Marriage-Based Green Cards
(Adjustment of Status)

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Marriage-Based Green Card Lawyers

Section 245(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows certain foreign nationals who are physically present in the U.S. to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident. If you are an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, you can become a lawful permanent resident based on your family relationship if you meet certain eligibility requirements. The spouse of a U.S. citizen qualifies as an immediate relative. Our marriage-based green card lawyers will help you determine your eligibility and guide you through each stage of the process of acquiring permanent residency in the U.S.


To be eligible for a marriage-based Green Card as the spouse of a U.S. citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Properly file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status as well as file or have an already approved Form I-130.
  • You were inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the U.S.
  • You are physically present in the U.S.
  • You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa.
  • An immigrant visa is immediately available to you at the time you file your Form 1-485 and at the time USCIS makes a final decision on your application.
  • If you are an immediate relative of a USC, this is not an issue.
  • You are admissible to the U.S. for lawful permanent residency or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other forms of relief.
  • You merit the favorable exercise of USCIS’ discretion.

You are eligible to receive an immigrant visa under 245(a) if you are the beneficiary of:

  • An approved Form I-130 on your behalf.
  • A pending Form I-130 (that is ultimately approved).
  • A Form I-130 (that is ultimately approved) filed together with your Form I-485.

Certain bars to adjustment do not apply to the spouse of a U.S. citizen. You may be eligible to adjust status even if:

  • You are now employed or have ever been employed in the U.S. without authorization;
  • You are not in lawful immigration status on the date you file the adjustment application;
  • You have failed to continuously maintain lawful status since entry into the U.S.;
  • You were last admitted to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Marina Islands (CNMI) as a visitor under the Guam or CNMI Visa Waiver Program and are not a Canadian citizen;
  • You were last admitted to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant visitor without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program; or
  • You have violated the terms of your nonimmigrant status.

To qualify for a marriage-based Green Card, you must be admissible to the U.S. If you are inadmissible, the law may allow you to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility using Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. If a waiver or other form of relief is granted, USCIS may approve your application for a Green Card if you are otherwise eligible.

Whether a waiver or other form of relief is available depends on the specific ground(s) of inadmissibility that applies to you.

General grounds for inadmissibility include:

  • Health-related grounds;
  • Public charge ground;
  • Fraud or willful misrepresentation;
  • False claim to U.S. citizenship;
  • Smuggling ground;
  • Criminal Grounds
  • Being subject to civil penalty; or
  • 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence in the U.S.

The filing fee for Form I-485 is $1,140. The Biometric services fee is $85. You may also concurrently file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative if you have not done so at the time of filing your application for permanent residency. The filing fee for Form I-130 is $535.

After you file your form(s), USCIS will mail you a notice for your biometric services appointment, sometime after you receive your receipt notices from USCIS which confirm receipt of the case. USCIS officials will review your case to determine whether an interview is necessary. If they schedule you for an interview, you will be required to appear.

Depending on whether you file both forms concurrently or if you file the immigrant petition before you file your Green Card application, the length of time varies from case to case according to its circumstances and location. The range usually varies between 4 to 7 months from the date of filing.

Speak with a Marriage-Based Green Card Lawyer at Bolour / Carl Immigration Group

We represent you through the entire process, from beginning to end. We are there for you every step of the way, including prepping you for the green card interview and accompanying you to the interview. Our goal is to ensure everything goes as smooth as possible so you can navigate the complex processes and procedures of immigration law with a clear mind and little stress, and conclude with your permanent residency here in the U.S.

If you would like to speak with a marriage-based green card lawyer, contact Bolour/Carl Immigration Group at 323-857-0034 or [email protected].

An Overview Of Marriage-Based Green Cards

Our marriage-based green card lawyers understand the importance of securing a marriage-based green card and it’s critical to have an experienced legal professional who can help with the complexities surrounding this process. Our team has years of experience assisting clients in navigating the intricate legal processes involved in obtaining these essential documents. In this comprehensive overview, we will delve into the crucial aspects of marriage-based green cards, shedding light on what they entail and how our experienced team can assist you in achieving your immigration goals.

Understanding Marriage-Based Green Cards

A marriage-based green card, officially known as a “Permanent Resident Card,” is a legal document that grants foreign nationals the right to live and work in the United States indefinitely. This card is issued to individuals who are married to U.S. citizens or permanent residents. It serves as evidence of lawful permanent resident status, allowing holders to enjoy the privileges and responsibilities that come with it.

Eligibility And Requirements

To be eligible for a marriage-based green card, the primary requirement is a genuine marital relationship between the U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner and the foreign national beneficiary. This means that the marriage must be entered into in good faith, without any fraudulent intentions. Other eligibility criteria may include the absence of any criminal history, adherence to immigration regulations, and financial stability to ensure the petitioner can financially support the beneficiary.

The Application Process

The process of obtaining a marriage-based green card typically involves two main steps:

Filing the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative: The U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse initiates the process by submitting Form I-130, which establishes the qualifying relationship. This form must be accompanied by supporting documentation, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, and proof of legal status.

Filing the I-485 Application to Adjust Status: Once the I-130 petition is approved, the foreign national spouse can file Form I-485 to adjust their status to that of a permanent resident. This application also requires supporting evidence and a thorough medical examination.

The Marriage Interview

The marriage interview is a key component to the marriage-based green card application process. This interview is conducted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to assess the authenticity of the marriage. During the interview, the couple may be asked a series of questions about their relationship, such as how they met, their daily routines, and their future plans together. It is essential to prepare thoroughly for this interview, as it can significantly impact the outcome of the application.

Conditional Permanent Residence

In some cases, a marriage-based green card may be initially granted on a conditional basis. This typically occurs when the marriage is less than two years old at the time of approval. To remove these conditions and obtain a permanent green card, the couple must jointly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, within the 90-day window before the conditional green card’s expiration date.

Why Choose Our Firm

Navigating the intricacies of marriage-based green card applications can be overwhelming. Having the guidance of experienced marriage-based green card lawyers can significantly ease the process. Our dedicated team is well-versed in immigration law and has a proven track record of successfully assisting clients in securing their marriage-based green cards.

Whether you are in the early stages of planning your application or need assistance with a challenging aspect of the process, our team is here to provide personalized support and experienced legal counsel. We will work diligently to ensure that your application is prepared accurately, your rights are protected, and you have the best chance of obtaining a marriage-based green card.

Next Steps

Many foreign nationals are looking to build a life in the United States with their loved ones, and securing a marriage-based green card is a significant milestone in this process. The journey may seem daunting, but with the help of our marriage-based green card lawyers at Bolour / Carl Immigration Group, APC, it becomes a manageable and less stressful endeavor. We invite you to reach out to our team today to discuss your specific situation, receive personalized guidance, and take the first step toward securing your future in the United States. Your dreams of permanent residency are within reach, and we are here to make them a reality.

Ally and Alexander

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"Professionalism, friendly, respectful, helpful and always answering any questions I had. The long journey has brought me a mix of emotions but the team of Bolour Immigration Group and particularly Scott and Ally have proven to be the right choice to help me get through."
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