Immigrant Visa Petition
The first step in the process of getting a Marriage Green Card is for the United States citizen to file an Immigrant Visa Petition. The Immigrant Visa Petition is filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. The purpose of the Immigrant Visa Petition is to establish that the United States Citizen and the foreign national spouse are in fact Immediate Relatives.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service can either approve or deny the Immigrant Visa Petition. Additionally, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service could request further evidence before it makes a decision to approve or deny the Immigrant Visa Petition.
If the Immigrant Visa Petition is approved, the foreign national spouse must then submit an application for a Green Card. This can be done either via Adjustment of Status if the foreign national spouse is in the United States or via Consular Processing if he or she is outside of the United States.
Using the process called Adjustment of Status has some tremendous advantages over Consular Processing, although some people prefer to go through Consular Processing.
For Adjustment of Status, the Immediate Relative submits his or her Green Card application directly to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Once it is received, the intending immigrant, also known as the Immediate Relative or spouse of the United States citizen, will be scheduled an in person interview at the local office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Assuming the interview goes well and the Green Card Application is approved, the Green Card itself will arrive in the mail in a few short weeks.
In cases involving Consular Processing, the Immediate Relative files the Green Card application with the United States Consulate in the Immediate Relative’s home country. That Consulate will then instruct the Immediate Relative on important aspects of the Green Card Application, such as obtaining the Police Record, the Medical Examination and the in-person interview.
If the interview goes well, the Immediate Relative will be given an Immigrant Visa that will be used to enter the United States. After inspection and admission into the United States, the Immediate Relative officially becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States. The Green Card itself arrives a few weeks later in the mail.