Applying for a Green Card through marriage is a complex process. We are here for you along this long and bumpy road ahead. By reviewing the roadmap below, you can be informed in advance of all the steps that will come before you in the Green Card application process through marriage, and learn how you can become a US citizen after receiving a Green Card.

NOTE: This article is prepared for those who have a US citizen partner. You can find our article on Green Card application through marriage for the partners of Green Card holders here. 

A View from Above:

What kind of support do we provide?

1. Collection of Required Documents: We will list the documents you need to collect for your application and help you find out where you can collect them.

 

2. Application Forms: We fill in the application forms on your behalf. The forms are checked several times by our team before they are sent. In this way, we minimize the risk of your application being delayed due to missing documents.

3. Strong Application Package: By creating a strong application package, we increase the chances that your application will be approved without an interview. USCIS officers only have the authority to decide your application outcome based on the documents we submit.

4. Preparation for Interviews (if an interview is deemed necessary): We help you prepare for the Green Card interview, a critical step in the Green Card by Marriage application process. We will provide you with a list of sample interview questions and a list of documents you should bring with you. Attorney Utku Galip Akçok will interview with you at USCIS offices in the Bay Area (San Francisco and Santa Clara), but if you are outside the Bay Area, he will attend your interview by phone. (There is an additional $1000 fee for Attorney Utku Galip Akçok to physically attend interviews outside the Bay Area.)

5. Application Tracking: All letters from USCIS regarding your application are sent to us as well as to you. Thus, we will be following your application with you.

6. Translation Support: Some of the documents required for the Green Card application process must be translated into English. Our translators working in our office will translate your documents into English, allowing you to save on translation costs.

7. Personal Statement: For the success of your application, you need to submit a personal statement in duplicate. We will help you to write a personal statement in accordance with the procedure and ensure that it is satisfactory to USCIS officers.

8. Follow Current Laws and Procedures: Immigration laws and procedures are evolving all the time. We keep abreast of the latest changes and ensure that your application complies with the most up-to-date immigration policies and regulations.

9. Appealing Application Rejection: In the event of an application rejection, we can provide legal advice and representation for appeals or re-applications. Appeals and re-applications are subject to an additional fee.

10. Travel and Work Permit Application: We apply for a work permit, travel permit and SSN along with your Green Card application. This way, you can work in the US and travel outside the US without waiting for your Green Card application to be finalized. However, your travel and work permit requests must be approved first. Currently, the Green Card application is finalized before the travel authorization request is approved.

11. USCIS Request for Additional Documentation: After USCIS receives your Green Card application, USCIS may request additional evidence. We will also receive a notification letter of this request, so there is no risk of missing any future requests on your behalf. In this step, we prioritize the request for additional evidence in order to finalize your Green Card application as soon as possible.

12. US Citizenship: It is possible to obtain US citizenship 3 years after receiving your Green Card, provided that you meet all the requirements. If you wish, you can proceed with the US citizenship application process with us for an additional fee.

Pre-Application

1. You answer our questions online:

When you contact us, we first send you a test. This test includes questions such as "Are you married?", "Where are you applying from?" or "Do you have a criminal record?". To apply for a Green Card through marriage, you must have been married in good faith. For this reason, we will ask you questions to ascertain the authenticity of your marriage.

Based on your answers to the questions in the test, we look for potential problems and if there is something we need to look into, we ask you to make an appointment with us first.

At this appointment, we will inform you about your situation and the roadmap that can be followed. For example, having a criminal record may prevent you from applying, or it may be a problem that can be solved with extra measures we will take during the application.

2nd Contract Signing

If we decide to submit your application after this appointment, or if we can see from the test you have completed that you have no special circumstances, we will send you and your partner a contract by e-mail.

In order for us to represent you, we will provide you with a contract that clearly outlines the services we will provide and the fee we will charge for our services. Once agreed, we will sign the contract electronically and after receiving the first installment of payment, we will be officially representing you until your Green Card application is finalized .

We prefer to stay in constant contact by setting up a WhatsApp group during the application period. For this reason, we contact you via the WhatsApp group we will establish immediately after the contract. 

