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Marriage Green Cards, Explained

How to get a green card
through marriage


The process of obtaining a marriage-based green card involves several steps, including:

Filing Form I-130

This form establishes the relationship between the US citizen or permanent resident and their foreign spouse.

Filing Form I-485

This form is the application for the actual green card. It can be filed concurrently with Form I-130 or after Form I-130 has been approved.

Attending an interview

Both the US citizen or permanent resident and their foreign spouse must attend an interview with a U.S. government official.

Providing supporting documentation

This includes proof of the legitimacy of the marriage, such as a marriage certificate, and evidence that the couple is financially capable of supporting themselves.

This can be an exciting time, but also a confusing and stressful one. That's where we come in.

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How long does it take to get a marriage green card?

Right now, it takes about 9.3 months to get a marriage green card. This is just the average timing; a lot depends on whether you are married to a U.S. citizen or green card holder and where you currently live (additional backlogs may be applicable depending on your location).

If your spouse is a… And you currently live… Then you will wait about…
U.S. citizen In the U.S. 10-23 months
Abroad 13.5-15 months
U.S. green card holder In the U.S. 13.5-20.5 months

The U.S. Government frequently changes its immigration policies, processing times, and costs which can be complex and confusing.

Boundless works with former USCIS officers and immigration lawyers to stay up to date, at all times.

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How Much Does It Cost To Get A Green Card?

The government application fee for a marriage-based green card is $3005 for a spouse living in the United States or $1340 for a spouse living outside the United States. This does not include the cost of the medical examination, which varies from roughly $200 to $500.

Earlier this year, USCIS announced plans to increase filing costs for most visa applications, including green card applications which could go up by as much as 130%. The proposed fees aren’t in effect yet, but it’s important to get your application filed before the final announcement comes out, to avoid paying the higher fees (which could double or triple if approved).

No matter how unique or complex your situation might seem, Boundless can help you apply faster, easier, and more confidently. Get started today!