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Can I receive a green card if I am married to a U.S. Citizen?

  • Generally, an alien married to a U.S. Citizen can receive permanent residency as an immediate relative. Immediate relatives are still subject to the inadmissibility and removability laws, e.g., an alien convicted of certain crimes may be ineligible for permanent residency despite his/her marriage to a U.S. Citizen. If the alien is present in the U.S., he/she may be able to apply for adjustment of status. If the alien is outside the U.S., he/she can apply for permanent residency through consular processing. Also, if the alien is outside the U.S. but wishes to come to the U.S. while the permanent residency application is pending, the alien can apply for a K-3 visa.

Adjustment of Status

Can I leave the U.S. while my adjustment of status application is pending?

  • If an alien departs the U.S. while his/her adjustment of status application is pending, the application may be deemed abandoned and subsequently denied. Prior to leaving the U.S., the alien must first request advance parole. In certain instances, an alien may be barred from re-entering the U.S. even if he/she had previously sought, and received, advance parole.

  • An alien who has both a valid H-1B visa and an adjustment of status application pending may leave without first requesting advance parole. In this case, the alien can rely on his valid H-1B visa to travel to and from the U.S.

What if my sponsor does not meet the financial requirements for the Affidavit of Support?

  • If the sponsor does not meet the financial requirements as stated in the Affidavit of Support, another U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident may act as a co-sponsor. The co-sponsor will be financially responsible for the alien beneficiary in the same circumstances as the principal sponsor. Most adjustment of status applications require the sponsor to make 125% above poverty for his/her specific household size. Assets which can readily turned into cash may be used in the valuation of one’s annual income.

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