Marriage Based Immigration

Green Card Through Marriage

Young man giving a young woman a piggyback ride with trees in the background The spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident may be able to obtain permanent residency to live and work in the United States indefinitely.


  1. The permanent resident or United States citizen spouse will file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with other required forms, listing the foreign spouse as the beneficiary.
  2. After the petition is approved, the couple will begin National Visa Center (NVC) processing, choose an agent, and pay the associated fees.
  3. The couple will then collect and submit forms and documents that show sufficient evidence of a valid, bona fide marriage (such as the, marriage certificate and financial documents) and evidence of your spouse’s status as a permanent resident or U.S. Citizen and submit the documents to the NVC.
  4. The couple will then prepare for their interview at USCIS where they will be questioned about their marriage.

There are two categories of petitions:

  1. Spouses of U.S. Citizens
  2. Spouses of Legal Permanent Residents

The estimated wait times for applications filed in the U.S. may vary and are based on the location of applicants and volume of cases handled by a particular U.S. Immigration Service Center.

Important Note: Consular Processes for I-130 Petitions filed outside the United States may require additional time and procedures depending on the country where the applicant is located.

In order to become a U.S. citizen after the marriage, you must remain married and wait about 3 years after you obtain your green card. If you and your partner should divorce, you must wait 5 years as a permanent resident (green card holder) before you can apply to become a citizen.

If you are a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident who would like to file an I-130 Petition for your spouse, you need an experienced attorney and team to guide you through this process. At the Law Office of Attorney Saikon Gbehan, we are dedicated to helping couples reunite and reside together in the United States, and we will diligently pursue your case.

Contact us today at (401) 228-0001 to get started.