Adjustment of Status Based on Marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Family-Based Immigration Attorneys In Houston

family based immigration lawyer - Serrano Law Firm PLLCPersonal Family Immigration Lawyer Houston, TX

The U.S. immigration process allows individuals to obtain permanent resident status through a procedure referred to as adjustment of status. Adjustment of status can be based upon marriage to a U.S. citizen.

Applying for Adjustment of Status

A foreign national physically present in the United States after being inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled into the United States and married to a U.S. citizen can apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident.

If all requirements are met, the family petition and green card application can be filed concurrently. That is, a family petition is filed by the U.S. citizen spouse on behalf of the spouse intending to obtain permanent residency (beneficiary) at the same time that an application to obtain immigrant status (Green Card) is filed.

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While the case is pending with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) the beneficiary does not have to depart the U.S. 

However, if the beneficiary is eligible and wants to leave the U.S. while the case is pending, an advance parole document must be approved prior to the departure so that the person can return from abroad after travel to continue the adjustment of status process. 

Also, the beneficiary can apply for a temporary employment authorization document commonly referred to as a work permit. This permit is valid while the adjustment of status process is pending and can be renewed if necessary. Here at Serrano Law Firm we help clients with family-based immigration cases and family-based immigration visas.

See also…

  • Working in U.S. While Waiting for Green Card
  • Green Card vs. Visa

Adjustment of Status Based on Marriage – Eligibility

Houston Family-Based Immigration Lawyer

There are several key factors that USCIS will consider in reviewing a case for adjustment of status based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. First, the marriage must be real. USCIS will conduct a thorough review and interview both parties to determine if the marriage is bona fide and not entered into to circumvent the immigration laws.

Family Based Immigration AttorneyThe marriage must not have been entered into solely for purposes of obtaining an immigration benefit. To establish a bona fide marriage, the U.S. citizen spouse and beneficiary must show that the couple engages in activities and norms customary of a real marriage.

For example, the couple can demonstrate this by providing proof of joint assets and liabilities such as joint tax returns, bank accounts, credit cards, joint properties, lease agreements, joint businesses, joint bills, utilities, insurance and joint parentage. Another factor USCIS will consider is if the beneficiary is admissible.

An applicant for permanent resident status can be inadmissible for so many reasons including criminal history, medical issues, previous immigration violations, committing fraud, or being a public charge. Inadmissibility can be a very complex area of the law and an experienced immigration attorney should be consulted to review prior to filing. 

Permanent Residence Based on Marriage to a Permanent Resident

Texas Family Based Immigration Attorneys

The immigration process also allows U.S. permanent residents to file a family petition on behalf of a foreign national spouse. However, a key distinction from marriage to a U.S. citizen, a beneficiary of a petition filed by a permanent resident must wait for a visa number to be available according to the numerical visa limit.

Each year a designated number of visas are allocated for different family petition categories. Because of the limited number of visas and the high number of petitions the wait time can be lengthy. All the while, the beneficiary must remain outside of the U.S. until granted an immigrant visa or if the U.S., the person must maintain a lawful non-immigrant status unless an exception applies. 

If you are married to a U.S. citizen or planning to get married to a U.S. citizen and seeking to obtain permanent resident status, let us thoroughly analyze your case and answer any questions or concerns. Undoubtedly, this process is complex and now more than ever, any little error can lead to an unpleasant result or even additional immigration consequences. With hundreds of cases in experience, we are the right attorneys you deserve to have on your side. Call the immigration lawyers at Serrano Law Firm for your consultation today.

Immigration Attorney in Houston, TX

Serrano Law Firm PLLC

2180 N Loop W #310

Houston, TX 77018

(713) 222-2834

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Family Based Immigration Lawyer FAQ

What is family based immigration in the USA?

A foreign national must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to apply for an immigration visa they must be sponsored by a close relative who is at least 21 years old, a citizen of the United States, or a lawful permanent resident of the United States (that is, a green-card holder).

What does the priority date mean for USA immigration?

The date your relative or employer properly filed the immigrant visa petition on your behalf with USCIS is typically considered your priority date.