Marriage Visa Flow Chart

For Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Inside United States

Marriage Visa Information

Spousal Visa Overview

Flow Chart If Inside U.S.

Flow Chart If Outside U.S.

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Related Information

Fiance(e) of U.S. Citizen

Family-based Immigration


American Immigration Lawyers Association Member

American Immigration Lawyers Association Member



Marriage Visa & Adjustment of Status Process

For Spouses of U.S. Citizens Inside the United States


The Adjustment of Status process for spouses of U.S. citizens is a multi-stepped process that takes longer than one would expect.  This process can be further delayed if mistakes are made in the petition and if incomplete documentation is provided to the government.  Avoiding these mistakes is key, and a family immigration lawyer can help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Step One.  Couple Married & Both Are In The United States

A couple must be married to receive a spousal visa.  Additionally, to qualify for adjustment of status, the foreign national must be in the United States.  However, not all foreign nationals are eligible to adjust status (even if in the United States), and it is important to contact a family immigration attorney to ensure eligibility.

Step Two.  Contact Gafner Law Firm

Once married and in the United States, a couple should contact a family immigration attorney who can provide them with sound legal advice as to their eligibility and what documentation is required during the process.  Knowing what to expect makes the process go much smoother.

Step Three.  Submit the Adjustment of Status Petition to the USCIS

Once a family immigration lawyer reviews your case and prepares the Adjustment of Status petition (complete with required documentation and forms) for you to review, the petition can be submitted to the USCIS.  The USCIS is currently taking around five months to process petitions.  This time frame can be extended if the required documents are not submitted the first time.

Step Four.  Attend Biometrics Interview

About one month after the application is submitted to the USCIS, the immigration agency will notify the beneficiary that he or she will need to attend a biometrics interview where fingerprints and photographs may be taken of the applicant.

Step Five.  Receive Work Authorization and Travel Authorization

About three months after the petition is submitted, the applicant will receive work authorization and travel authorization.  However, before using either, an applicant should make sure that he or she is eligible.  Not doing so can have devastating consequences.  Many times, applicants are granted travel authorization even though they will be barred from entering the United States for 3 or 10 years because of previous immigration violations.

Step Six.  Both Attend Interview at Local Immigration Office

The USCIS will eventually notify the couple of a date and time when they will need to both attend an interview at the local immigration office.  At the interview, the agency will review the couple’s petition, and will ask additional questions to ensure the validity of the relationship between the couple.  The firm can help applicants prepare for the interviews by providing additional insight into what should be expected at the interview and offer advice on how the couple can better demonstrate their good faith relationship.

Step Seven.  Green Card Issued

After successfully completing the interview, the applicant will be provided with a green card (permanent residency card).  If, at the time the green card is issued, the marriage is less than two years old, the green card will be a conditional green card.  This means that the couple will need to submit a secondary petition (and attend another interview) two years after the card is issued.  If the marriage is over two years old, then the green card will be permanent.