I Just Married A US Citizen -- What Do I Do Now?

Quick Question:

I am a foreigner in the US on a work visa. I just married a US Citizen. What do I do now?

Your US Citizen spouse can petition for you get the green card. If you are both in the US, the process is called “Adjustment of Status”.

Here are some quick facts about the green card process based on marriage

to a US citizen:

  • It takes about 12-15 months from filing until the green card interview – this is true in New York – it may be different where you live.

  • We prepare you and your spouse for the interview and attend it with you if you live in New York City and the interview takes place here.

  • The green card can arrive about 3-4 weeks after the interview.

  • The foreign spouse will receive employment and travel authorization 120-150 days after the petition is filed. The timing on the arrival of employment/travel authorization can vary widely. Historically, New York City resident/green card applicants could receive Emergency Travel Authorization. As of January, 2020, this is no longer true.

  • We will need to show that the US spouse (or the couple together) earns more than 125% of the poverty line for your household size. This generally requires the US spouse or the couple to earn about $25,000 per year, although the precise threshold can vary year by year.

  • If the income levels are too low, we can satisfy this requirement by looking to assets or a “joint sponsor.

  • The green card will be “conditional” – valid for only 2 years if the marriage is recent. You will then have to apply to Immigration for the permanent (10 year) green card.

What does USCIS look for in the green card interview? It verifies that the couple’s documents are in order and that the marriage is bona fide: which means that the couple intends to build a life together.

Remember: Marriage based green cards are available to same sex couples too.

Contact us --

Kevin M. Dyer

Dyer Harris LLP

250 W. 57th Street Suite 624

New York NY 10107



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