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Green cards through marriage to a U.S. citizen 


An alien who marries an U.S. citizen can obtain a green card. If the marriage was entered into within 2 years prior to being given permanent residency, the alien will receive "conditional permanent residence". This means that the permanent resident status can be terminated if, within two years after the permanent resident status is granted, the marriage is annulled, ends in divorce, or was completely fraudulent. 

Note that this applies to legal proceedings affecting the marriage. If the marriage is not doing well so that the couple is not together, so long as they are not legally separated, the marriage is still considered "valid" for green card purposes.

In the petition to the INS a spouse of a U.S. citizen will first establish eligibility and apply for either adjustment of status or go through visa processing.  It is not sufficient to establish eligibility alone. The foreign national will have to actually obtain permanent residency through either AOS or visa processing.

During the two years the alien receiving the green card is entitled to all rights and entitlements that a regular permanent resident enjoys. That is, he or she can work, travel in and out of the U.S, and accumulate time for purposes of obtaining naturalization for U.S. citizenship.

Spouses of U.S. citizens who have died are still eligible as an immediate relative. However, the spouse must have been married to the U.S. citizen for at least two years and have applied for permanent residency within two years of the U.S. citizenís death. At the time of application, the spouse must not have remarried.  Aliens can hire our law firm to prepare their application or may purchase our Visakit if they prefer to do the application on their own.  




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