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Family Visas in details

Marriage-Based Green Card - Adjustment of Status or Immigrant Visa Processing at the U.S. Consulate.

A marriage-based green card allows a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (green card holder) to file a petition to get their foreign spouse a green card. 

Two Ways to Apply:
1. If the foreign spouse is in the United States and was “inspected and admitted” at the port of entry, the foreign spouse may apply for adjustment of status. 

2. If the foreign spouse is not in the United States, an Immigrant Visa can be applied for with the U.S. consulate.

First Step:

The first step in any marriage-based case is to file a Form I-130, Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative. The I-130 establishes a valid or bona fide marital relationship with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

Second Step:

  1. Apply for Adjustment of Status; 

    1. If the spouse is in the United States and was “inspected and admitted” at the U.S. port of entry, they may be eligible to adjust their current status to lawful permanent residence (green card holder). Note: Spouses of lawful permanent residents fall under a different category, F2A, requiring them to be in a lawful status at the time of filing the Adjustment of Status. Find out more by scheduling a consultation now.

    2. For the spouse of a U.S. citizen, the Adjustment of Status can be filed concurrently with the I-130. 

  2. Proceed with Immigrant Visa Processing (Link to below) at the U.S. Consulate. If the foreign spouse is living outside the U.S., the I-130 approval will be forwarded to the Department of State’s National Visa Center for Immigrant Visa Processing. 

Third Step:

Attend the green card interview, either at a U.S. based field office or the U.S. Consulate.

Immigrant Visa Processing

Immigrant Visa Processing is consular processing for the immigrant visa. The process begins with an approved petition, I-130 (family based) or I-140 (employment based). During this process, the Department of State National Visa Center requires the DS Form 260, Civil Documents, and Financial Documents from your sponsor. Once all information and documents are collected, an Immigrant Visa interview is scheduled at the U.S. consulate. 



PDF Guide for the future


Getting a green card when living in the United States


Applying for a green card while living outside the United States.


K-1 Fiance(e) Visas 


If you are a U.S. citizen who wants to bring a foreign fiance to the United States, you must first file a Petition for Alien Fiance(e), Form I-129F, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


Step 1:


Filing the Petition: File a Petition for Alien Fiance(e) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


Step 2:


Applying for a Visa: Upon approval of the Petition for Alien Fiance(e), the approval will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of State National Visa Center for consular processing. The K-1 approval is valid for four months from the date of approval by USCIS. 


The foreign fiance(e) will complete a Form DS-160 and submit documents to the National Visa Center. The U.S. citizen fiance(e) will also provide financial support documents. Once all information and documents are submitted, a visa interview will be scheduled at the U.S. consulate. 


The K-1 fiance(e) may also apply for a K-2 visa for their eligible dependent children. 


Step 3:


Attend the Visa Interview: After completing the National Visa Center process and obtaining a medical examination, the K-1 fiance(e) will attend a visa interview. The consular officer will ask questions about the relationship and the K-1 fiance(e) to determine if a valid relationship exists and if the K-1 fiance(e) is admissible to the United States.

If approved for a K-1 Visa, the consulate will issue a K-1 Visa stamp in the K-1 fiance(e)’s passport. The K-1 fiance(e) must travel to the U.S. during the validity period on the K-1 Visa.


Step 4:


Enter the United States with the valid K-1 Visa: Travel to the United States, present the K-1 Visa to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for admission as a K-1 fiance(e). Note that CBP has the final authority to admit the K-1 fiance(e) to the United States.


Step 5: 90 DAY CLOCK ALERT!!


Marriage: A K-1 fiance(e) must marry their U.S. citizen fiance(e) within 90 days of admission to the United States. Therefore, upon entry to the U.S. on the K-1 Visa, the clock is ticking to timely marry.


Step 6:


Adjustment of Status: Once the K-1 fiance(e) and U.S. citizen are married, apply for a green card through Adjustment of Status. 


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.


USCIS will review the application and will call both the U.S. citizen and 

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