Adjusting Status After Marriage
Generally speaking, it’s adjusting status after marriage for most foreign nationals to become lawful permanent residents by marrying a U.S. citizen, if the couple meets other immigration requirements such as minimum income and financial resources. However, if the foreign national overstayed his or her visa, has a criminal record, or entered without a valid visa or visa waiver, USCIS will be more strict in examining the case for adjusting status.
This is the reason it’s important to discuss your specific situation with an experienced immigration attorney before you start the process. If you’re not sure whether a marriage-based green card application makes sense for your situation, read our article on How to Get a Marriage-Based Green Card.
A Guide to Adjusting Status After Marriage: Navigating the U.S. Immigration Process
In most cases, the US citizen spouse files a petition (Form I-130) to help his or her immigrant spouse get their green card. This is usually followed by a joint interview with the spouse and a USCIS officer where both parties will be asked questions about each other’s personal history, their close friends and family, when and where they married, and more.
The good news is that in most cases, it’s still possible to adjust status after a marriage even if you overstayed your visa. The bad news is that you’ll have to apply for your visa through consular processing instead of using the adjustment of status method. In addition, you’ll probably face three or ten-year bars to reentry and should speak with an experienced attorney.