Marriage & Family-Based Green Card Facts

  • Adjustment of status is for applicants who are inside the U.S. and consular processing is for applicants who are outside of the U.S.
  • For those who are eligible, adjustment of status is a clear path to receiving a green card through a U.S. relative.
  • With a pending adjustment of status application, it may be possible to receive a work permit and permission to travel outside of the U.S. while waiting for your green card.
  • Depending on their relationship to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, consular processing applicants will either be able to enter the U.S. immediately upon approval of their petition and interview or they will have to wait for their priority date to become current.

Eligibility Checklist for Adjustment of Status

  • Must be the spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21 years old of a U.S. citizen

  • Must have entered the U.S. legally, through a port of entry.

  • Must be physically present in the U.S. at the time of filing the petition.

Eligibility Checklist for Consular Processing

  • Must be the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of a U.S. citizen OR the spouse or unmarried child of a permanent resident.

Frequently Asked Questions about Marriage & Family-Based Green Cards.

A green card is typically valid for 10 years. In marriage-based cases, it is possible to receive a 2-year conditional green card. If you have a 2-year conditional green card, you can file the I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions of Residence to get your permanent 10-year green card.

Yes! Working in the U.S. without authorization will not make you ineligible to adjust your status through a U.S. citizen spouse.

In most marriage and family-based cases, an interview is required. Our office prepares clients for what to expect in their interviews by conducting mock interviews, and our attorneys can even represent clients in their interviews with USCIS.

Although it is not required to hire a lawyer, a lawyer’s job is to help you understand the immigration process, prepare your petition accurately and completely, keep you updated about the status of your case, and ensure you get your green card as quickly as possible.

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