How soon after marriage can I apply for that green card? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri, and in San Diego, California, now that I mention it. If you’re watching this video, we’ve already opened our office in San Diego, and we’re getting really excited about that.
But anyway, in today’s video, we’re talking about how soon after marriage can I apply for a green card? And the reason I’m making this video is because I was talking to a couple the other day. They waited nine months after getting married to apply for their green card, and I thought this was very strange. And when I asked them, they said, “Well, we were worried that if we applied right away, the government might think we were up to something.” And I sort of giggled to myself because we’ve had numerous cases in our office where people get married on a Monday, and we filed their case on a Friday, so there’s no rule that says you have to wait after getting married to apply for your green card.
And so a lot of times people will hire us or start talking to us before they are actually married, and that’s okay because we’ll get working on the paperwork so that when we’re waiting for that marriage license, that signed marriage license back from city hall that allows them to actually get married, that’ll be the last piece of the puzzle. We’ll have everything else ready to go, and USCIS, in all the time we’ve been doing it this way, we’ve never had USCIS say, “Hey, boy, you applied for that green card three days after you got married,” and so you’re not really going to have a problem with that, especially if there’s some kind of a deadline, like if someone is coming up against a visa expiring or something, or they’re graduating from school. USCIS is generally pretty tolerant of that and understand that. They really just at the interview, they’re going to look at all the dates of everything. They just want to make sure that you didn’t file before you got married, say.
So it’s really not that big a deal to get married and then to apply for that green card right away. That could be a small little factor, but really they’re looking at the relationship itself. How long have you known each other? Why did you get married when you did? Were you talking about the immigration benefits at that point? Like what was the mindset of the couple as they decided to apply when they did? The one time, I guess, where all that timing stuff really does come into play is if someone comes on a visit visa and gets married right away. Remember, if you come on a visit visa, you shouldn’t get married in those first 60 days because the government could say that you misrepresented yourself when you were coming through customs that you said you were coming on a non-immigrant visa, but perhaps you’re really coming to get married.
Hope that answers that question. I wouldn’t wait long, and given the delays at USCIS, I think that’s another great explanation as to why we filed right away. We knew that this was being dragged out because of COVID and because of Trump, that these cases are taking a year and a half, and we want to get it on file as soon as possible. That right there is probably your best answer, so if you have questions about this, give us a call, (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected] lawpractice.com. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. If you liked this video, we ask that you please do two things for us. Share it out on social, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. And finally, you can find us every Tuesday and Thursday, usually at noon Central Time, and we’ll be answering all of your immigration questions there for an hour. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.