We always love when an immigration story begins with a love story that ends with an “I do.” Whether you and your partner started the immigration process from the very beginning with a Fiance Visa, or you came to the United States and found love, marriage can be a great way to obtain status and permanent residence in the US.
Are you married to a US citizen and planning on making the US your permanent home? Then the One-Step Adjustment of Status process is likely your best path forward to making your dream a reality.
What is One-Step Adjustment of Status?
We call this a One-Step case because we can file all the forms together at one time—both the family petition (I-130) and the green card (I-485). In some types of cases, such as when applying for a sibling, the I-130 is filed first, and then, years later, an I-485 is filed. Doing a One-Step application is faster and more convenient because you get everything done at once!
Who is Eligible?
If you meet the following requirements, you may be eligible for the One-Step Adjustment of Status through your marriage:
Valid Marriage to a U.S. Citizen:
You need to be married to a US citizen who is willing to sponsor you in this application process. This needs to be a genuine marriage that was not entered into only for immigration purposes. Immigration will ask for evidence that the marriage is genuine, such as photos, joint accounts, and other documents.
Lawful Entry to the United States.:
You must have entered the US lawfully, such as with a valid visa, the visa waiver program, or Advance Parole. There are a few exceptions for people who entered the US unlawfully, but they are very, very rare.
You should not have any history of major criminal offenses, immigration violations, or other issues that may disqualify you from being admissible to the US. If you do have one of these issues, you may be able to apply for a waiver.
The US citizen spouse will need to show that they can financially support the immigrant spouse. This is done by providing an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), which promises the U.S. government that the US citizen will ensure the applicant will not receive public benefits.
What’s the Process?
This is the main form needed for the One-Step Adjustment of Status application. This shows USCIS that you want to become a permanent resident.
You’ll need to gather many documents that support your application. This includes evidence of the marriage and its genuineness. This can include photos of the couple, joint bank accounts, leases, and other documents, birth certificates of shared children, and other important documents.
After the application is submitted, you’ll need to get fingerprinted and photographed at a scheduled biometrics appointment with USCIS.
Usually this process includes an interview with USCIS in order to confirm that the marriage is authentic and that you’re eligible for adjustment of status. This interview can be a chance to explain gaps in the application or submit more evidence.
Receive Green Card:
Once your application is approved, you are officially a permanent resident! With marriage cases, the green card is conditional and valid for two years. After two years, you can file an I-751 to remove the conditions and get a permanent green card.
Why Choose One-Step Adjustment of Status?
This process is a great way to apply for a green card without having to leave the US for consular processing. This means that you can spend the entire processing time with your loved one and begin building a life together directly in the US. If you’ve found love in the US, One-Step Adjustment is a great way to take that next step together!
Interested in One-Step Adjustment based on marriage? Meet with Tracie to see if you’re eligible and discuss next steps! Schedule an appointment with her here.