If you are planning on getting married to a US citizen and intend to immigrate to the United States, it is important to understand that a marriage to a US citizen does not automatically guarantee that you will receive a green card. You will always want to consult with an immigration lawyer before you rely on your marriage as a way to obtain a green card.
Make Sure Your Marriage is Valid
You will need to make sure that your marriage is considered to be valid. For example, if you are currently still married to someone else, your second marriage to a US citizen might not be considered valid. You must first get divorced from your first partner or have your marriage annulled.
Enter the US Legally
Make sure that your entry was lawful regardless of your marital status. If you did not enter the United States legally, you will not be able to adjust your status and you will also not be able to turn your green card into a USCIS.
Hire an Immigration Attorney
Not involving an immigration attorney is always a bad idea. When you are immigrating to the United States, you might be asked questions that you did not expect. For example, you may have had some legal troubles, but your criminal defense attorney argues that your criminal case will not affect your immigration status. However, if that lawyer does not also practice immigration law, you will probably not know whether you will be allowed to stay in the United States without consulting with an immigration attorney.
You will want to obtain a lawyer as soon as possible. In many cases, an immigration court will give you time to find a lawyer before you are required to defend yourself in Immigration Court. However, you will not want to wait until the last minute, because it can take a while to build a solid case for why you should be given a green card.
Be Prepared to Be Questioned
You will only want to use marriage as grounds for obtaining a green card if you are actually married and living with your partner. Because of the prevalence of marriage fraud, immigration officials will often separate couples and ask them the same set of questions. If the official finds inconsistencies, this may be used as a justification to deny the application for a green card.
However, even for applicants who are happily married, marriage, unfortunately, does not always guarantee a green card unless you take the right legal steps with the help of an immigration lawyer.