The process of obtaining a Marriage Green Card (officially known as a Permanent Resident Card) involves several steps. Here’s a general checklist along with information on forms and processing time. Keep in mind that immigration processes may change, so it’s essential to refer to the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or consult with an immigration attorney for the most up-to-date information.

Checklist for Marriage Green Card:

  • Eligibility:
    • Ensure that you are eligible to apply for a Marriage Green Card. Typically, this involves being married to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident.
  • Petition Filing:
    • The first step is for the U.S. citizen spouse to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the foreign spouse. Include supporting documents such as proof of the marriage, photos, and other required evidence.
  • Approval of Petition:
    • Once the I-130 petition is approved, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC).
  • Visa Application:
    • The foreign spouse applies for an immigrant visa using Form DS-260. They also pay the required fees.
  • Affidavit of Support:
    • The U.S. citizen spouse submits Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, to demonstrate the ability to financially support the immigrant spouse.
  • Medical Examination:
    • The immigrant spouse undergoes a medical examination by an approved panel physician.
  • Consular Interview:
    • The immigrant spouse attends a consular interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
  • Immigrant Visa Issuance:
    • If approved, the immigrant spouse receives an immigrant visa on their passport.
  • Travel to the U.S.:
    • The immigrant spouse travels to the U.S. and is inspected by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a port of entry.
  • Green Card Processing:
    • After entry, the immigrant spouse receives the actual Green Card by mail.


  • Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)
  • Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application)
  • Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support)

Processing Time:

  • Processing times vary and depend on factors such as the USCIS workload, the specific service center handling the case, and individual circumstances. Check the USCIS website for current processing time estimates.

Form I-130 instructions

The Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is used by U.S. citizens or permanent residents to establish the qualifying relationship with certain foreign relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States. Here are general instructions for completing Form I-130:

  • Download the Form: You can download the latest version of Form I-130 from the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Read the Instructions: Before you start filling out the form, carefully read the accompanying instructions. The instructions provide guidance on each section of the form and explain the eligibility requirements.
  • Complete the Form: Fill out the form completely and accurately. Provide all required information, and be sure to use black ink. If a question does not apply to you, write “N/A” in the space provided.
  • Supporting Documents: Include the necessary supporting documents as specified in the instructions. These may include proof of the qualifying relationship, proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and any additional required evidence.
  • Filing Fee: Pay the required filing fee. Check the USCIS website or the form instructions for information on current fees and acceptable payment methods.
  • Mail the Form: Mail the completed form and supporting documents to the address provided in the instructions. Make a copy of the entire packet for your records.
  • Receipt Notice: After USCIS receives your petition, they will issue a receipt notice. This notice confirms that they have received your petition and provides a receipt number that you can use to track the status of your case.
  • Wait for Processing: USCIS will process the petition, and you will be notified of the decision. If approved, the case will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.

It’s important to note that immigration processes and forms may be subject to change, so it’s recommended to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information and instructions. If you have specific questions or concerns, you may also consider consulting with an immigration attorney for guidance tailored to your situation.

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