Marriage Green Card – Questions and Answers

Q: I am a US Citizen living outside the U.S. with my foreign national spouse. How can I apply for her green card? 

 A: You file the I-130 petition with USCIS then your foreign national spouse may apply for the CR-1 Visa with the U.S. Embassy in her country.

Q: I am in the U.S. and my Foreign National Spouse is outside the U.S., how do we apply for her permanent residence?

A: Same answer as above. You file the I-130 petition with USCIS then your foreign national spouse may apply for the CR-1 Visa with the U.S. Embassy in her country.

Q: How long does it take for the Work Permit to be issued after we file the petition with USCIS?

    A: The Work Permit is usually issued 90 days after the petition is filed with USCIS.

Q: What is Advance Parole?

A: Advance Parole is the re-entry permit that you must apply for if you wish to re-enter the U.S. after foreign travel while you are waiting for your Green Card.

If you do not have the Advance Parole re-entry permit and you leave the U.S., you may be denied re-entry.


If you are on an H-1B or L-1 Visa, you do not need the Advance Parole Re-entry permit when applying for a marriage green card.

You may re-enter the U.S. on your H-1B or L-1 Visa, provided you are still in valid H-1B or L-1 status.

Q: When and how do I get my Social Security Card?

    A: After your Work Permit is issued, you may apply for your Social Security Card at any Social Security Office.
    You will want to take your passport and Work Permit with you as identification.
    You fill out the application in the Social Security Office and they will mail you the Social Security Card about 2 weeks later.

Q: How long does it take for the Interview to be scheduled?

    A: Currently between 3 to 4 months after the initial filing.

Q: What happens if my Work Permit and / or Advance Parole expire before I receive my Green Card?

    A: You are allowed to file for the renewal of your Work Permit and Advance Parole until your Green Card is issued.

USCIS Form I-693 Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record – Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How long is the civil surgeon signature valid on the adjustment of status medical Form I-693?

    A: The medical has a validity period of one year (e.g., completed and signed by a civil surgeon on 9/9/2016, valid until 9/9/2017). USCIS states that all applicants filing for adjustment of status should have their medical and /or vaccination section completed as close to the submission of the I-485 as possible.

Q: What does the medical examination involve?

A: When the entire medical exam is required, the designated civil surgeon is responsible for ensuring that all of the required components have been completed.

The civil surgeon will record the results on Form I-693.

For applicants required to have the entire medical exam, all of the following are required. All adjustment of status applicants are required to comply with the vaccination requirements.

Physical Examination

    • A physical examination and mental status evaluation are required, regardless of age.

Tuberculin (TB) Skin Test

    • All applicants two years of age and older are required to have a tuberculin skin test (TST) given by the Mantoux technique. (Civil surgeons may require an applicant younger than two years to undergo a TST if there is evidence of contact with a person known to have tuberculosis or other reason to suspect tuberculosis.) After the skin test, the applicant will need to return to the civil surgeon within 48 to 72 hours to have the results read. If you have a reaction of four millimeters or less, generally you will not need any further tests for TB. A chest X-ray is required when the reaction to the TST is five millimeters or more. The civil surgeon will explain the medical requirements to you in more detail

Serologic (Blood) Test

    • Applicants 15 years of age and older are required to have serologic (blood) tests for HIV and for syphilis. Civil surgeons can require applicants under age 15 to be tested for HIV or syphilis if there is reason to suspect the possibility of infection. Civil surgeons are required to provide pre-test counseling to all applicants who take the HIV test. If you are found to have HIV infection, the civil surgeon must provide you with post-test counseling.


By law, the required vaccines include: mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, pertussis, influenza, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type B, varicella, pneumococcal, rotavirus, hepatitis A, meningococcal, human papillomavirus, zoster, and any other vaccinations recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Q: Can I open the envelope with my I-693 certified forms?

A: NO. When all tests and immunizations are completed, the I – 693 forms will be signed and placed in a sealed envelope to present to USCIS.


Each patient will have his or her own envelope.

Take or send the sealed envelope to the USCIS officer and let him / her open it.

If for any reason the sealed envelope is opened before the officer receives it, you will need to return the envelope to our office to have it resealed.

If the USCIS officer receives the envelope unsealed, he will void the forms and you must redo the forms.

Q: What if I am a K nonimmigrant visa holder and already had a medical exam overseas?

