Marriage Visas Demystified: B-1/B-2 to Green Card Transformation

Marriage Visas Demystified: B-1/B-2 to Green Card Transformation

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Changing your status from a B-1/B-2 visitor visa to a marriage-based green card (Lawful Permanent Resident status) in the United States is a multi-step process that typically involves the following:

  • Eligibility: Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria. You must be legally eligible for marriage in the U.S. and have a U.S. citizen spouse. Additionally, you should not have violated the terms of your B-1/B-2 visa, such as by overstaying.
  • Marriage: If you are not already married to your U.S. citizen spouse, you should get married before proceeding with the green card application.
  • I-130 Petition: Your U.S. citizen spouse needs to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to establish the qualifying relationship. This form is the first step in the process.
  • Form I-485 Application: Once the I-130 petition is approved, you can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This is the application for your green card.
  • Biometrics and Medical Examination: You will be required to attend a biometrics appointment and undergo a medical examination as part of the application process.
  • Affidavit of Support: Your U.S. citizen spouse will need to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate that they can financially support you as the intending immigrant.
  • Form I-765 and I-131 (Optional): You can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, if you want to work and/or travel while your green card application is pending.
  • Interview: USCIS will schedule an interview with both you and your U.S. citizen spouse. The purpose of the interview is to assess the legitimacy of your marriage and your eligibility for a green card.
  • Conditional Green Card (If Married Less Than 2 Years): If you’ve been married for less than 2 years at the time your green card is approved, you will receive a conditional green card, which is valid for two years.
  • Removing Conditions (If Applicable): If you initially receive a conditional green card, you’ll need to file Form I-751 to remove the conditions within the 90-day period before your conditional green card expires.
  • Permanent Green Card: If you have a bona fide marriage and meet the requirements, you will receive a permanent (10-year) green card.
  • Citizenship (Optional): After holding your green card for at least 5 years (or 3 years if married to a U.S. citizen), you can apply for U.S. citizenship if you meet the eligibility criteria.

What documents are required for change of status from B-1/B-2 visa to marriage green card?

To change your status from a B-1/B-2 to a marriage green card (Lawful Permanent Resident status) in the United States, you will need to provide a variety of documents to establish your eligibility and support your application. Here is a list of key documents typically required:

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: This form is filed by your U.S. citizen spouse to establish the qualifying relationship between you as the intending immigrant and your spouse as the U.S. citizen petitioner.
  • Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: This is the primary application form for adjusting your status to that of a permanent resident. You will need to complete this form and submit it with the required supporting documents and fees.
  • Marriage Certificate: You will need to provide a copy of your official marriage certificate as evidence of your legal marriage to a U.S. citizen.
  • Passport and Visa: Copies of your passport, including the biographical page, and your B-1/B-2 visa.
  • I-94 Arrival/Departure Record: A copy of your most recent I-94 arrival/departure record, which can be printed from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website.
  • Photographs: Recent passport-sized photos as per the specifications outlined in the I-485 instructions.
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support: Your U.S. citizen spouse must complete and submit this form to demonstrate their financial ability to support you as the intending immigrant.
  • Financial Documents: Your U.S. citizen spouse will need to provide supporting financial documents, such as tax returns, W-2 forms, and pay stubs.
  • Proof of Legal Entry: Evidence of your legal entry into the United States, such as an entry stamp on your passport, an I-94 record, or a visa.
  • Form I-539 (Change of Status Application): You may need to file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, to request a change of status from B-1/B-2 to that of an intending immigrant.
  • Optional: Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization: If you want to work while your green card application is pending, you can file this form.
  • Optional: Form I-131, Application for Travel Document: If you wish to travel outside the U.S. while your green card application is pending, you can file this form.
  • Medical Examination Report (Form I-693): You will need to undergo a medical examination by a USCIS-approved civil surgeon and provide the completed Form I-693 with your application.
  • Proof of Bona Fide Marriage: Various documents to prove the legitimacy of your marriage, such as photographs, joint financial accounts, lease agreements, and any other relevant evidence.
  • Proof of Payment: A copy of the receipt for the filing fee (if paying by check or money order).
  • Other Supporting Documents: Any additional documents that are relevant to your specific case and can help establish your eligibility for a marriage-based green card.