By Ilona Bray, J.D. If you are married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can apply for U.S. lawful permanent residence, otherwise known as a marriage-based immigrant visa or green card. To be eligible under U.S. immigration law, you and your spouse must show: that you are legally married.
What is a green card marriage called?
A marriage-based green card (or “spousal visa”) is an immigrant visa available to the spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Although the process can seem daunting, most couples do qualify for a marriage-based green card if one spouse is a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
What happens if you marry someone for a green card?
A marriage green card allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen or green card holder to live and work anywhere in the United States. A green card holder will have “permanent resident” status until they decide — if they wish — to apply for U.S. citizenship, for which they become eligible after three years.
Is it illegal to marry someone to get a green card?
That said, the practice of obtaining residency through marriage is illegal in the United States if the marriage itself is fraudulent. A marriage that is solely for purposes of obtaining legal residence is considered a sham, and is a crime in the United States for both participants.
How long do you have to be married to someone for them to get a green card?
USCIS will issue you a conditional Marriage Green Card if you have been married for less than 2 years at the time of your interview. You can apply for a permanent Marriage Green Card after two years of marriage.
How do you get a green card if you are illegal?
People who entered illegally have a much slimmer chance of being able to get a green card. Another option to become a permanent resident as an illegal immigrant is to apply for asylum. If you meet all of the requirements and are approved, you may later apply for a green card.