When a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen, he or she becomes eligible to seek permanent residency (a “green card”) in the United States through an adjustment of status through marriage. Doing so exempts the newly-married individual from immigration quotas levied on his or her country of origin and offers other benefits as well. For instance, instead of waiting for five years to naturalize, the foreign national can apply for his her citizenship after two years and nine months.
With the recent and welcomed change at the federal government level regarding same-sex marriages, now same-sex spouses can adjust the status of the foreign national spouse if their marriage is recognized by the local jurisdiction as in California. This is true even if one of the spouses had previously had an opposite sex marriage or is self identified as bisexual.
Like any process for securing a visa or permanent residency, the adjustment of status through marriage requires the couple to fill out a number of forms. An experienced southern California immigration lawyer like the ones at the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. can help you identify what forms are required, gather the required information, and ensure you meet all applicable filing deadlines. Our office has a 0% failure rate on these types of applications. In addition, through our expertise and efficiency, we can speed the process to approval by weeks and even months. This is especially important if the foreign national is hoping to work. We can normally get them an employment card within two months of visiting our office for the first time.
The two main forms for an adjustment of status through marriage are Form I-130, the Petition for Immediate Relative, and Form I-485, the Application to Adjust Status. In addition, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) requires Form I-693, Medical Exam Results, and the applicable version of Form I-864, the Affidavit of Support.
Finally, other forms that may be required are the I-765, Application for Employment Eligibility, and the I-131, Application for Advance Parole. These forms are used to establish or preserve employment eligibility or travel privilege, especially if the foreign partner does not currently have non-immigrant status or plans not to continue his or her current non-immigrant status. Once the application for adjustment of status through marriage is filed, the applicant may not leave the United States unless Form I-131 is filed and advance parole is issued.
Start your process today and we can help your future begin that much faster.