How to Start a Marriage Green Card Case

28 Nov, 2023

Today’s discussion is focused on starting a marriage green card case through Form I-130, a petition for alien relative. This process involves a U.S. citizen or green card holder applying for their foreign spouse to obtain a green card. While there are additional steps in this process such as adjustment of status or consular processing, this post will solely concentrate on the petition for alien relative, the I-130 process.

Understanding the I-130 Process

When an American citizen or green card holder is married to a foreign individual and desires the foreign spouse to attain lawful permanent residency in the U.S., they must submit Form I-130. This form initiates the process, which may include adjustment of status if the case is in the U.S. or consular processing if the case is overseas.

Key Elements of the I-130 Process

Filing the Form

The I-130 petition can be downloaded from the official USCIS website. It is crucial to obtain the latest version, as using an outdated form can lead to case denial or rejection. Additionally, understanding the current fees and filing locations is essential.

Timelines and Processing

The processing timelines for the I-130 petition vary significantly based on the service center handling the case. Whether the couple is in the U.S. or overseas dictates the subsequent steps and interview processes.

Documentation Requirements

When submitting the I-130 petition, several supporting documents are required. These may include biographic information, proof of the U.S. petitioner’s status, marriage certificate, and evidence substantiating the authenticity of the relationship.

Considerations and Challenges

It’s important to be mindful of potential challenges that may arise during the process. Previous findings of misrepresentation or fraud, as well as the background of both the U.S. petitioner and the foreign spouse, can impact the approval of the green card.

Consultation and Legal Guidance

Given the complexity and individuality of each case, seeking advice from an immigration attorney is highly recommended. An attorney can provide case-specific guidance and ensure that all necessary elements are in place for a successful petition.


Starting a marriage green card case through the I-130 process involves careful attention to detail, adherence to USCIS guidelines, and thorough documentation of the genuine relationship. By understanding the key components and seeking appropriate legal counsel, individuals can navigate this process with confidence and diligence.

Thank you for reading and best of luck with your marriage green card case.

Contact Us

We are here to provide the support you need