Frequently Asked Questions About Marriage Adjustment of Status


Immigration lawyers are often asked some key questions by non-citizens who plan to get married ranging from the fees involved to how long the marriage adjustment of status process will take. These questions relate to marriage adjustment of status.

Adjustment of status is the process by which a foreign-born person who marries a U.S. citizen qualifies for a green card and becomes a permanent resident.

Frequently Asked Questions road sign

Here are some frequently asked questions asked by applicants

1 How Long Does It Take For Marriage Adjustment of Status?

From the moment the petition files until you are called in for an interview, the process is about four or five months. If you pass the interview, it will take about two weeks more before the green card is mailed to your residence. The full process is outlined on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

2 Can the Process Be Completed Inside the United States?

Yes. Assuming both the U.S. citizen spouse and foreign reside in the United States legally. If the foreign spouse is living overseas and is not authorized to live in the United States, he or she must apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate outside the United States and then immigrate to the U.S. This is a very different process called consular processing.

3 What is the Cost of Adjustment of Status?

Adjustment of status currently costs more than $1,700. Form I-485 costs $1140 and the biometrics fee costs a further $85.  Form I-130 costs $535 making a total of about $1,760. Certain people may be eligible for a fee waiver. If you use an immigration attorney to make the process easier, you will also pay the attorney’s fees to prepare your application.

4 Does My Spouse Need to Make a Minimum Amount of Income to Support My Adjustment of Status?

Yes. USCIS has published HHS Poverty Guidelines for Affidavit of Support. The minimum income needed for support outside Alaska and Hawaii are $16,240 for sponsors in active duty in the military and $20,300 for all other sponsors. As well as the poverty guidelines, household size is relevant.

5 I Have a Criminal Background. Can I apply for Adjustment of Status?

Although a clean criminal record is necessary for adjustment of status, the answer depends on the crime committed.

You are inadmissible for a green card if you have committed a crime of “moral turpitude, have a controlled substance violation conviction or have committed two or more crimes. There are some gray areas. We discuss here whether assault is a crime of “moral turpitude.” If you have a criminal record, you should discuss the situation with your immigration attorney before applying for adjustment of status.

Adjustment of status through marriage is one of the most common way immigrants become permanent residents in the U.S. and eventually citizens.

It’s also a complicated process. Please contact an experienced Texas immigration attorney to help you tackle the issues.

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