Permanent residence (green card) obtained by marriage to an American citizen


In order to benefit from all the advantages linked to obtaining permanent residence by marriage to an American citizen, it is recommended not only to apply for a Work Permit but also to apply for a Travel Permit.

Eligibility requirements

The spouses must have a valid marriage certificate. The spouses must be interviewed by an immigration officer who will ensure that the marriage is legitimate in order to obtain the temporary Green Card.

Dependent status

Parents and children can be attached to citizenship.

Period of validity

If the marriage is less than two years old, permanent residence (green card) will be temporary for 2 years. If the marriage is more than two years old, the validity is 10 years.

Special features

If the husband or wife of the American citizen is already in the United States, the American citizen applies for the permanent residence (green card) of his spouse in the United States at the same time as the application for a work permit. The spouse will obtain the Work Permit 90 days after their request. If the husband or wife is still abroad, the American citizen must apply for permanent residence (Green Card) and then apply for the K-3 visa in order to bring his spouse to the United States. This last formality is intended to establish that the spouse was in the United States awaiting permanent residence (Green Card). If the spouse travels abroad without a travel permit, he or she may be prevented from returning to the United States and must request a K-3 before being able to return to the United States.