Can I Move To America If I Marry An American?

The straightforward answer to this question is that yes, if you marry an American you are able to move to the US in many cases. However, there is a lot more involved than simply marrying a US citizen or green card holder. The US has stringent immigration policies and any foreign national who wants to move to the US, must satisfy a number of conditions before they are able to permanently reside to the US.

Green Card Applications

If you marry a US citizen you are likely to be able to apply for a US green card. To start this process, the US citizen must submit a visa petition for their spouse using Form I-130. The process differs depending on the specific circumstances e.g. whether you are already living in the US legally, or are in another country. Other factors include the country that you are a citizen of and previous history in travelling to the US.

For those that are not in the US and are overseas, they will have an interview at the US embassy or consulate in their country. This will determine whether an immigrant visa should be granted, which allows the applicant to join their spouse in the US.

What is required for green card interview?

Once in the US, there will be an interview conducted as part of the green card application, which is in place to prevent any applications where the marriage has been arranged in order to obtain a green card. There will be probing questions related to the relationship and evidence such as photos taken together, proof of joint bank accounts etc. will be required as part of the process.

If the green card is approved, the non US citizen will receive a CR1 (conditional) green card (if married for less than two years) or an IR1 if the marriage has been longer than two years. The CR1 is valid for two years, whilst the IR1 is valid for 10 years.

To remove the conditions of the CR1, the couple must apply for the Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence, with the Form I-751. This must be done at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the CR1 green card.

There are other options available for being able to live in the US without marrying an American. For example, the person can be sponsored by a relative who is a US citizen, or can get sponsorship from an employer. If you are thinking about moving to the US, it is a good idea to look through the full list of US visas that are available, to identify whether you are eligible to apply for any, rather than hurry into a marriage that you might not be 100% sure about.

There are application fees applicable and obtaining a green card through marrying an American is not cheap and it can take a long time to process from start to end, so be prepared for a lot of waiting and considerable costs, without the guarantee of getting a green card approved.









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