3. We Collect Your Personal Information:

Following the contract, we will send you an online form asking you to answer very simple questions in Turkish (or English if you prefer), which will allow us to effortlessly collect the personal information required for your application. Thanks to our technological infrastructure and user-friendly interface, you only need to spend about two hours filling out the form, which normally takes days.

Even if you give incorrect answers, we check your answers 5 times in 5 different stages and do not send your application anywhere until all the information is confirmed. In case of missing information, we contact you via WhatsApp group and send you the missing question list and we do not leave any room for error by going over all the missing information one by one.

4. We List the Documents You Need to Collect for Green Card Application:

We will send you a list of all the documents required for your application via an agreed communication method (WhatsApp, e-mail, etc.). We will then provide you with a Google Drive link to transfer the documents you have collected.  

In this way, you will deliver us exactly which documents you need and you will not waste time collecting unnecessary documents. We also provide support on where you need to collect the documents.

NOTE: The application requires 6 photos that comply with the US visa photo guidelines. All you need to do is to take a photo that meets the requirements and send it to us electronically. We print your photo with the printing machines in our office and check its conformity.

5. Medical Examination Report:

In order to apply for a Green Card, you need to go to a designated doctor for a medical examination and get a medical report. At this stage, we refer you to doctors with whom you can make an appointment.

Although the health report can be obtained after you apply, in order for your application to progress quickly before you apply we'd prefer you to take it.

After the medical examination, we ask you to send us the medical certificate in a sealed envelope. You must not open this envelope, i.e. it is not possible to scan or photograph the document, so you can send it to us by post.

6. We prepare your Green Card Application Forms:

While you collect your documents, we fill in the application forms based on the answers we receive from you. We then send these forms to you for your review. If there is anything you do not understand, we contact you and go over the questions and answers.

7. We check the documents you have collected:

You can either scan or photograph the documents you have collected and send them to us in the easiest way for you (WhatsApp, e-mail, Google Drive, etc.).

We then check the documents you have sent us one by one. We go over the forms you have approved one more time and send them to you for the last time before you apply, along with a guide showing where you need to sign.

Finally, we ask you to take a clear photo of the pages you have signed, either as a scan or with a smartphone camera, and send it to us.

8. Applying for your Green Card:

Once we have carried out our final checks, we will prepare your package in accordance with the official guidelines and send it to USCIS via FEDEX and provide you with the shipment tracking number. We will also deliver the same package to you as we sent it.

When applying, a Green Card application fee must be paid. This fee is separate from our attorney's fee, as stated in the contract, and is paid by you. We can offer you two ways to pay this fee:

  • We write a check to USCIS for the application fee and we pay it and then you pay it to us.
  • You fill in the G-1450 form with your card details, sign it, take a photo and send it to us. Thus, you have the opportunity to pay the application fee with your credit card.

 

 

Green Card Application Process through Marriage

1. Green Card Application Reaches USCIS:

When your application is received by USCIS for consideration, USCIS sends four letters (Notice of Action) to both you and us. Since there are four forms (I-130, I-485, I-765, I-131, I-485, I-765, I-131) that we send for the Green Card application through marriage, the number of letters we will receive is also four.

These letters are a confirmation that the documents and forms we have sent have been received and that the required fee has been paid in full. This means that you do not need to do anything at this stage as the letters are for information purposes only.

NOTE: Additional forms may need to be filled out depending on your specific situation.

2. Biometric Appointment:

Appointment Date: Approximately 2-3 months after you apply.

After you apply, USCIS will call you for a biometric appointment to take your fingerprints and signature and take your photo. If you have already been biometrically enrolled, you may not be called for a biometric appointment. The date and location information is included in the letter sent by USCIS to you and to us.

Don't worry, we will inform you about what you need to do at this stage. Just show up at the place and date you have been told, with your appointment letter and your passport or driver's license.

NOTE: On page 3 of the biometric appointment letter, there are questions about your physical characteristics. For example, your middle name if you have one, your country of birth, your race, your eye color, your height... You can fill in these questions before you go to the appointment or you can fill them in when you go to the appointment. When you are done, your appointment paper is stamped and returned to you.

