Common Questions Regarding the Marriage Based Adjustment of Status

When a couple comes to my office, I have tried to cover most of the key issues they will face when applying for the marriage based green card. But with a topic as involved and ever changing as this one, there are always questions that couples forget to ask while in my office. I have compiled a list of the most common questions that couples ask me when attempting to file the Marriage based Green Application in the United States. I hope the following Questions and Answers will make your journey through this process a little less confusing.

1. How soon can an applicant that entered the US as a tourist or under the Visa Waiver Program marry a US Citizen? Could they apply for the Green Card while in the United States?


Answer: A US citizen can marry a tourist or VW visitor and apply for the Green Card from within the US. It is better to marry at least 60 days after entry to lift the presumption that the immigrant entered the US in order to get married.


2. How soon after marriage can the US Citizen petition and file the immigration paperwork for the immigrant spouse?


Answer: There is no waiting period that must pass before the immigration petition can be filed. Make sure to have the certified Marriage Certificate registered with the county before you can file.


3. How long will it take to get the work permit after filing the case? How long will it take to get to the final interview after filing?


Answer: Currently it takes 90 days after filing the Marriage based Green Application for the Government to issue the work permit. In some cases the final interview is scheduled even before the Work permit can be issued. In this case, if there is an approval at the interview, there will be no need for the work permit at that time. In most cases though, interviews are scheduled, 5 months or so after filing.


4. What if there is a mistake in your name or date of birth on the Green Card?


Answer: If there is a mistake on your new Green Card you must take steps to correct it immediately. If you fail to do so, you will not be able to receive your social security number and any other documents as a result. You must file form I-90 (get it from USCIS.GOV website) with USCIS. Make sure to Check box d in part 2.2 of the application. There is NO FEE to pay as it was not your fault. You will need to mail the original card to the following address:


National Benefits Center
Attn: I-551 Corrections
705B SE Melody Lane, Box 2000
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063


5. How do you know what taxes to file now that you are a Green Card holder?


Answer: The Internal Revenue Service has several publications you can obtain from a local IRS office or download from www.irs.gov 

Publication 519…..US Tax Guide for Aliens 
Publication 514…..Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals 
Publication 501…..Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information 
Publication 54…….Tax Guide for US Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad

6. How long does a person need to wait after getting the Conditional Green Card before Applying for US Citizenship?


Answer: If the Immigrant is still married to the US Citizen and living together 3 years after getting the Conditional Green, they may apply for Citizenship. If the couple is no longer married and living together, the immigrant must wait 5 years after getting the Conditional Green in order to apply.

If you have questions about marriage-based adjustment of status or questions involving any immigration issue, please call my office at (616) 233-9300 or email me at rfmirque@mirquelaw.com

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