IMMIGRATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We have experience with the full range of options to gain legal status in the United States
A “green card,” issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provides proof of lawful permanent resident status, with authorization to live and work anywhere in the United States. Most green cards must be renewed every 10 years, but conditional green cards based on marriage or investment must be replaced after the first 2 years.
A lawful permanent resident, also known as a “green card holder,” is a foreign national who is authorized to live and work anywhere in the United States, sponsor certain relatives for their own green cards, and ultimately apply for U.S. citizenship.
A green card application may be denied by the U.S. government for several reasons, including but not limited to mistakes on the required forms, missing documents, insufficient financial resources, or failure to demonstrate eligibility.
Anyone who already has a valid work visa (for example, an H-1B or L-1 visa) can usually continue working in the United States even while applying for a U.S. green card. Otherwise, green card applicants aren’t allowed to start working in the United States until they obtain a work permit by filing Form I-765.
Most U.S. citizens and U.S. green card holders are entitled by law to sponsor their spouses for a green card, also known as “permanent residence status.” The total cost, wait time, and other details of the marriage green card process vary based on several factors.
A marriage-based green card can take between 10 and 38 months to process, depending on whether your new spouse is a U.S. citizen or green card holder and where you currently live.
The required documents for a marriage green card can vary by situation, but in general the couple must provide evidence, such as proof that the sponsoring spouse is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; a copy of their marriage certificate; evidence that the marriage is authentic; and evidence that the sponsoring spouse can financially support the spouse seeking a green card.
There are many ways to get a green card, and the timeline for each pathway is different. Depending on the situation, the marriage-based green card process can last as little as 10 months or over 3 years.
The K-1 fiancé visa is available to fiancés of U.S. citizens who are living outside of the United States and intend to get married within 90 days of arriving in the United States.