries, and receipts of plane tickets since these will increase your chances of getting the visa.


Marriage-Based Green Card Requirements

Although the meeting requirement for the marriage-based green card is vastly enforced, it is also possible to request a waiver. For this to happen, the couple must prove that meeting in person would violate strict and long-established customs of their fiancé’s foreign culture or violate some social practice. The U.S. petitioner can also claim that meeting in person would result in extreme hardship to them.


How to apply for a marriage based green card?

To start applying for the K-1 visa, the U.S. citizen must file an I-129F petition on behalf of the applicant who desires to travel to the United States. After that, the foreign citizen will be required to complete a form DS-160 and bring some original documents to the consular interview.

A green card through marriage is mandatory according to the rules. You and your partner must get married within the first 90 days of arrival in the United States. Afterwards, your fiancé(e) may apply for permanent resident status, more often known as a Green Card. If legal marriage does not happen within the allocated 90-day period, the person will be forced to leave the country.

If you wish to meet your partner in their country and get married outside the United States, this option is also available. However, for a marriage based green card it is then essential for the partner to live and apply from abroad. The procedure is known as consular processing. It means that they will wait in their home country while the application is being processed. In most cases, it usually takes approximately 6-14 months, including the consular interview.


How to implicate?

When marrying an immigrant, a U.S citizen must file an I-130 form on the immigrant’s behalf. After waiting for the decision, if the petition is approved, the National Visa Center (NVC) will be responsible for the rest of the process. It is necessary to file a DS-260 form to provide all the important information. After that, NVC will arrange an in-person interview, for which you will need to bring original documentation.

If your application is approved, your partner will receive a visa allowing them to travel to the United States. Some months later, USCIS will mail a green card to your U.S address.


Adjustment of Status

If you and your partner are already living in the United States, the marriage process is a little bit different. To get a green card, you need to go through a process called adjustment of status. This means that your partner will have to transfer their temporary visa to a green card after the legal marriage. U.S. citizenship through marriage must sponsor their husband/wife to file an I-130 form and an I-485 form during the application process. The entire adjustment process may take 8 to 14 months for most people.


Why Choose Clasen Immigration Law?

Whatever your case may be, if you are marrying an immigrant, the best way to proceed is to hire an immigration attorney to facilitate and assist you during the whole process. It may sound quite complicated and complex initially, but having qualified citizenship through marriage professionals by your side can make all the difference. If you need assistance with an international marriage or any immigration case, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Our office will make sure that you receive the best-personalized consultation available from anywhere in the world.


If you are interested in learning more, please fill in the form to contact us or send us an email:

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information and content available on this website is for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal information. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the website or post does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, user, browser, website authors, and contributors.


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