- The process of registration of the green card: phase and “must have” documents
- Personal documents (copies) for a foreign citizen
- Interview: what you need to be prepared for
- How to be in the case of force-majeure (divorce, death of a spouse, home violence)
Sure you know such story. They usual beginning like in romantic movie: they met on-line, chatting, meet with each other and he (sometimes she) ask her to move to overseas. But in movie everything is easy, not like in real live, where you need pass through many tests, prove that your relationship isn’t fake.
How to collect all the necessary documents, on which moment you need to pay extra attention and how many photos you need attach to show the migration officer that it’s all true – we have collected for you the detailed instructions for registering the green card — USA marriage visa.
Legal marriage with a US citizen gives the foreigner right to qualify for a green card, and 3 years after receiving it, even become a citizen of America. Together with a foreign husband or wife, her or his children under 21 years of age can obtain a residence permit.
Different way to get the right to live legally in the US can give also marriage with the holder of a green card, but the process in this case can continue for several years. For spouses of US citizens, there is no waiting list for obtaining a residence permit and, as a rule, they are issued a green card within six months.
Like any immigration process in the US, this one is not easy, and it consist from whole stack of documents and a successful interview with the Citizenship and Immigration Service, where it is necessary to prove that the marriage is real.
The process of registration of the green card: phase and “must have” documents
To get a marriage visa US, you need to pass several phase. First, you apply for a change of status. This means that you have to send a fulfill package of documents to the Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Firstly, you need to fill out the forms from the website of the Citizenship and Immigration Service:
- Form I-130 (Petition of Alien Relative) – it is filled by a US citizen, thereby recognizing his relationship with the person to whom the petition is filed. The fee for this form is $ 420. For a child of a foreign citizen this form should be filled out separately;
- Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) – an application for the assignment of a permanent resident status to an alien. The fee is $ 985 for the form plus $ 85 for collecting biometric data.This form is also filled out separately for the child of a foreign citizen;
- Forms G-325 and G-325A (Biographic Information) – biographical data of both spouses. Separately filled and the child of a foreign citizen. You do not need to pay for submitting this form;
- Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) – it is filled by a US citizen (sponsor) and thereby undertakes to support the foreign spouse. Sponsor can act not only directly Spouse-American, but also any of the relatives or even acquaintances living in the US. This form is free;
- Form I-765 (Permission for Work Authorization) – the request of an alien to obtain a work permit in the United States. The fee is $ 385;
- Form I-693 (Medical Examination Results) – the conclusion of the medical commission. For the very form you do not need to pay, for the appointment of a doctor – it is necessary. It is important to remember that you can apply only to those doctors who are certified by the Citizenship and Immigration Service. It is better that you already have the entire list of vaccinations that you were previously given. And one more nuance – the results of the survey you will receive in a closed envelope, which cannot be opened;
- Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure record) – a record of the arrival of an alien in the country.
Personal documents (copies) for a foreign citizen:
We collect all possible information and form about what kind og personal document you must have if you are foreign citizen:
- Certificates of birth – a copy of the original and a translation into English. Notarized translation is not necessary. It can be done by any person who has two necessary languages. At the end of the translation it is important to write:Affidavit of Translation «I, … .., hereby certify that I am able to translate from the – here you substitute the original language. – into English, and that the foregoing is a true and accurate translation of the original. “ And do not forget to put a signature and date;
- Passports – national and foreign. In the mail, copies of all visas;
- Marriage certificate and all divorces certificates, if you have any of them, with translation into English (if your native language are not English);
- 6 color photographs;
- All documents that you already received in the US – driver’s license, social security number;
- Certificate of conviction – if a person has been arrested before, you need extracts, for what and when;
- If after marriage the surname changed, the explanation in free form, when and on what basis it happened.
It is important not only to collect all these documents, but fill it out as carefully as possible, the questionnaires must be filled very carefully. This is especially important for people who have already been in the US for some time and had some immigration affairs – all the forms should coincide with the information you provided to the Citizenship and Immigration Service earlier.
When the whole package of documents is collected, it must be packed in a box and sent to one of centers of the Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Also, do not be too lazy to make a copy of every document which you send, and save a spare package of documents for your own.
After 2-3 weeks, you will receive a notification that the documents have been accepted for review, and a month or two, or later – will receive an invitation to submit biometric data. The email will contain the address, date and time. With you need to take a passport.