A: If you were admitted as a:

    • K-1 fiance(e) or a K-2 child of a K-1 fiance(e), or as a
    • K-3 spouse of a U.S. citizen or a K-4 child of a K-3 spouse of a U.S. citizen, and
    • You received a medical examination prior to admission, then:
      1. You are not required to have another medical examination as long as your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, is filed within one year of your overseas medical examination.
      2. You will, however, be required to complete Part 1, Information about you, and submit the vaccination section of Part 2 with your adjustment of status application. A designated civil surgeon must complete the vaccination section and Part 5, the Civil Surgeon’s Certification.

Q: What are the medical grounds of inadmissibility?

A: The medical grounds of inadmissibility under U.S. immigration laws are divided into four categories:

    1. Communicable diseases of public health significance.
    2. Lack of required vaccinations.
    3. Physical or mental disorders with
      harmful behavior.
    4. Drug abuse/drug addiction.

Q: How can I find a USCIS Civil Surgeon to perform the medical exam.

A: You can use the USCIS Civil Surgeons Locator.

USCIS Form I-864 Affidavit of Support – Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support?

    A: Form I-864 is a legally enforceable agreement wherein the sponsor commits to providing support to the foreign national.

Q: Is Form I-864 a Legally Binding Contract?

    A: A signed Form I-864 Affidavit of Support creates a legally binding contract between the sponsor, the foreign national and the federal, state and local governments whose resources may be recouped should the foreign national receive any assistance from governmental agencies.

Q: When does the sponsor’s obligation to support end?

    A: The sponsorship obligation continues until the sponsored alien naturalizes, has worked or can be credited with 40 quarters of work, leaves the United States permanently, or dies.
    The sponsor or the sponsor’s estate remains liable for any support or requests for repayment of benefits that arose before the support obligation ended.

Q: How will the affidavit of support be enforced?

    A: Agencies that provide means-tested public benefits to sponsored immigrants will be able to request reimbursement from sponsors for the amount of benefits that they provide and sue them if they do not repay.
    USCIS will provide information to benefit providing agencies on the names and addresses of sponsors; these agencies, not USCIS, will be involved in the enforcement of affidavits of support.
    If sponsors do not provide basic support to the immigrants they bring to the United States, the sponsored immigrants may sue their sponsors.

Q: Does divorce nullify the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support?

    A: No, divorce does not nullify the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support.

Q: Does the petitioner have to file an affidavit of support if he or she cannot meet the income requirements and there is a joint sponsor?

    A: Yes. The law petitioner must be a sponsor and file an affidavit of support, even if he or she cannot meet the income requirements.
    The petitioner remains fully liable, along with the joint sponsor, for any benefits the sponsored immigrant(s) may use.
    The joint sponsor must file a separate affidavit of support.

Q: What Are the Income Requirements?

A: To qualify as a sponsor, you must demonstrate that your income is at least 125 percent of the current Federal poverty guideline for your household size.

The Federal poverty line is updated annually and can be found on Form I-864P, Poverty Guidelines.

If you are on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard, and you are sponsoring your spouse or minor child, you only need to have an income of 100 percent of the Federal poverty line for your household size. This provision does not apply to joint or substitute sponsors.

Q: How is household size determined for the purposes of the I-864?

A: Household size is the sum of:

    • Yourself (The petitioner – US Citizen Spouse);
    • Your foreign national spouse (beneficiary);
    • any dependent children under the age of 21 (no matter where they live);
    • any other dependents listed on your most recent Federal income tax return (no matter where they live);
    • all persons being sponsored in this affidavit of support,
    • Any immigrants previously sponsored with a Form I-864 or Form I-864 EZ affidavit of support whom you are still obligated to support.
    • If necessary to meet the income requirements to be a sponsor, you may include additional relatives (adult children, parents, or siblings) as part of your household size as long as they have the same principle residence as you and promise to use their income and resources in support of the intending immigrant(s). The relatives(s) would complete and sign form I-864A.

Q: What required supporting documents are submitted with the I-864 Affidavit of Support

A: All sponsors must submit the following documentation with their I-864:

    • Proof of current employment or self employment.
    • A photocopy or an Internal Revenue Service-issued transcript of a photocopy or an Internal Revenue Service-issued transcript of your complete Federal income tax return for your most recent tax year, or an explanation if it is not submitted.
    • Your W-2s and/or 1099 forms for your most recent tax year.
    • You may also, at your option, submit a photocopy or an Internal Revenue Service-issued transcript of your complete Federal income tax returns for your second and third most recent tax years if you believe these additional tax returns may help you establish the ability to maintain your household income at the governing threshold set forth in Form I-864P, Poverty Guidelines.

If you are using the income of persons in your household or dependents to qualify as a sponsor, you must also submit a separate Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, for each person whose income you will use.

Q: What types of evidence can be used to show current employment?

