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3 Mistakes To Avoid When Applying For A Marriage-Based Green Card Or Visa

Law Blog

Marrying a U.S. citizen does not automatically entitle you to a visa or green card. You have to file a formal petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, and wait for it to be approved. There are some common errors that you need to look out for when applying. 

Failing to Prove Financial Support

When reviewing your application for a visa or green card, the USCIS needs to see proof that you are able to financially support yourself. You also need to prove that you have someone who is willing to act as a sponsor and offer support if you need it. In this instance, your spouse is most likely your sponsor. 

If you fail to complete and submit the Affidavit of Support, your application for a visa could be denied. Ensure that your spouse has completed the form and has also included documentation proving that he or she is able to provide you with the financial support that you need. 

Adjusting Status Too Soon

If you were already in the country on a tourist visa, you have the right to apply for an adjustment of your status so that you can stay in the country longer. However, your timing has to be right. 

If you file for a change of status shortly after arriving on the tourist visa, the USCIS may suspect that you were using the visa in a manipulative manner. Even if you were not, there is a possibility that the immigration official working your case could believe otherwise. As a result, you could have your application denied and face deportation. 

In order to overcome this challenge, you and your spouse will need to prove that your marriage is real. You can argue that you did not intend to commit fraud, met your spouse while visiting the country, and got married. You will have a chance to make your case during an interview with an immigration official. 

Incorrectly Completing Your Application

The applications for a green card and visa must be completely filled out. If there are any blank spaces or documentation missing, your application could be denied. 

When completing the application, do not skip any questions. Enter "n/a" for any questions that do not apply to your situation. Once the application is complete, review it at least once more to ensure you did not miss any questions. 

An immigration attorney can help you avoid all of these mistakes and many others. He or she can also complete your documentation for you and attend your interview with an immigration official. If you're interested in talking to an attorney, visit sites like


8 January 2016