MARRIAGE-BASED GREEN CARDS
MARRIAGE-BASED "GREEN CARDS"
If you are married, or planning to marry a United States citizen, and you are currently inside the United States, you may be eligible for adjustment of status benefits. This means you can apply for a Legal Permanent Resident card, commonly known as a "green card" or "LPR" card while remaining inside the US. The repeal of DOMA also ensures that all lawful marriages are treated equally.
Click here for information on spouses and fiancees who are outside the US. Adjustment of status usually takes about six months to process. You and your spouse will be interviewed together at your nearest USCIS office. The Oregon USCIS office is in Portland, Oregon. You can find your nearest USCIS office here: https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/field-offices
Please note: The timing of your entrance and your marriage could affect your eligibility for adjustment of status. It is very important that you speak to an attorney before marrying to ensure you do not damage your immigration case.
WORKING WHILE YOUR CASE IS PENDING
Our firm will help you apply not only for your green card, but also for a temporary work permit and travel permit so that you may work and travel freely while your case is pending.
Once USCIS has received your application, it will have 90 days to issue your work permit and travel permit. You can expect to receive these documents about 100 days after your application has been mailed to USCIS. After getting your work permit, you must apply for a social security number before you can get a driver's license or begin working. Because your social security number will be based only on your work permit and not your green card, your first social security card may have the words, "Valid For Work Only". Once you have been issued your green card, you can return to the social security office and apply for a new social security card that does not have this wording on it.
"CONDITIONAL" GREEN CARDS
If you have been married to your spouse for more than two years before getting your green card, you will be issued a regular Legal Permanent Resident card. This card will be valid for 10 years. If you are still married to your US Citizen spouse, then you will become eligible for citizenship three years after receiving your Legal Permanent Resident card.
If you have been married for less than two years, you will be issued a Conditional Legal Permanent Resident Card. This card will be valid for two years. 90 days before your conditional card expires, you must apply to remove the "conditional" status of your card. Once your application to remove these conditions has been approved, you will receive the 10-year green card. If you are still married one year after receiving your 10-year green card, you can apply for US citizenship.
If you fail to remove your conditional status, you will completely lose your legal permanent resident status and will become deportable. Please click here to learn more about how to prepare now to ensure that your application to remove your conditional status is a success.
USCIS PROCESSING TIMES
Below is timeline of the adjustment of status process.
Days 1-14: USCIS processes and accepts your application. You receive your receipt notices.
Days 15-21: You are scheduled for a biometrics appointment at the USCIS field office (a fingerprinting appointment).
Days 90-100: USCIS approves and mails your work permit and travel document. You may now apply for your SS card.
Days 120-240: You are notfied of your marriage interview at the USCIS field office. You usually get 30 days notice.
1-2 weeks after your interview: If your case is approved, your green card arrives in the mail. You can now update your SS card.