Newark, NJ- One of the options available to immigrants who wish to obtain a green card or lawful permanent residence is a marriage-based green card. With a marriage-based green card, an immigrant can live and work in the U.S. and travel internationally. This is one of the most common ways to obtain and green card and there is no limit to how many are issued each year. But it is not a simple process and immigrants are advised to consult with a Jersey City immigration attorney to determine eligibility, potential pitfalls and for help with the process.
In order to qualify for a marriage-based visa (green-card) an immigrant must meet a set of criteria enforced by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. An immigrant must be able to prove s/he is legally married, is in a bona fide relationship, is married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and entered the U.S. with inspection and admission or some other acceptable entry. Any previous marriages must have ended either through divorce or death.
To be eligible for a marriage-based visa an immigrant must prove they are in a marriage legally recognized in the state or country where they were married. Typically, an immigrant must provide official documentation issued by a government agency (for example: a marriage certificate) that shows they are legally married. The required documentation varies depending on the details of each case, so an applicant is advised to contact an immigration attorney to determine if s/he has the correct documents and assistance obtaining them if they don’t.
An immigrant must also prove the marriage is a serious commitment entered into for the purpose of building a life together. A marriage cannot be entered into for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card. USCIS agents are trained to carefully screen green card applicants to determine if their marriage is fraudulent. For this reason, an immigrant will be required to provide immigration officials with extensive documentation about the relationship; failure to do so will result in denial of the application and possibly referral to immigration court for removal proceedings.
Immigrants are allowed to apply for marriage-based green cards before they enter the U.S. through a multi-step process involving USCIS, the Department of State and the local consulate. A potential green card applicant living in the U.S. may be able to obtain status without returning to their native country; others will be required to return to their native country for a brief or extended period before receiving a green card. The particular route an immigrant chooses depends on their individual circumstances.
Obtaining a marriage-based green card requires more than filing the necessary petitions; it requires extensive documentation and meetings with immigration officials. A simple mistake can cause an application to be denied and an immigrant must start the process over again, or worse, be deported or forever denied admission to the U.S. This can mean long delays which an applicant can avoid if they retain me to help them throughout all stages of the process from filing the necessary applications to meeting with immigration officials.
Because immigration is the focal part of my New Jersey practice, I understand the complexities of U.S. immigration laws and will take the necessary steps to ensure my clients obtain the visa or green card they are seeking. Whatever your immigration needs, I will use my knowledge and commitment to your advantage. If you would like to discuss your case, contact my Newark office to set up an appointment.