3. Here comes your work permit and Social Security Number (SSN):

Delivery Time: Approximately 4-5 months after you apply.

Card Validity Period: 1-2 years (usually enough time until the Green Card application is approved)

We apply for a work permit and SSN along with your Green Card application. Sowhen your work permit arrives, you don't have to wait for your Green Card to arrive to start working in the US.

At the beginning of the application, we ask you if you have a SSN, if not, we request a SSN for you on the I-765 form. Generally, the SSN comes in the letter with the work permit card. However, if you do not receive an SSN within 1 month after the work permit is issued, you can make an appointment with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to request an SSN. We will advise you if this is the case.

4. Your Travel Authorization (Advance Parole) Arrives:

Delivery Time: Approximately 9-12 months after you apply.

We apply for travel authorization (advance parole) with your Green Card application. This way, you can leave the US and enter the USwhen you receive your travel authorization. However, there is no guarantee that CBP Officers will allow you to enter the US even with this authorization. If you leave the US before you receive your travel authorization, your Green Card application will be rejected as abandoned.

NOTE: Green Card applications can be finalized before the travel authorization application is approved. Therefore, if you need to leave the US for an urgent reason before you receive your travel authorization, a separate application must be submitted. This application must prove that the reason for your departure from the US is based on an emergency. 

If your application for emergency travel is approved, you will receive a paper that will allow you to leave and re-enter the US. In such a case, we can assist you with an additional application for a fee of $500.

5. Interview Letter Coming: (if interview attendance is required)

Delivery Time: Approximately 4 to 12 months after you apply.

If deemed necessary by USCIS, you will be called for an interview to decide on your Green Card application. However, if USCIS officers are convinced by the evidence you provide, there is a chance that you will not be called for an interview.

Information about the date and place of the interview will be sent to both you and us by letter.

Once you receive this letter, we will create a list of documents to take to the appointment and send it to you. Your documents are not copies, original version is very important. For example, a copy of the marriage certificate is provided with the application, but you must bring the original to the interview.

6. Preparing for the Green Card Interview:

First of all, we send you a list of sample questions so that you can practice the questions you may be asked in your interview in advance.

Then we prepare you and your spouse for the interview by making a video call 1 week before the interview date. Of course, we expect you to have studied the questions we have sent you beforehand. We go through these questions one by one and decide on the answers you need to give within the framework of openness and honesty.

We also advise you on how to submit the documents so that it is easier for the USCIS officer evaluating your application to find the document they are looking for.

7. Green Card Interview Day:

Green Card Interview Time: Approximately 6 to 12 months after you apply.

Green Card Interview Duration: 15-30 minutes. Depends on how complicated your application is.

Attorney Utku Galip Akçok, Located in the Bay Area (San Francisco and Santa Clara) He comes with you to the interview at the USCIS offices. But If you are outside the Bay Area (Attorney Utku Galip Akçok's physical attendance at interviews outside the Bay Area is subject to an additional fee of $1000).

There is no difference between participating by phone and physically participating, but some of our clients prefer physical participation.

We recommend that you go to the interview location at least 1 hour in advance because there may be a line at the entrance or inside the building. When you enter the building, when it is your turn, the security guard at the door asks to see the interview appointment letter sent by USCIS. Once inside, you will be frisked and then directed to go upstairs in the elevator. Then you just need to tell the receptionist on the floor that you are here for an interview. After waiting for a while, your name will be called and you will be called to the room. When you enter the room, your interview with the USCIS officer begins.

During the interview, the identity of you as the applicant and your spouse is first checked and questions about your marriage are asked.

The USCIS officer will then go over the I-485 form that you submitted to apply with you and check the answers for accuracy. Since we submitted this form months before the interview, your answers to the questions may have changed over time. You can make changes to the form by mentioning this change at the interview.

8. Your Green Card Application is Finalized:

You can find out the result of your application immediately after the interview or 1-2 months later. You should receive your card within three weeks after you see the information in the system that your card has been issued. In the meantime, you may also receive a letter confirming that your I-485 application has been approved.

