I Just Married a U.S. Citizen—Can I Get a Green Card?

I Just Married a U.S. Citizen—Can I Get a Green Card?



I Just Married a U.S. Citizen—Can I Get a Green Card?

Marrying a U.S. citizen has several benefits, including the eligibility to apply for a green card based on that marriage. This is done through a process known as “adjustment of status,” which simply means going through a process by which you become a lawfully admitted permanent resident or green card holder. At Robert D. Ahlgren & Associates, we have experienced green card lawyers who help clients in the Chicago area to obtain a green card through marriage.

Conditional Residence

If you just recently got married, or if your marriage is less than two years by the time immigration approves your green card application, then you become a conditional permanent resident, meaning your green card is only valid for two years.

In this case, you must apply to remove this conditional status and make your green card permanent on the anniversary of your 2-year marriage. If your application to remove conditions is approved, you will be given a permanent green card good for 10 years, renewable, meaning you can infinitely renew it every 10 years, much as you would a driver’s license when it expires. 

However, if you so desire, you can apply for naturalization (citizenship) after you have had your green card for at least 3 years.

On the other hand, if you have been married for more than 2 years at the time your green card is approved, then you will likely get a permanent green card valid for 10 years that is renewable.

When Can You Apply to Remove Conditions on a Green Card?

It depends. If your marriage is intact, meaning you have not legally or physically separated or divorced, you can apply as early as 90 days before the expiration of your conditional 2-year green card. However, you must apply to remove conditions on your green card by the time the green card expires. It is critical that you remember this because failure to apply to remove conditions by the expiration date will cause complications and have you going through the unnecessary hustle to explain to the immigration office why you did not timely apply to remove the conditions.

Removing Conditions After Divorce

In the event you are now divorced and no longer in the marriage by which you obtained your conditional permanent resident status, then you can proceed and file an application to remove conditions on your green card at any time before your 2-year anniversary. 

Keep in mind whether you apply to remove conditions on grounds you are divorced or at the expiration of conditional status, you must still be prepared to show that your marriage was entered into in good faith.

If you are in the Chicago area and seek a green card based on your recent marriage to a U.S. citizen or green card holder, contact us today and schedule an appointment to discuss your situation.


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