    A: A letter from an employer including beginning date of employment, type of work performed, and wages or salary paid.

Q: What types of evidence can be used to show self-employment?

    A: Self-employed persons are required to show a copyt of their business license (if applicable), and the self-employment schedules they filed with their income tax returns.

Q: Can the petitioner (US Citizen) or joint sponsor count assets to meet the 125 percent minimum income requirement?

    A: Yes. The sponsor would count his/her income first.
    If not sufficient, he may count personal assets and/or the income and assets of qualifying household members who have signed an I-864A.
    If, using all of those sources, the minimum income requirement is met, the affidavit would be “sufficient.”
    The cash value of assets must equal five times the difference between the sponsor’s income and 125 percent of the poverty line for the indicated household size.

Q: How can a petitioner (US Citizen) or joint sponsor who was obligated to file tax returns, but failed to do so, qualify as a sponsor?

    A: A sponsor may file a late or amended tax return to IRS.
    He or she can then submit copies of the late or amended return(s) for the year(s) in which he or she was obligated to file. Until such time as the late or amended return has been filed, the I-864 will be considered incomplete.

Q: If the sponsor owns a business, should he/she submit individual or business tax returns?

    A: Individual tax returns (Form 1040) are required, since it is the individual and not the business who is sponsoring the applicant(s).

Q: How Can I Use Assets to Qualify?

    A: Assets may supplement income if the immigration officer is convinced that the monetary value of the asset could reasonably be made available to support the sponsored immigrant and converted to cash within one year without undue harm to the sponsor or his or her family members.
    You may not include an automobile unless you show that you own at least one working automobile that you have not included.

Q: What assets can be used?

    A: Any type of asset can be used if it is readily convertible to cash within a year.
    Liquid assets, such as savings deposits, stocks, bonds, and certificates of deposit will be viewed most favorably because they would be most accessible for the support of sponsored immigrants.
    Other assets, such as property, may also be acceptable if they can be sold within a year.

Q: What evidence of assets is required?

    A: Evidence establishing ownership and the value and location of assets is required.
    Information on any liens and/or liabilities relating to these assets must be provided.
    For bank accounts, bank statements for the most recent 12 months, or a letter from the bank stating the date the account was opened, a history of deposits and withdrawals for the past year, and the current balance are needed.

Q: Can the petitioner (US Citizen) or joint sponsor who receives housing and other benefits instead of salary count those benefits as income?

    A: Yes. The sponsor may count income that is not subject to taxation (such as a housing allowance), as well as taxable income.
    However the sponsor must prove the nature and the amount of any income if it is not included as wages/salary or other taxable income.
    Evidence of such income can be shown through notations on the W-2 Form (such as box 13, for military allowances), Form 1099, or other documents that substantiate the claimed income.

Q: Can a credible offer of employment for the applicant (foreign national spouse) replace or supplement an insufficient affidavit of support?

    A: No. The law does not make any provision for the consideration of offers of employment in lieu of the I-864.
    An offer of employment may not be counted in reaching the 125 percent minimum income.

Q: What if the petitioner (US Citizen) cannot meet the 125 percent minimum income requirement?

    A: If the petitioner (US Citizen) cannot meet the 125 percent minimum income requirement, they require a joint sponsor.

Q: What is a joint sponsor.

    A: A joint sponsor is a person who is not the petitioner for the sponsored immigrant but who meets the citizenship, residence, and age requirements and who meets the 125 percent minimum income requirement for his or her household size.
    Joint sponsors are permitted when the petitioner cannot meet the income requirements or has died before all family members have immigrated.

Q: Who can be a joint sponsor?

    A: Joint sponsors must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents; age 18 or over; and live in one of the 50 States, Washington, DC, or a US territory or possession.

Q: Is there a limit on the number of joint sponsors?

A: There is no limit on the number of joint sponsors; but each joint sponsor must meet the 125 percent of the poverty line income requirement for their household size.

Q: What are the responsibilities of a joint sponsor?

    A: Joint sponsors must accept joint legal responsibility for supporting sponsored immigrant(s) and reimbursing the cost of any means-tested public benefit used until the sponsored immigrants naturalize, can be credited with 40 qualifying quarters of work, depart the United States permanently, or die.

Q: Are joint sponsors required to attend the interview?

    A. No, joint sponsors are not required to attend the interview.
    However the petitioner (US Citizen) must bring the joint sponsor’s supporting documents (employment verification, copy of most recent years 1040 IRS tax return and W-2) to the interview.

