Marriage-Based Green Card

At Bueno Law we are an office of immigrants for immigrants.

Our attorneys & staff are talented immigration warriors with a deep passion for assisting the immigrant community through the marriage-based green card process and offering guidance on how to effectively navigate the complexities of the U.S. immigration system and your green card case.

Who We Serve





Political Asylees

Indigenous Peoples

Hispanic Immigrants

Brazilian Immigrants

Central American Immigrants

However, you may still be eligible to be represented by us if you do not consider yourself a part of these demographics. We encourage you to contact us if you have experienced violence, discrimination, threats, intimidation, or abuse in any form.

What is a Marriage-Based

Green Card?

A marriage-based green card is generally available to spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. In most instances, a marriage-based green card is a viable option when you marry a U.S. citizen or current green card holder.

Who Can Qualify for a

Marriage-Based Green Card


In order to qualify for a green card through marriage, there are specific prerequisites that must be met, including: 

  • Your marriage needs to be legally valid; 

  • Your marriage needs to be formally recognized (e.g., marriage certificate or license); and 

  • Your marriage needs to be based on a genuine, bona fide relationship (i.e., not entered into in order to secure a particular immigration status). 

How To Apply For a Marriage Based Green Card

To apply for a marriage based green card, you must complete and submit Form I-130 (i.e., the “Petition for Alien Relative”) to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS is a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The I-130 form helps determine whether your marriage is valid or bonafide.

 If you physically reside in the United States, the next step is to file Form I-485 (i.e., the “Adjustment of Status” application). Just like the Form I-130, the Form I-485 is filed with USCIS. The primary purpose of this form is to determine whether you are actually eligible for a green card.

If you are living abroad, the next step would be to file an application package with the National Visa Center (NVC), which is managed by the U.S. Department of State. The NVC is responsible for gathering the necessary forms and documents and determining whether the applicant is ready for an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. This protocol is often referred to as “consular processing.”

The last step in the marriage based green card process is a “green card interview.” The primary objective of the interviewing officer is to assess the authenticity of your marriage. If the interviewing officer gathers enough information to determine that your marriage is not fraudulent, they will likely approve the green card application.

How Long Does it Take to Receive a Green Card After Marriage

The length of time it takes to properly process an application for a green card through marriage is around 17.5 months (i.e., roughly 1.5 years). Though, the exact amount of time will depend largely on whether you are married to a U.S. citizen or a U.S. green card holder (lawful permanent resident). For example, in April 2023, the F-2A family-based category (which pertains to spouses and unmarried children below the age of 21 of U.S. green card holders) underwent significant changes that are likely to result in extensive delays in obtaining green cards for spouses of green card holders.

Factors Affecting Green Card Eligibility for Immigrants After Marriage

Factors affecting green card eligibility include presenting sufficient evidence that you and your spouse are in an authentic relationship and have a legally recognized marriage. As mentioned, your marital relationship will serve as the foundation for assessing your eligibility for a green card through marriage. Other factors that could adversely impact your green card through marriage eligibility include:

  • Your spouse’s divorce from a prior spouse was not final until after you were married;

  • You are married to someone of the same sex and got married in a country that does not officially recognize same-sex marriages.

  • Your marriage is not formally recognized in the country where you got married for other reasons, such as a prohibition against interfaith marriages.

Work With Us


Many of the issues and potential pitfalls associated with securing a green card through marriage can be avoided through proper preparation.  This is why it makes sense to retain the services of Bueno Law. Once you hire our firm, you will have the peace of mind knowing your green card marriage application materials are organized, properly completed, and timely filed. You will also be afforded access to a knowledgeable immigration attorney adept at answering your questions and addressing your concerns. 

Challenges Faced by Warriors

Marriage-Based Green Cards and Visas

Obtaining a marriage-based green card in the United States presents several challenges. First and foremost, couples must demonstrate the legitimacy of their marriage to immigration authorities. This involves providing extensive evidence of their relationship, including documents such as marriage certificates, joint financial records, photographs, and testimonies from friends and family. The burden of proof lies on the couple to convince immigration officials that their marriage is genuine and not solely for immigration purposes, which can be a complex and time-consuming process.

Another significant challenge is navigating the extensive and intricate immigration system. Filing the correct forms, meeting deadlines, and adhering to the numerous requirements can be overwhelming for many couples. The process involves multiple stages, including filing a petition, attending interviews, and undergoing background checks. Additionally, long processing times and backlogs within the immigration system can further delay the green card application, causing anxiety and uncertainty for couples waiting to secure their legal status. Overall, the challenges of obtaining a marriage-based green card require patience, thorough preparation, and a deep understanding of the immigration process which our team with provide our services.

Case Study: Bueno Law’s Experience with Marriage-Based Green Cards

The marriage-based immigration attorneys with Bueno Law do not just talk a good game. We “walk the walk” and have receipts reflecting our success in helping clients with an array of complex and challenging legal issues, including marriage-based immigration applications. Here is just one testimonial provided by a client-warrior highlighting how we work with clients and take the time to understand their concerns and objectives:

“My mother and I were in the search for a immigration lawyer to help with our case. We asked friends and they recommended us to Fernanda Bueno. They said nothing but great things about her services. We came to realize that what they said about her was all true. Fernanda is great, reliable person who you can definitely rely on. She helped my mother and I obtain a green card in a matter of months. Fernanda always replied to all my email and texts whenever I had small questions. She is awesome, sweet, and super professional.” — B.D.

Let Us Help You


Bueno Law strives to provide all of our clients personalized access. Why? Because we’ve been in the shoes of our clients. We are a team of immigrants, working on behalf of immigrants. We understand and empathize with our clients who may be feeling fear and anxiety about the immigration process. Bueno Law is here to help you through it. Contact us today to schedule a confidential case review. We have offices in San Rafael, CA  & San Diego, CA. You can also book an appointment by texting us on WhatsApp at (415) 754-0036

Contact Us