Marriage with a US citizen or a green card holder gives an opportunity to a foreign spouse to obtain a green card.

If you are married (regardless of the place where you registered your marriage), there are two ways to apply for a green card:

  1. Quicker way to enter the USA is K-3 visa. K-3 is approved within about 3 months and having arrived in the USA you have to wait for a green card for about three months more. Thus, the whole process takes six months.
  2. Form I-130 – petition for alien relative, the whole process takes more time (about one year), but you will be mailed your green card in two weeks after your arrival in the USA.

There is also K-1 visa for a fiancé (Form I-129F). It is used to bring a future spouse to the USA and get married on the territory of the USA within 90 days.


  • marriage has to be legal;
  •  you need to prove that the marriage is bona fide, not a sham;
  •  the spouses’ previous marriages must be legally terminated.

Requirements for children:

Sons and daughters can also receive a green card based on parent’s marriage if they are:

  • Biological or adopted children of the immigrant;
  • Under 21 years of age at the moment of your application’s processing.

In all other cases children can apply for family reunification after the parent has obtained US citizenship.

The first green card is conditional.

Having married with a US citizen and obtained a conditional US resident status, you receive a conditional green card for 2 years. After this period you need to remove conditions and apply for a permanent green card. You can do it with Form I-751 within 90 days before your conditional green card expires.