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U.S. EB-5 Program

Marriage Green Card Processing Time

 QICMS

Published   11:32 AM 28 October 2021
Updated    01:00 PM 23 November 2021

Marriage Green Card Processing Time

One of our EB-5 clients has a daughter who is a U.S. lawful permanent resident (LPR), which means that she is a U.S. green-card holder. She got married, and she is like thousands of other American LPRs and citizens who marry foreign spouses every year, she is looking to make a fresh start in the United States with her spouse. By marrying a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, a foreign-born spouse becomes qualified for a marriage green card, also called a marriage-based green card.

We did sit with her, so she can comprehend the basic timeline of the complete application procedure to be alert of how long her marriage-based green card procedure will take and how to make life plans in view of that.

 

If you are a green card holder (U.S. permanent resident) married to a foreign national who lives outside the United States, this blog is for both of you. We’ll go through every step in the direction of getting your marriage green card. This type of green card application process is also sometimes referred to as Consular Processing.

QUESTION: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A GREEN CARD IN THE U.S. THROUGH MARRIAGE APPLICATION APPROVED?

ANSWER: It depends on so many situations. Still, as of October 2021 it ought to take anywhere between 6-12 months once the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the whole thing it needs. Nevertheless, let’s come across at what will relate to your situation when it comes to obtaining a U.S. green card through marriage.

 

QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE KEY FACTORS THAT WILL IMPACT THE MARRIAGE GREEN CARD TIMELINE?

ANSWER: Generally, to obtain a green card through marriage, your spouse will need between 12 months and 36 months. Thus, we may state that to get a marriage green card depends on three key factors that impact the green card processing time.

The green card processing time will be impacted by:

  1. The status of the petitioner (a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident),
  2. Whether the beneficiary lives in the U.S. or outside the U.S., and
  3. Which service center the applicant sent the application to.

Furthermore, a huge deal of this waiting time can depend upon additional factors such as Visa number availability (Visa Bulletin), USCIS application center’s processing time, NVC processing time, U.S. embassy or consulate in Jordan interviews scheduled, and similar.

Consequently, depending on the key factors, we are able to have four potential situations where the marriage green card processing time will vary:

  1. The spouse seeking a marriage-based green card lives in the U.S. and is married to a U.S. citizen;

  2. The spouse seeking a marriage-based green card lives abroad (Jordan) and is married to a U.S. citizen;

  3. The spouse seeking a marriage-based green card lives in the U.S. and married to a green card holder;

  4. The spouse seeking a marriage-based green card lives abroad (Jordan) and is married to a U.S. green-card holder.

While a lot of extra factors can impact the green card processing time, filing documentation correctly can play an important part no matter which category you belong to.

That is why you should think to hire an immigration lawyer to help you out with defining the approach, gathering and filing all essential documentation.

 

QUESTION: MY SPOUSE SEEKING A GREEN CARD LIVES ABROAD (JORDAN). WHAT IS THE SITUATION?

ANSWER: Well, if your spouse lives outside the United States (in Jordan) and you are a U.S. lawful permanent resident, in this case you’ll apply through a Consular Processing. On the grounds of this, you will use an online green card application- Form DS-260 (officially called the Immigrant Visa Electronic Application).

 

Step #1. Form I-130 Processing - Sponsorship

You as the petitioner or sponsor (green card holder) have to file the Form I-130 package and Form I130A technically called the Petition for Alien Relative, Supplemental Information for Spouse Beneficiary or applicant with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and wait for the approval of the green card application, usually about 6-12 months.

The main purpose of this form is to establish the existence of a valid marriage.

 

Step #2. Visa number availability (F2A category)

Upon approval of your I-130 petition, USCIS will transfer the case to National Visa Center (NVC) which is run by the U.S. State Department. The NVC assigns a unique case number that’s then used to identify the case from that point onward.

When NVC identifies the case, your spouse needs to wait until the visa number in the F2A category becomes available. As we mentioned earlier, you can check this in the Visa Bulletin.

The waiting time of foreign spouses can vary depending on the country of origin. The F2A category for spouses of LPRs is current for nationals of Jordan, meaning there is no visa backlog. 0 months (as of October 2021).

 

Step #3. NVC Processing - Green Card Application

Once the State Department determines that a green card is available, the NVC accepts the green card application package and ultimately decides whether the spouse is ready for an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad (called consular processing).

All the required forms and documents should be submitted with NVC, typically taking 3-5 months to make a decision.

 

Pre-Interview Requirements

There are still a little requirements prior to the interview can happen, though.

 

MEDICAL EXAMINATION

Before attending the green card interview, your spouse must have a medical examination performed by a State Department-approved doctor. His U.S. consulate will send him a list of these doctors along with his interview notice. The cost of this exam varies quite a bit by country, but about USD 200 is common.

Once the exam is complete, the doctor will provide him with a sealed envelope that contains his exam results and vaccination record, which he must take with him to the interview.

 

PASSPORT DELIVERY

Before the interview, your spouse must sign up online with an address to which the passport can be returned after an approved visa stamp is placed in the passport. Instructions to sign up for this passport delivery are available on each consulate’s website.

 

FINGERPRINTING APPOINTMENT

Your spouse must also sign up for a fingerprinting appointment at a visa application support center. The purpose of this appointment is for the government to take fingerprints of the spouse, for background and security checks. Relevant instructions are also posted on each consulate’s website.

The fingerprinting appointment is usually not very traumatic, and can be thought of as more of a procedural step. Your spouse will not be asked questions about the marriage or about green card eligibility at this particular appointment. They will simply get their fingerprints taken.

 

Step #4. Interview at U.S. Embassy or Consulate and Approval

The next step is attending the U.S. Embassy or Consulate interview in the spouse’s home country (Jordan). After 1-2 months, your foreign spouse will attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in his home country (Jordan).

Your spouse will then receive a visa stamp in their passport, allowing for travel to the United States.

 

Step #5. Green Card Arrival

Your spouse living in Jordan will obtain the physical marriage green card to the U.S. address, typically within 6 months upon arrival in the United States.

If you’ve been married for less than two years when the green card is approved, then this green card will show the code CR1, for conditional residence green card. Such green cards are valid for just two years (Same as the EB-5 conditional green card) , at which point you must jointly file another form to remove the conditions. This gives USCIS one more opportunity to make sure that the marriage is real, and then you can get a permanent green card.

If you’ve been married for more than two years when the green card is approved, then the green card will show the code IR1, for immediate relative green card. These green cards are valid for 10 years, and renewal is usually a simple process.

 

QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE GOVERNMENT FEES?

ANSWER: This whole process, costs USD 1,400 in government fees:

  • USCIS to process the I-130 filing package (USD 535 in fees),

  • NVC to complete pre-processing (USD 445 in fees), and

  • Just before the interview is the medical exam (around SUD 200 cost), and just after is the physical green card fee (USD 220).

 

How QICMS Can Help?

Immigrating to the United States is a worthy but difficult course, and supporting a loved one to come to the U.S. can often be overwhelming.

Identifying and managing the correct immigration documentation (I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, I-485 application to register, DS-260 online application and similar) as well as procedures (concurrent filing, medical examination, getting a conditional green card, consular processing, etc.) are not simple, so you might think taking aid from a specializing immigration firm.

QICMS has helped a lot of couples unite in the U.S. and get green cards.

By looking through your file, assisting you in filling out essential forms, and filing the right documentation, our immigration team at QICMS will guide you through the process, making sure you meet main deadlines. This will guarantee you are well set at any phase of the process.

You may contact us or use the online form to request your consultation with us and discuss how to get a marriage green card for you or your spouse.

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