Green Card through Marriage

Numerical Caps

If your spouse is a U.S. Citizen, then your family relationship is close enough to be considered an immediate relative. There is no cap on the number of immigrant visas that can be issued to “immediate relatives” such as the spouse of a U.S. Citizen.

If your spouse is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), then your relationship falls under the family preference category is capped (as of July 2016) at 114,200 for every fiscal year.

For a more detailed explanation of the differences between immediate relatives and family preference immigrant visas, click here.

Conditional Resident (CR)

Marriage by a foreign national to a USC/LPR results in CR status unless the marriage is more than two years old at the time of granting the immigrant status. A CR may remove the conditional status after two years of marriage have passed by jointly filing I-751 petition with spouse. (A battered spouse may file a I-360 independent of USC/LPR spouse). A I-751 petition must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of CR status. Timely filing the I-751 petition automatically extends CR status until the I-751 petition is adjudicated. On the petition the parties must establish the following: 1) The marriage was legal where it took place; 2) The marriage has not been terminated; 3) The marriage was not entered into for the purpose of procuring residency; and 4) No fee (other than an attorney’s fee to assist filing) was paid. CR status will be terminated if CR fails to appear at interview with USCIS (if required). The period of conditional residence counts toward naturalization. CR’s have same benefits as all other residents (i.e. employment authorization, petitioning for children, etc.).