When a foreign national enters the United States with a visa or through the Visa Waiver Program and marries a US citizen, they may be eligible to get their green card without having to return to their home country for consular processing. This process is called adjustment of status (AOS) marriage and it allows the couple to complete their green card application at a local USCIS office.
A key adjustment of status marriage for most immigrants to use this path is that they were in lawful status when their spouse first applied for their green card. This usually means that the immigrant used a valid visa or the Visa Waiver Program for their most recent entry to the United States. It also means that the foreign spouse has not been out of status for more than 90 days since that date, because the assumption is that people who overstay their visa purposely misrepresented their intention to stay in the United States and apply for a green card.
Adjustment of Status Through Marriage: Key Steps and Important Considerations
Once the immigrant’s spouse submits their AOS application, they will attend an interview with a USCIS officer at their local USCIS service center. At this interview, a USCIS officer will examine the facts of their case and review their evidence packet to determine whether or not their marriage is bona fide. The spouse will also be subject to a background check at this time and it is very important that they provide accurate information.
Once the AOS application is approved, the spouse will be granted conditional permanent resident status for two years. The couple must then file a petition to remove the conditions and prove that they have remained married in good faith during their period of conditional residency.