Chicago Marriage-Based Immigration Lawyer Assisting Clients with Citizenship and Permanent Residency
Obtaining a green card and retaining residency in the United States based on marriage can bring many benefits. A green card holder will enjoy greater career opportunities, attend college for less money, travel in and out of the U.S. with greater ease, and may even sponsor their immediate relatives to come to the United States. And, of course, green card holders are one step closer to upgrading their immigration status to full citizenship. However, this journey may be more complicated than it seems at first.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not give out green cards lightly, especially based on marriage. The USCIS often investigates couples pursuing immigration benefits since the system is often abused by people marrying solely for the purpose of entering the country. It is extremely important to hire an experienced immigration attorney who can help you get your marriage-based green card by proving you have a bona fide marriage and deserve either permanent residence or United States citizenship.
If you want to become a permanent resident of the U.S. or a U.S. citizen, you should first speak with a trusted immigration lawyer like Attorney Kevin Dixler at the Law Office of Kevin L. Dixler. Attorney Dixler has helped countless clients through the immigration process during his nearly 30 years of practice. His extensive knowledge of the law allows him to help families unite on American soil, whether it be a foreign national spouse, unmarried children, or other family members. Contact our law firm today to learn more about we can help you at 312-728-4610.
How Do You Get a Green Card Based on Marriage?
Individuals who are ready to apply for a green card based on marriage should start this process by meeting with a trusted legal professional, as the details may vary depending on the family’s situation. Applicants always start by filing a petition with the USCIS. Depending on whether you are already living in the US or if you are on foreign soil, you may simply need to an adjustment of status, or you may need to file Form I-30 to obtain a green card.
In both cases, you will need to schedule an interview where an officer will determine whether your marriage is valid. The interviewer will ask both you and your spouse some generic questions and review both of your answers to see how well they line up. It’s ok if the answers are not exact, but they should generally agree.
Some example interview questions are:
- Was there a marriage proposal? Who proposed?
- When and where was the wedding?
- Did you travel for your honeymoon? Where did you go?
- What did you do last weekend?
- What did you have for dinner last night?
While these questions indicate how the interview might go, each experience is different, and you may not hear these exact questions. Your immigration attorney will help you prepare for any interviews and will gather evidence to prove that your marriage is valid.
What is Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status?
Marriage-based adjustment of status occurs when the foreign spouse is already residing in the U.S. Form I-485 must be submitted, and, again, the marriage must be proved valid and intact for the immigrant to retain their permanent residence. The applicant must also provide their birth certificate, passports or visas, and marriage license and submit to a background check. It may also be helpful to provide tax returns or W2s, a credit report, a copy of diplomas, and photos of the couple together.
Some requirements for adjustment of status based on marriage are:
- The foreign spouse must have entered the country with a valid immigrant visa or student visa (not including a crewman visa such as D-1, D-2, or C-1 visas).
- The foreign national spouse must be married to a U.S. citizen or green card holder.
- The U.S. citizen spouse must be a financial sponsor for the foreign spouse.
- The foreign national must be of good moral character, meaning they must not have a criminal history of egregious actions like murder or other felonies.
If I am No Longer Married, Will I Be Deported?
Some green card holders who obtained a marriage green card wonder what will happen to them if they divorce their spouse. Indeed, this is a difficult situation as the USCIS does not look kindly at immigrants who divorce after they obtain a green card. However, it is possible for you to retain permanent resident status and even achieve citizenship after you divorce a U.S. citizen.
In the case that you have divorced after receiving a marriage-based green card, you can expect to come under a great deal of scrutiny to determine whether you entered the marriage in good faith. A talented immigration lawyer like Attorney Kevin Dixler can help you gather evidence and submit the proper documentation to prove that you planned for the marriage to continue. Some examples of proof of a bona fide marriage are that you had children with the spouse or that you shared bank accounts. Please reach out to us right away if you want to keep your green card but have separated from your U.S. citizen spouse.
Should You Hire Our Marriage-Based Immigration Lawyer?
Entering the United States based on family relationships is a simple and effective way to gain permanent residence in this country. Family-based immigration is an area we love to handle at our law firm because we are incredibly motivated to keep families together. Immigration law can be complicated, causing a great deal of stress on family members who hope to bring their loved ones into America. Even for couples who have divorced, there is still a chance to keep your green card and obtain citizenship. But you should not try to do this on your own!
At the Law Office of Kevin L. Dixler, we have nearly thirty years of experience handling immigration matters for families in the Chicago area. We know how difficult it is to manage the green card process, including the green card interview and submitting the right documents and forms. We promise to stand by you throughout the process so you never feel alone. Whether you are seeking an immigrant visa, fiancé visa, permanent residence, or citizenship, we can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment where we will discuss your unique situation and see how our talented legal team can resolve your immigration issues. Call now at 312-728-4610!