One of the most common ways prospective immigrants commit fraud in the U.S. is through the marriage visa program. Because of this, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is vigilant about examining and reviewing those cases involving marriage of a foreign national to a U.S. citizen. If you are planning to marry someone who is a citizen of the United States, you should be prepared for a complex and often tedious process.
Having a green card gives you many rights and protections. As long as you do nothing to jeopardize your permanent resident status, you can live, work and enjoy many of the rights of a U.S. citizen. Obtaining those privileges through marriage takes a long time, and you want to avoid anything that will delay or damage your progress.
Do you know what you're doing?
Once you are married, you must wait two years to apply for an adjustment of your status from a conditional resident to a permanent resident. In order to adjust your status, you will provide USCIS with documentation that demonstrates the validity of your marriage. For example, if you were previously married, you must show proof of your divorce or a death certificate if your spouse passed away. You may also have to supply birth certificates to prove that you and your spouse are not related by blood.
Some common mistakes can bring your progress toward permanent residency to a halt, for example:
- Failing to properly and thoroughly complete your application, which is the most common reason why the USCIS rejects status adjustments
- Failing to provide the necessary documentation requested by USCIS
- Missing the deadline for adjusting your status, which may change your status to unlawfully present
- Trying to adjust too soon, which may make USCIS suspicious about your intentions
- Failing to obtain a waiver if you are in the U.S. unlawfully
You likely have never gone through this process before, so it is understandable if you have many questions and uncertainties about what to do. Many in your position find it is a great stress relief to have the assistance of a Texas legal professional with experience and success in immigration matters. If you seek this kind of help, you will have someone to speak for you and an advisor to guide you through the complicated process. With a strong advocate, your chances of making a mistake may greatly diminish.