If you entered the United States with any visa other than K, C or D visa than you can apply for your Green card if you are married to a US Citizen. This rule applies to gay and lesbian marriages as well. The process generally takes 5-8 months depending on the jurisdiction of the USCIS office where you reside. After applying in about 3-4 months you can obtain an Employment authorization card and if need an advance parole that allows you to travel outside the United States for a brief visit while you case for Green card is still pending.
If you did not enter the United States legally than you can submit your marriage based I-130 application first. After that application is approved than I-601A is submitted with USCIS which allows you to do a waiver while you are in the United States. After this application is approved then the paperwork has to be submitted to National Visa Center to set up an appointment with a US Consulate in your home country. After this appointment date is received then you have to exit the United States to go to your home country for this interview at the US Consulate. Most of our clients who do this process generally have to stay abroad for a period of 10 days to 4 weeks and are able to legally return back to the United States as a permanent resident.
If you get married to a Permanent resident than you have to be present in the United States in a valid status for the period until your visa becomes available on the Visa Bulletin published by the department of state every month. When the visa becomes current which currently is about 2-3 years than you adjust your status to permanent resident if you are in the United States. If you are abroad then you have to wait for this period of 2-3 years in your home country. When the visa becomes available than an interview is scheduled through National visa center and you will have to go to the United States consulate in your home country for an interview.
All the above situation varies for everybody depending on your immigration and criminal history. Therefore you must schedule an appointment with our attorneys to review your history and determine your eligibility to adjust your status to obtain your Green card or Permanent resident card.
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