Informacoes sobre Imigracao

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Leia a pagina de perguntas e respostas em Portugues, sobre o casamento.

GREEN CARDS
THROUGH MARRIAGE

 

Each year, over 160,000 citizens of the United States marry foreign-born
persons and petition for them to obtain permanent residence in the U.S.
Spouses of U.S. citizens are considered "immediate relatives" under the
immigration laws, and are exempt from all numerical quota limitations. In other
words, marriage to a U.S. citizen is the fast lane to a green card.

It is also possible to obtain a temporary fiancee visa and get married once
your fiancee arrives in the U.S.

IF THE MARRIAGE OCCURS IN THE U.S.

Procedurally, the process works like this. The U.S. citizen must submit a visa
petition (form I-130) to appropriate INS Service Center to prove that the
marriage is bona fide, that is, entered into for love rather than simply for the
foreign-born spouse to obtain a green card. Attached to the visa petition are
the following items: (1) Biographical forms (forms G-325A) for both the
husband and the wife with photos attached; (2) Proof of the citizenship status
of the petitioner. This can take the form of a U.S. Passport, a Certificate of
Naturalization or Citizenship or a certified copy of the citizen's birth
certificate; (3) A certified copy of the marriage certificate; (4) Certified copies
of the documents that terminated any previous marriages of the husband or
wife, including final divorce decrees, and certificates of annulment or death.

Simultaneously, the foreign-born spouse should submit an application for
adjustment of status (form I-485) which is an application for a green card.
Items which may accompany the green card application include green card
photographs, an application for employment authorization, an application for a
travel permit (known in INS jargon as "advanced parole") and numerous other
INS forms.

And don't forget the INS filing fees. Include a single check which includes the
filing fee for the visa petition ($110), the application for adjustment of status
($220), the application for work authorization ($100), the application for a
travel permit ($95) and for fingerprints ($25).

The INS will accept the applications, cash your check, and schedule an
interview somewhere between a few months (if you live in Cleveland) and 19
months (if you live in Los Angeles). If the wait for the interview exceeds 90
days, chances are that the work card and the travel permit will be issued in a
matter of weeks or months.

IF THE MARRIAGE OCCURS OUTSIDE THE U.S.

The process is roughly the same except that the foreign-born spouse usually
must remain in his or her country until he or she obtains a green card. The
U.S. State Department offers advice on its web page to citizens who marry
foreign-born persons abroad. This advice may be accessed by clicking

The process begins when the citizen spouse submits a visa petition to either
the INS office which has jurisdiction over his residence or directly to the U.S.
Embassy or Consulate in the country where the foreign-born spouse resides.
The citizen spouse must attach the same items with the visa petition which are
listed above including the $110 filing fee.

Once the visa petition is approved, the foreign-born spouse will receive a
packet from the National Visa Center (NVC) located in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire. The packet informs the foreign-born spouse of the various
documents which must be presented at the immigrant visa interview abroad
(e.g., passport, police clearances, results of medical examinations, etc.). The
packet includes certain documents requesting biographic data which must be
completed, signed and forwarded to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Usually, the foreign-born spouse is interviewed and granted an immigrant visa
within three to six months. The State Department charges a fee of $325 for an
immigrant visa.

Sometimes, in order to avoid a lengthy separation, the spouses return to the
U.S. after the marriage and proceed to file the necessary applications once
they are both in the U.S. Usually, INS takes a dim view of this practice. It is
not uncommon for the INS to stop the foreign-born spouse at the border and
exclude him or her from the U.S. as an intending immigrant. However, if the
foreign-born spouse is able to enter the U.S., INS will not deny his or her
application for a green card simply because he or she entered the U.S. on a
temporary visa when their real intent was to remain permanently in the U.S.


CONDITIONAL RESIDENCE

If the marriage is less than two years old when the foreign-born spouse
becomes a permanent resident, the green card will expire after a two-year
period. Both spouses must submit a joint petition (form I-751) to remove the
two-year condition within the 90-day period immediately preceding the end of
the two year period.

If the marriage has terminated by reason of divorce, death of the citizen
spouse or spousal abuse, the foreign-born spouse may apply for a waiver of
the joint petition requirement.

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