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Marriage Based Immigration US

HomeImmigrationMarriage Based Immigration US

One of the most common and straightforward paths of applying for a green card or a lawful permanent residence in the US is marrying a US citizen.


Most people believe that this is the easiest way to get US citizenship. However, there is a misconception that marrying a US citizen can automatically give you US citizenship.

Marriage-based US immigration involves a long, tedious application process. First, you have to prove that your relationship is authentic before the foreigner gets that green card.

Legal Requirements

To be eligible for marriage-based immigration for a US green card or immigrant visa, the couple must prove that they are legally married, are in a bona fide marriage, a foreigner is married to a US citizen, and that neither of the couples is married to anyone else.

Make sure your marriage can be recognized by country where you got married. A marriage that is done for the sole purpose of getting that green card is not considered bona fide.

Fiancé Visa

A fiancé visa can help you enter the US to get married. With this visa, you don’t necessarily have to live in America permanently, but you can choose to apply for a green card.

To be eligible for a fiancé visa, you must prove that you intend to marry a legal US citizen, you have met your future spouse within the last two years, and that you are legally allowed to get married.

Proving that your main intention is to get married involves proving that you made actual plans. You must show the US government your planned wedding ceremony, the place, the proceedings, and more.

To apply for fiancé visa, you must marry a person who was born in US territories, or someone who became a US citizen through naturalization.

You should also prove that you are within the legal age to marry and that you weren’t married to anyone else before.


There are alternative ways for getting a green card besides getting married to a US citizen. Some of the means may be faster than others, but they all require a significant amount of effort.

You can obtain a permanent visa

  • if you have an employer waiting for you in the US,
  • if you have US citizen parents, if you have US citizen children,
  • If you can invest $500,000 or more in a business based in the US,
  • if you have continuously lived in the US since 1972,
  • if a diversity visa is available in the country where you live, or
  • if you fear prosecution in the country where you live.

To make sure you make the right choices in applying for a green card, consult or hire a lawyer.

Important: The articles available on are neither legal advice nor a replacement for an attorney. The contents are general information and guidance concerning different legal issues. We make sure that these articles prove helpful to you, but we do not promise or guarantee that they are suitable for your condition. We also do not take responsibility for any loss that might cause to you using these articles. Hence, we strictly suggest you get expert legal advice. Consult or hire an attorney in case of any doubt.