Call Us 888-365-1555

Consulta gratuita de casos888-365-1555

2024 How to Get a Green Card Through Marriage in California?

2024 How to Get a Green Card Through Marriage in California?
Marc Karlin

If you have found your loved one and have decided to tie the knot, you are likely facing challenges in living together if your spouse is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) and you are a foreign national. It’s important to inform yourself about the steps of the process and to deeply understand how to get a green card through marriage in California, so you can live together and start building your life in California as a married couple.

The process of getting a green card through marriage to a US citizen or LPR is complex and multifaceted, varying depending on different cases. However, with the right resources, legal representation, and tenacity, you can tackle the process of acquiring a marriage-based green card to establish lawful permanent residency in the United States. The following step-by-step guide will show you how you can do so.

A Step-by-Step Breakdown: The Marriage Green Card Process in California

By acquiring a marriage-based green card, foreign nationals who are married to a US citizen or LPR can work and live in California and anywhere else in the United States. If the marriage-based green card holder wishes to do so, they can apply for US citizenship after having lawful permanent residency for three years. To acquire a marriage-based green card, an immigration lawyer can assist with the following steps:

  • Filing a Form I-130 Petition with USCIS. The US citizen or LPR spouse will need to file an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with United States Customs and Immigration Services, showing that the marriage exists and that it is valid or bonafide. Supporting documents for this petition include a marriage certificate, joint bank account statements, and pictures, together with proof that the sponsoring spouse is a US citizen or LPR.
  • Waiting for the Receipt of Notice. After USCIS has received the application, they will send the petitioning spouse a receipt of notice indicating that the papers have been correctly received and that the application is under review.
  • Responding to a Request for Evidence. If USCIS decides that they need more information or evidence to decide about the marriage green card application, they will send a Request for Evidence after a couple of months.
  • Applying for the Green Card. After the petition has been accepted, the applicant spouse will either need to file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, or a DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. Form I-485 is for applicants who are already located in the United States. Both applications will need extensive supportive documentation, including an I-864 Affidavit of Support.
  • Attending the Interview. During the interview for a marriage green card, the interviewing officer will attempt to ensure that the marriage is authentic and will ask questions related to the history of the marriage. If they believe that the marriage is bonafide, they will approve the green card application. If the applicant spouse is located in the United States, they must attend the interview with their spouse.

Successful applicants located in the United States already will get their green card by mail a few weeks after their application is accepted. Spouses living abroad will receive a visa stamp in their passport, allowing them to travel to the United States after the interview at their nearest US embassy or consulate if their application is approved.


Q: What Benefits Do Marriage Green Card Holders Have in California?

A: Green card holders in California are individuals who have lawful permanent residency in the United States, are living in California, and enjoy benefits similar to other types of green card holders in the United States. Marriage green card holders have similar rights and responsibilities as US citizens, with the ability to live and work in the country for up to 10 years, with the possibility for renewal. Marriage green card holders can apply for citizenship after three years.

Q: What Are the Processing Times and Costs of a CA Marriage-Based Green Card?

A: The processing time for a marriage green card can last months to over a year, with the costs being significantly less for applicants who are applying from abroad versus in-country. The length of green card processing for a case can vary based on factors such as the amount of backlog on applications, the location of the application, the thoroughness and completeness of the application, the supporting evidence, and the legal support available.

Q: How Many Years Do I Have to Be Married to Get a Green Card?

A: There is no amount of time that a foreign national has to be married to a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident in order to apply for a marriage green card. As soon as a couple has officiated their marriage, they can apply for a marriage-based green card. It’s important to note, however, that marriage-based green cards are conditional if the marriage is less than two years old upon application, meaning that certain conditions must be met and demonstrated before the two-year renewal mark.

Q: How Much Does a California Marriage Green Card Lawyer Cost?

A: The cost of a California marriage green card lawyer varies depending on multiple factors, such as the location of the law firm, the experience and skill of the lawyer, the complexity of your case, and the services required. It’s important to work with a legal professional who is accredited to practice immigration law in the state of California and who is upfront and transparent about their fees and pricing schemes.

Start Working Towards Acquiring Your Marriage Green Card Today

Getting a marriage green card is a key milestone in a marriage, as it allows both spouses to enjoy similar rights and freedoms to live and work in the United States. However, as this process can be pricey, complex, and lengthy, many individuals become anxious and overwhelmed by the prospect of applying for a marriage-based green card.

A compassionate and experienced immigration lawyer from Karlin & Karlin can work with you to understand your case details, inform you of your rights, and help you navigate the green card application process. Contact a dedicated lawyer from our team today to get started with your case.

Looking For Legal Assistance?

Request a Free Consultation

Fields Marked With An “*” Are Required

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We Do have live operators 24/7 (English & Spanish)

Ready To
Fight For You

Call Us At 888-365-1555