A green card is a privilege in the US. Marrying someone with the green card is a splendid way, to simplify your life. Still, after this kind of union, a lot of waiting time is there before you get a green card for yourself.
With a green card, you are like a permanent resident of US. So, to get this green card, your spouse would have to initiate an application on your behalf. It’s true that someone has to be genuinely married to a US green card holder to get the approval for a green card here. Otherwise, if there is a fake marriage, then someone can be caught because the USCIS has prepared a proper complaint system about such marriages. Even though you are married to someone with a green card, it’s still time before you get your green card after the filing of such an application.
Processing time for a green card petition
When you are adding information to the form for “green card petition”, for getting a “green card” for your non-US relatives including your spouse, you have to include details about the sponsored such as his/her name, the dates of birth and marriage respectively and where the sponsored is residing. It can take some time before this form gets approval which can be between 9 months to as long as 20 years. The time for approval is longer in the case when you are sponsoring your “family preference” relatives(wife/parents/kids of US PR holders) rather than your immediate relatives(wife/parents/ not-married kids of US citizens) to get a green card in the US. For your immediate relatives, the processing time for the green card form is 5 months to 1 year. However, for “family preference” relatives, this time can be much longer at a few years. The kind of green category visa for which you are applicable is the F2A.
If the sponsored relative is already living in the United States, the USCIS will require an “adjust status petition”.
What one marriage has happened outside the US
For those sponsored immediate relatives who are not in the US, however, they will have to appear for an interview at the US consulate in their country. This interview happens once your marriage has happened overseas and your green card holder spouse has returned back to the US after marriage. In that case, your US PR holder spouse then puts the petition for your “green card” in the US. Now, once the USCIS agrees to this petition, your interview is scheduled at the US consulate in your home country. Once the interview is cleared by the sponsored relative, gets the immigrant visa and can be in the US through this visa. Upon showing this visa at a US airport, he gets another visa and is eligible for the green card once he comes to live in the US.
Apart from sponsoring the spouse, a US permanent residency holder can also sponsor his, children to be permanent green card holders of US irrespective of whether such kids are younger or older than 21 years.
Once the engagement happens outside the US, the non-US citizen has to get the fiancée visa to enter the US, through his US fiancée, and then marry in a duration of 3 months, of coming to the US.
If marriage happens in the US
Once the US resident has married a US PR holder, he can get the PR for 2 years upon filing the form for “Change Of Status”.