Permanent Residence by Marriage: How It Is Processed

Permanent Residence by Marriage: How It Is Processed

Permanent residency can be achieved through marriage to a US citizen or permanent resident, as indicated on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

If the immigrant is in the United States, entered the country with a visa and marries a United States citizen, he or she may qualify to go through the legal adjustment of status process, in which he processes two applications at the same time: Form I -130 (petition for alien relative) and Form I-485 (petition to adjust status to permanent resident).

The beneficiary must meet several requirements to receive the immigration benefit, in addition to paying the corresponding fees for each application. And you must deliver the documents that prove the marriage and the identity of both.


If the marriage is less than two years old on the date on which the permanent residence is requested, the beneficiary will receive the residence conditionally for two years, after which he must request that the conditionality be removed, demonstrating that the marriage was legitimate.

If the marriage is more than two years old at the time of starting the process, the residence will not be conditional and the residence card, or “green card”, will be valid for ten years, after which you must apply for a new card.

Unmarried children under the age of 21 of the beneficiary may be included in the process, after which they will also receive permanent residence.

The entire procedure can last from months to more than a year, depending on the city from which it is processed.

Those who reside abroad or in their home country must start the process with the I-130 form and then continue with the process through the Consulate in the beneficiary’s country of origin.

If the immigrant marries a permanent resident, the process can take up to years, since there is a limited number of immigrant visas for these cases, so the wait can be years.

It is always recommended to hire the services of an experienced immigration law attorney in case there are any questions about the process or there are background issues that may present problems to the authorities.