STEP ONE: Determine Eligibility & Any Issues or Problems:

Once we have reviewed a client’s immigration status, entry history and determined eligibility, the next step is for the client to complete our Questionnaire for Marriage Based U.S. Permanent Residence.

STEP TWO: Draft Paperwork, Assemble the Filing and File with Immigration:

The next step is for our team to draft all of the necessary forms; including the application for an Employment Authorization Document and if eligible, the Application for Travel Authorization. We always file our petitions with a decent amount of evidence that the marriage is a bona fide or true marriage and the completed medical exam.

STEP THREE: Receive Receipt Notices, Biometrics Notice, Employment Authorization Card, Travel Documents (if eligible):

Approximately two weeks after filing, we will receive the receipt notices. We immediately provide copies to our client and teach the client how to check the status of the case online. It is even possible to create an account and receive text messages and emails from Immigration whenever there is progress in case processing.

Approximately two months after filing, USCIS will send a notice calling the immigrant for biometrics or fingerprinting and photographs. In 90 days or less, the Employment Authorization Document will be approved. This document permits the immigrant to obtain a U.S. Social Security Card, a valid State Drivers License or Identification Card and proves eligibility for employment with any employer. Approximately 4 to 5 months after filing, Immigration will issue the Advance Parole or Travel Documents, permitting eligible immigrants to travel while the case continues pending. Please note that just because Immigration issued a travel document does not mean it is safe to travel. Always check with us before travel.

STEP FOUR: Attend In Person Interview at the Local Immigration Office:

The last step is of course the interview, where the couple and the immigration attorney will appear for a face to face interview at a local immigration office. On the day of the interview, we prepare a package containing all of the original documents required, updated financial record and additional evidence of the bona fide marriage. Historically, for our clients we have documented the validity of the marriage so well by this point that the interview is short and sweet. Within thirty days, our client receives the actual permanent resident card in the mail to the couple’s home address.


If the couple has been married for less than two years on the day of the approval, then a Conditional Permanent Resident status is issued. This status is valid for exactly two years. The immigrant is required to file additional paperwork with USCIS during the 90 day period prior to the second year anniversary as a U.S. Permanent Resident. The purpose is to prove that the couple is still married and still residing together. For additional details on Removing the Conditions on U.S. Permanent Residence, click on our link to the right. In some circumstances, the couple may have separated or divorced within the two year period. This is a difficult situation that requires substantial documentation of the validity of the marriage and can be a challenging. If the couple has been married two years or more on the day of the interview, then a Permanent Residence card issued on an unconditional basis meaning that no extra steps need to be taken later. In this scenario, a separation or divorce would have no impact on the permanent resident status.