Interview: what you need to be prepared for
At the first registration of a package of documents there is no proof that your marriage is real, it is not required. In most cases, migration officers will not consider such documents.
But it is necessary to bring them to the interview.
Here the list of the main thing is that the Immigration Service does not have any questions about the truthfulness of your relationship. The more evidence you can provide, the better.
The documents can be:
- Attach bank accounts (take bank statements, if there are common credit cards, you need to make a photocopy of two cards on one sheet of paper);
- One address of residence (you can provide a driver’s license, identification cards of a particular city, membership in local clubs – any documents on which the joint residence address would be written);
- a lease agreement, in which the names of both spouses are inscribed;
- receipts for utilities for both names;
- a letter from the landlord, in which he confirms that the couple lives together;
- photos (attach, with friends, it is better to provide those that were before the wedding, during and after);
- a letter from the employer stating that the family status of the employee has changed and that his spouse is listed on the emergency contact list;
- general health insurance;
- printing of correspondence between spouses (letters, greeting cards, correspondence in social media);
- proof of joint ownership of the car;
- proof of the large purchases that the couple made together (the technique);
- joint travel (printout of hotel reservation, purchase of tickets);
- A letter from relatives or neighbors who can confirm that you are really a couple.
If you have common kids, then you can attach reference from the school where your kids have already started to go:
- certificates of birth;
- certificates from school or kindergarten, where they are study.
The list of documents that you need to take with you usually comes with the invitation, but you need to start collecting them much earlier – literally immediately after submitting the first package of documents.
The officer doesn’t know you, doesn’t live with you in your house, so he can make a decision based on few things:
- the documents that you give him,
- how the couple behave,
- how you answer on the questions.
Most attention paid to joint documents, especially financial ones:
- bank accounts,
- credit cards,
- tax returns,
- testament against each other,
- medical insurance,
- documents that confirm that you used common insurance.
That’s on what they’re looking at.
At the end of the interview, the officer can say at once – the green card is approved or not. Sometimes notification of the results of the interview comes later by mail. And if the answer is negative, there is very little chance that the case will not be closed.
If, for example, the forms are incorrectly filled, the documents are not enough or they are not decorated as needed – the officer can immediately refuse and close your case.
Only good officers make it possible to convey some documents. Sometimes. But the chances for a successful appeal, if you did not really provide all the documents, are zero. You will only spend a couple of years.
A positive answer means that the foreigner receives a temporary green card for 2 years, which must be changed to a 10-year minimum at least 3 months before the end of the validity period.
Again, you collect all the documents that you have been together for 2 years – all the bills, credit cards, lease of the apartment. And usually in 80-90% of cases for interviews not needed, a permanent green card comes by mail.
How to be in the case of force-majeure (divorce, death of a spouse, home violence)
In fact, the possibilities of a citizen of America are too exaggerated. Apply for a permanent green card in case of divorce, a foreigner can, and most importantly, live together for at least 6 months.
It’s just necessary to point out that you lived together so much, but the family broke up, you get divorced and describe the circumstances why you divorced.
And you also need all the documents that prove that for a while you all lived together. In this case, the chances of getting a green card are very real.
Also, the threats of the American husband that he will withdraw the documents on the green card, also have nothing to do with the law:
“He will state that his petitions and joint documents were all lies, that he lied to the Citizenship and Immigration Service? He, too, will set himself up in this case. That is, he cannot substitute his wife without having to substitute himself. This is just one of the manipulations that married couples can use against their second half. Do not fall into such threats.”
If it happens that the Spouse-American dies, his wife, the holder of the temporary green card, has the opportunity to apply for a permanent in a separate category – “widow / widower.” And in that case it is important to prove that you did get married in order to create a family.
Home violence is also ranked in a separate category. That is, if a woman gathers evidence that a US citizen-husband applies physical violence to her, she can also apply for a permanent green card herself.
Evidence in this case supposed to be police reports, certificates from doctors about being in the hospital, photos of beatings, testimony.
It is also important to remember that a woman who has come on a bride visa can marry only the person who sponsored this visa for her. Otherwise, she will not receive a green card.
If everything went well, then already 3 years after receiving a temporary green card, you have the right to apply for citizenship.