How to Get a U.S. Green Card Based on Marriage

One of the grounds for a Green Card is marriage to a U.S. citizen. In this article, we will tell you how to obtain a Green Card based on your marriage. It is not an easy process, but it is possible with a full set of documents and by following all the legal rules!

How to Get a U.S. Green Card Based on Marriage

Table of contents

Getting a Green Card through Marriage: Benefits

If you marry a U.S. resident, you can get a Green Card and then U.S. citizenship fairly quickly. (A Green Card is also called a Permanent Resident Card or a Form I-551 Registration Card).

A person who is married to a U.S. citizen may obtain such a document, provided that the couple resides in America. The Green Card entitles you to:

If the foreign spouse has children under 18 years old, they may also receive a Green Card as an adopted child of a U.S. citizen.

Green Card Application Documents

Two sets of documents must be submitted to USCIS. One must be provided by the Green Card applicant and the other by a resident or citizen of the United States.

Documents to be submitted by the U.S. citizen

Please note: The more documents you provide to prove your union with an American citizen, the more likely you are to receive a Green Card. Such proof may include:

Within 60-90 days of applying, the applicant will receive an Employment Authorization Card. You also have the option of applying for an Advance Parole to travel to and from the United States.

You will be notified 2-3 weeks after your application that your documents have been received and processed.

You will also need to have your fingerprints taken. After the fingerprints are processed and you confirm that you have no criminal record, you will be scheduled for an interview with a time, date and location. After the interview, the officer will put a temporary Green Card stamp in your passport. If successful, you will receive your plastic card by mail.

If you were married less than two years ago, you will receive a Married Green Card for two years. To obtain a permanent U.S. Green Card through marriage, you must be in a marital relationship for more than 2 years.

Is it possible to keep the Green Card in case of divorce?

For situations where spouses no longer live together, immigration law allows an I-751 petition for a change of status. In order to qualify, the foreign spouse must prove that they entered into the marriage for love and family, and that the marriage ended in divorce, and deportation would result in extreme hardship for the foreign spouse. In addition, eligibility is based on the abuse of the Green Card spouse by the American spouse. The abuse can be physical, emotional, and/or financial. Anyway, for a successful case it is necessary to consult a lawyer.

If you have been married for more than 5 years and have been naturalized to the United States, you can stay in this country even after your divorce, without the need for any petition.

Green card photo specifications

The Green Card photo requirements for 2022 are as follows:

Green Card photo example

Get a Green Card photo online!

With Visafoto Document Photo Editor you can take a photo quickly, online, from anywhere in the world! At the same time it will meet all the requirements.

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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Source photo example that you need to take in order to make a passport or visa photo at


Result example: a correct visa or passport photo that you will receive

Visafoto will change the background, adjust the resolution, do some color correction, and crop the photo to the required size.

The original picture:

Original photo

The pictures you will get:

Green Card photo result
Green Card photo for printing

Be assured, your photo will meet all legal requirements. Good luck getting your Green Card!


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