 

9. Applying for US Citizenship by Marriage

You can obtain US citizenship if you and your spouse reside in the US for 5 years after obtaining a Green Card. In addition, you must have been physically present in the US for a total of 2.5 years.

 

You can visit our detailed guide where we have compiled the answers to questions such as how to obtain US citizenship and what are all the necessary conditions.

 

Green Card Guide Through Marriage

What are the requirements to apply for a Green Card through marriage?

You are expected to comply with all of the following conditions:

(Looking only at the termscompliance with the application cannot be decided, there may be solutions for the conditions you cannot meet.)

What is the validity period of a Green Card obtained through marriage?

When you apply for a Green Card, you and your spouse For more than 2 years If you are married, your Green Card will be for 10 years and you can renew it at the end of 10 years.

When you apply for a Green Card, you and your spouse Less than 2 years If you are married, you will receive a Conditional Green Card. Conditional Green Cards are for 2 years and you can apply for a 10-year Green Card by applying to have the conditions removed near the end of the period.

NOTE: There is no difference between a conditional Green Card and a regular Green Card, both types of Green Card provide the same rights to the holder.

Can family members of Green Card applicants also apply?

Unmarried children of the applicant can also apply for a Green Card separately from the applicant.

What are the documents required to apply for a Green Card through marriage?

The documents required for a Green Card through marriage vary from person to person, but are generally as follows:

 

NOTE: Some of these documents must be submitted with the forms and some of them you are expected to bring with you to the interview. We will guide you through all the stages.

How long does it take to apply for a Green Card through marriage?

Green Card applications through marriage are processed in approximately 6 months to 2 years for partners of US citizens. Unfortunately, it is not possible to give an exact deadline, and we would like to point out that the deadlines may vary considerably from time to time.

To keep up to date with USCIS processing times for I-130 and I-485 forms USCIS website you can visit.

 

What is the Green Card by Marriage application fee?

The minimum application fee for a Green Card through marriage from within the United States is $1760 as of 2023. If you would like us to handle your application, the attorney's fee is $3000 in addition to the application fee.

Fee Exemption

If you cannot afford the I-485 form fee and the biometric fee, there is a chance that the fee may be waived. In this case, it is enough to fill out the I-912 form and send it together with the I-485 form, along with documents that prove your inability to pay. If you wish to make such a request, we will send you a list of documents that will prove your inability to pay.

No fee waiver can be requested for the I-130 form fee.

How to get US citizenship with a Green Card through marriage?

As a Green Card holder, you can obtain US citizenship after residing in the US for 3 years. In addition, you must have been physically present in the US for a total of 1.5 years. You can visit our guide for detailed information about all the requirements for US citizenship and the application process.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Applying with ALO

It is difficult to give an exact deadline. Applicants who apply for a marriage-based Green Card usually receive their Green Card within 6-24 months of their application. This period may be longer or shorter depending on your state and various factors.

The documents generally required are: Birth certificate, proof of your relationship with your spouse, proof of address and work history, financial documents, proof that your sponsoring spouse is a US citizen, proof of legal entry into the US, current or expired US visas, proof of dissolution of previous marriages, if any, criminal record, military records, proof of medical examination.

However, the documents you need may vary depending on your specific circumstances. 

No, you cannot. However, since your fiancé is a US citizen, you can get a K-1 fiancé visa and start your Green Card application process. Provided that you get married within 90 days of entering the US with this visa, you can apply for a Green Card from within the US. For detailed information about the K-1 visa, you can visit our article.

You can pay the application fee of $1760 by credit or debit card. If you prefer, we will make the payments on your behalf and then you can transfer the amount to us via various methods (Zelle, PayPal, Wire, etc.).

Evidence that you have financial partnerships/obligations, live together or have/will have children together may be useful. Documents such as joint bank account statements, joint lease, wedding/nuptial photos, booking documents for trips taken together, tickets and text messages can be submitted.

The ALO will tell you which documents are important to submit based on the circumstances of your relationship and will review them individually to ensure that they are satisfactory to USCIS officers.

You will usually attend your interview at your local USCIS office with your sponsoring spouse. 

