The legally wedded spouse of a United States citizen is eligible to live and work anywhere in the US. Naturally, many people are keen to know how to get a green card through marriage. In desperation, many forge their marriages for a green card. However, the repercussions of forged documents and false information are severe.
The I-130 form is the first step that decides whether you are going to get a green card or not. Also known as the Petition for Alien Relatives, you have to submit supporting documents to back this form.
For your convenience, we will talk about the four types of evidence you should have in place for your marriage-based green card.
Proof of United States citizenship or permanent residency
If you want to get a green card through marriage, your spouse must be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States. If your partner is a foreign national and you are a citizen of the United States, you need to prove your citizenship. Proof of citizenship is a prerequisite for filling up the I-130 form.
What are the documents that can prove you are a legal citizen of the United States?
- A birth certificate issued in the United States
- A valid United States passport
- Your Naturalization Certificate. A naturalization certificate is issued to foreign nationals who have become US citizens voluntarily. For most people born outside the United States, it is the most common way of getting US citizenship.
- In absence of a Naturalization Certificate, you need to provide a Certificate of Citizenship.
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA). It is issued to those who are born outside the United States to legal US citizens. Even if a single parent is a US citizen, the child might be eligible for CRBA.
The list of documents mentioned here is necessary for your spouse to get a green card through marriage. However, these documents are needed by the spouse who is already a legal citizen of the United States. If your partner is a foreign national and wants a green card through marriage, you need to provide all these documents.
As with any legal document, all of these certificates should be authentic. The consequences of using forged documents can be very harsh. If you have trouble obtaining any of these documents, talk to one of our attorneys for assistance.
Documents to prove a legal marriage
Since you are trying to understand how to get a green card through marriage, the first thing you should take care of is your marriage evidence.
There are many ways to prove marriage, and documentation varies from country to country and region to region. However, you need to have some solid evidence that confirms your marital status.
If you have a government-authorized marriage certificate, that is the first document to furnish. Different governments issue different marriage certificates, but almost all countries give this legal document to validate a marriage. A marriage certificate is the first evidence to prove your marital status.
The second type of evidence that proves marriage is joint ownership of assets. If you and your spouse have a joint bank account or property, documents of those also count as evidence of bona fide marriage.
In case you or your spouse had previous marriage(s), you need to provide legal documents to support its termination.
As with marriage certificates, most governments authorize divorce certificates. Divorce certificates are the easiest way of proving that your marriage has ended.
If your ex-spouse passed away, you need to furnish evidence of that as well. A death certificate is sufficient to prove the death of your former spouse.
You must keep in mind that this set of documents are necessary for both partners. If one of the two cannot produce satisfactory documents, their application for marriage immigration might be rejected.
Your financial statements serve two purposes. One, they say whether you will be able to sustain yourself in the United States. Secondly, they show your financial track record, and whether you have any history of fraud or money laundering.
If you are a citizen of the United States, and your spouse is seeking to obtain a green card through marriage, you need to provide evidence of your financial capability. If a person is deemed not capable of financially supporting their spouse, a financial co-sponsor is required otherwise the partner’s application may be rejected.
A copy of your income tax return works as the best evidence of your financial stability. It is both easy to get and authoritative evidence. There are some other options as well.
- If you own stocks in the United States, you can show evidence of that
- Bank statements also work well provided you have a clean track record
Financial documents are as important as citizenship documents. Have them all in one place for faster immigration processing.
Documents for Form I-485
The person seeking a green card through marriage needs some additional documents if they are already in the United States.
If you are trying to get a green card through marriage, you must first show your legal citizenship status in your home country. The most common document to corroborate this is a birth certificate of a foreign country. In absence of a birth certificate, or along with it, a passport issued in another country is often needed.
You would also need your U.S. visa and I-94 travel record to prove that you entered the United States lawfully.
Now coming to the tough part, you also need to show your previous records of violating immigration policies, if any. If you have had an encounter with United States law enforcement, you need to show a record of that as well.
Speak With An Immigration Lawyer In San Jose Today!
Everyone wants to know how to get a green card through marriage but often ends up taking the wrong approach. Abiding by the rules and furnishing all authorized documents are the first two steps towards getting a green card through marriage. If you do not have any of the documents mentioned above, get in touch with an immigration attorney and see how you can work things out.