The most common petition for a green card is through marriage. If a person seeking to settle down or move up in their life through marriage, foreign spouses are very popular. There is a marriage case process within the U.S. to follow whose time of processing has tripled or quadrupled in the last two years. The forms to fill out have also greatly lengthened. Work permits that used to come within three months like clockwork now can take up to five months. There is a mandatory interview.
Once the case is filed, receipts are issued right away and are received within 10-14 days of filing. The I-485 receipt usually protects the applicant from any deportation. A foreign spouse must have entered the USA with a visa, even if it expired, in order to file. In some cases a foreigner paroled into the U.S. can also apply in the U.S.
The entire process is gaining great scrutiny from the USCIS interviewing officers, who greatly investigate the applicant and the U.S. citizen spouse. The marriage must be documented continuously with joint accounts of every kind, joint travel, and of course living together continuously.
Gay, transgender, and lesbian married couples are recognized and are welcome to file.
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