 

When applying with the I-485 form, we also fill out the I-765 form and send it to USCIS. so you will receive your work permit within a few months. So you can work without waiting for your Green Card application to be finalized.

Yes, you can apply for a Green Card immediately after you marry your US citizen partner. However, theonly effect of applying immediately after marriage is the possibility of receiving a conditional Green Card. If you have been married for less than 2 years when your Green Card application is finalized, you will receive a conditional Green Card, which lasts for 2 years. 90 days before the 2-year period expires, you must apply to have your conditional Green Card converted to a 10-year Green Card.

Unfortunately no, once you have paid the application fee, it is not possible to get it back.

Green Card Application Process

You can call us right now, send us a WhatsApp message or start answering the questions in the link below. The first step to follow after reaching ALO is to measure your eligibility for a Green Card based on your answers to the questions in the link. Thus, if you are not eligible for a Green Card, we will indicate this, or if you have a special situation, we will draw a road map accordingly. For example, if you have a criminal record, we need to find out the details of the offense to understand whether you can apply for a Green Card. We plan if you can continue with the application as a result of a measure that can be taken accordingly.

The contract with ALO is a document signed for ALO to represent you. In this contract, the service ALO will provide to you and the fee you will pay for the service are secured in this contract with all its clarity.

It is sufficient to sign the contract electronically via the link we send you.

You can work with ALO and increase the chances of success of your Green Card application by paying a $3000 attorney fee, independent of the fee you have to pay for your Green Card application. We guarantee our clear pricing policy with a contract, and if you have a special situation, we do not charge extra fees unless we agree with you.

During your application process, you can stay in touch with Attorney Utku Galip Akçok by calling him or sending him a message through the group we will set up on WhatsApp.

During your application process, you can stay in touch with our team by calling or sending a message through the group we will set up on WhatsApp.

We have never experienced this, but in such a case, we undertake to reimburse you the $1760 you will pay to USCIS.

Unfortunately no, once you have paid the application fee, it is not possible to get it back.

With your answers to these questions, our team fills in all the forms required for the Green Card application on your behalf.

 

If you have any questions you cannot answer, you can always get support by calling or reaching ALO via WhatsApp.

When applying for a Green Card, you are not required to send the original versions of the requested documents, so you can take a photo or scan them and send them to us via a medium of your choice (e-mail, WhatsApp, Google Drive). You should keep the original versions because you will need to take them with you for the USCIS officer to review later during the interview stage.

We send you the forms we fill out on your behalf over the internet, and you print and sign these forms. Afterwards, you can take photos or scan these signed documents and send them to us via e-mail or Whatsapp.

 

You send us your photo digitally in accordance with the photo guidelines, we print it out and add it to your application package

This report is given to you by the doctor in a sealed envelope and you must not open it. For this reason, we ask that you mail your medical certificate to our law office in Burlingame, California so that we can attach it to your application.

It is also possible to hand in your medical report envelope at the interview. However, we prefer you to mail it to us so that we can send it along with the application to finalize your application as quickly as possible.

Yes, the information letters you receive are also sent to us.

Green Card application results cannot be guaranteed because, although a satisfactory application package can be put together to increase the chances of a successful application, at the end of the day, discretion rests with the USCIS officer. Since we cannot assure you of the outcome of your Green Card application, it is not possible for you to recover the attorney's fees you have paid to us.

Green Card Through Marriage

Both cards have the same rights and privileges. The conditional Green Card is issued for 2 years, while the regular Green Card is for 10 years. Conditional Green Card is issued to people who have been married for less than 2 years at the time of approval of the Green Card application. 1 year and 9 months after receiving it, an application must be made by filling out the I-751 form to remove the condition.

Yes, it can be done. Under US immigration law, all marriages are equal before the law. But you must have married in a country where same-sex marriage is legal.

No, you cannot. However, since your fiancé is a US citizen, you can get a K-1 fiancé visa and start your Green Card application process. Provided that you get married within 90 days of entering the US with this visa, you can apply for a Green Card from within the US. For detailed information about the K-1 visa, you can visit our article.

Contact us now!