Marriage to a United States Citizen – If you marry a citizen in the US, you may submit an application for permanent residence to the USCIS office having jurisdiction over your residence. Typically, USCIS will issue you a work card and a travel permit (also known as an “advance parole”) while you wait to be interviewed. Depending on the USCIS office, waiting times for marriage interviews range from two months to over one year.
USCIS will determine if you are residing together by examining your identification, wedding photographs, tax returns, insurance policies and by questioning you and your spouse. If USCIS has any doubts as to the bona fides of your marriage, they may question you and your spouse separately, and may conduct an investigation at your places of residence and employment.
If your marriage occurs abroad, you must process the immigration paperwork at the U.S . Embassy or Consulate in your country. The procedure is roughly the same as in the U.S. except that the waiting time usually ranges from three to six months.
If the marriage is less than two years old when you become a permanent resident, your green card will expire two years after you become a permanent resident. You and your spouse will be required to submit a joint petition to USCIS to remove this two-year condition within the 90-day period immediately preceding the expiration of your green card. If the marriage has terminated because of death or divorce, or if you are the victim of criminal mischief, you may apply with USCIS for a waiver of the joint petition requirement.