Marriage Adjustment of Status
One of the most common ways to become a permanent resident in the United States is to marry a U.S. citizen in a process known as marriage adjustment of status. This method is much quicker and more cost effective than applying through consular processing in your home country.
The marriage adjustment of status (AOS) process consists of concurrent filings with USCIS by the foreign national and their U.S. citizen spouse: (1) a Petition for Alien Relative filed by the U.S. citizen spouse; and (2) an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status filed by the foreign national spouse. Although the two filings are considered separate proceedings achieving distinct goals, they are treated as a single case in administrative review by an adjudicating officer.
Marriage Adjustment of Status: A Step-by-Step Guide to Navigating the Immigration Process
Once all of the forms are properly filed, the couple will attend their interview at a local USCIS field office. The interview is designed to ensure that the couple’s marriage was entered into in good faith and that they are living together. In cases involving commuter marriages, where one spouse works during the week and is away from their home during weekends, the interview officer will expect substantial evidence to demonstrate that the couple lives together in a real relationship on a daily basis.
Generally, after the interview and approval of the AOS case, the couple will be granted a conditional green card for two years. At the end of the two year period, the USCIS will review their case to determine whether the couple is still living in a real marriage and that their relationship was not solely for immigration purposes. If the couple is still living together and has met the other requirements, they will be granted a full permanent green card.