How to Get a Marriage Green Card While You're On an H-1B Visa

You came to the US for work and found love alongside your job. What an excellent problem to have! But now you need to transfer your H-1B visa to a marriage green card, and that can be challenging. We have the tips here to help make the process easier, so you can focus on this new chapter of your life instead of complex paperwork.

Policy Updates That Help You

As difficult as COVID was to live through, those restrictions paved the way to streamlined processes in many sectors, including visas and green cards. In April 2022, USCIS issued an updated policy permitting waived interviews if you’re a conditional green card applicant filing a Form I-751. This form is a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

By definition, H-1B visas allow the holder to seek permanent residence while working in the US, which means you have a conditional permanent residence status. You’ve already gone through the lengthy screenings and interview steps before you were given the right to enter the US with your H-1B status. 

USCIS’s new policy states that if you obtained this conditional residence through consular processing, you can skip the interview process when you apply for a marriage-based green card. This skipped step can help you obtain approval for your request as soon as six months, whereas the interview requirement could have delayed the green card’s approval indefinitely.

Understanding the Term “Conditional Permanent Residence Status”

This news is almost as thrilling as your happy relationship, but it depends on whether you meet the qualification of a conditional permanent resident. This is the label applied to non-citizens who enter the US after a marriage that began less than two years before the individual obtained the status. 

It remains conditional for two years, at which point the non-citizen must file a Form I-751 within 90 days before the two-year conditional status anniversary. This form is the step you take to apply for a full, permanent-status, marriage-based green card.

Waiving the Interview Process

After you complete Form I-751, an agency officer is assigned to your case. If they review the evidence you provide demonstrating your marriage is genuine, they can choose to waive the interview. Should the officer find no evidence of fraud within your documentation, they can also waive the joint-filing requirement.

While this waiver took some time to take effect, immigration experts like Visa2US have seen a rise in marriage-based green card interview waivers and expect the numbers to continue to grow. Skipping the interview process allows the agency staff to focus on the backlog and inundation of visa requests in other areas.

What’s Next?

If you think you may be eligible for a marriage-based green card, contact Visa2US to find out your options. Like all policies, this helpful change could end at any time, but right now, the US government is open to waiving the interview process and approving marriage-based green cards in as little as six months.

Before you file Form I-751 and wait to see if your request to change your conditional status to a lawful permanent resident status is approved, talk to our immigration experts. We can help you streamline your H-1B visa transfers and initial approvals and guide you as you seek permanent green card status.

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H-1B Visa

H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is used by businesses and organizations in the United States to employ foreign nationals with the preferred qualifications, knowledge, and expertise in a role.

I-485 Adjustment of Status

I-485 Adjustment of Status

Submit a form I-485 application to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

An applicant must either hold an advanced degree or have an exceptional ability in their field that would substantially benefit the U.S. to be qualified.