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Client Reviews

They handled our immigration case professionally, and got us through everything. I Highly recommend because I don’t think they’ll be this affordable for so long. Great people too!
Temi Adebayo
Temi Adebayo
19:27 10 Jun 18
Mr. John, Mr. Marc and this firm have been helping me with my immigration needs for the past 12 years. All the time, they have shown very professionalism in handling my filings with USCIS.Their level of service is unmatchable. And, moreover their services are very affordable. They always listened very patiently and answered all my questions and provided the best advice. While filing the papers, they take utmost care to make sure all the information is accurate. I strongly recommend their services.
Db Prakash
Db Prakash
03:26 03 Jun 18
John Dorer at Taylor and Associates provided great service and efficiently helped me accomplish a very challenging legal task. John Dorer's help was terrific! Great job!
Chris Marcell
Chris Marcell
13:03 28 May 18
We hired Marc and John and worked with them for nearly a year and half. They were always patient and extremely helpful at every turn of event. It was a very positive experience working with them.
Wu Jonathan
Wu Jonathan
04:21 15 May 18
Reliable, economical, impeccable work and really fast. They know their work and would ensure every line is true to your details. Will be using their services again and highly recommended!
Geet Divekar
Geet Divekar
00:04 04 May 18
It has been an absolute pleasure working with John and Marc. They have helped and assisted throughout the last 15 years with every single of my work related petition and finally my Green card. Filing petitions with USCIS can be a daunting task but Marc and John have the experience and expertise in filing and assisting employers with several Non Immigrant petitions. I have refereed several of my friends and will continue to do so. Finally, I have three words for this firm. Professional, Efficient and Affordable. The 5 star rating should speak for itself!!
Sushil Pallemoni
Sushil Pallemoni
20:32 02 Apr 18
This is a top notch Green card services Attorney, right from day one i was told correctly in detailed instruction what to do, Online Document upload and constant contact with John Dorer made it a breeze. They are strict discipline guys and expect all the communication and process to be so, so it might feel like they are rude at first, but believe me they are the best and them being strict helps in long run. Documentation to Interview dates, i had to change the address last minute and John made sure that it was done in time even though my application was already out of their office , the recalled and made a correction for me. Take their services, they are top notch in process and will make your life super simple, my MGC application was submitted on 3 Dec 17 and i had a GC in hand by March 18 , Cannot thank them enough for a every step guidance for GC. Thanks Taylor & Associates
Sanjeev Tyagi
Sanjeev Tyagi
05:13 01 Apr 18
I am very thankful to John Dorer, Marc Taylor and the TNA staff for the services provided during my Green Card process from Day 1 to finish. I couldn't ask for more. The lawyer's fee are very reasonable and affordable. They deserve a 5 -star rating and I will absolutely recommend this firm to everyone I know.
Romeo Ranera
Romeo Ranera
15:09 29 Mar 18
Absolute top notch firm for any and all immigration assistance. They assisted me in obtaining my permanent residency and through it all were right there to assist with trouble shooting and complications. Any and all questions were always answered within hours and you’re never left to feel anything less than a top priority as a client. The friendliness and professionalism with which they operate is A1 and I wouldn’t have been able to navigate the complications of USCIS without Marc and John. Highly recommend anyone seeking assistance to contact them!
Vanessa Nolan
Vanessa Nolan
21:05 21 Mar 18
I was very pleased with their professional service from the beginning to the end for my citizenship application. I am a professional working in the higher education and somewhat familiar with the immigration process. For that reason, I was thinking of applying it by myself but I found Taylor and Associates whose service fee is very affordable and worth of my time. Indeed, they found some of minor mistakes in my application, which could have delayed much longer for my application process. Luckily, they caught and fixed them immediately. Their communication was excellent. In fact, everything was very smooth. Even after I had the approval notice, they followed up with valuable advices. I strongly recommend their service if you need immigration services. Thank you Marc and John for your excellent services.
Dominic Choo
Dominic Choo
17:12 23 Dec 17
my wife and i worked with John Dorer from Marc Taylors Associates. He's services were awesome and amazing. i would recommend him to anybody applying for their permanent resident to work with them.
Seun Olanrewaju
Seun Olanrewaju
15:33 22 Dec 17
Used the services of this office for Green Card through AOS and was mainly in contact with John Dorer. I was unsure about their services at first, considering the unusually affordable cost but was pleasantly surprised by their prompt responses to all our questions and their timely preparing and handling of our documents! Will be using their services again when filing for removal of condition! Definitely recommended!
Lisa Lorentzon
Lisa Lorentzon
22:56 10 Dec 17
Marc and John helped me apply and get my green card. They are very specific about needed documents and other details. Also, they are very responsive when you have a question. I know I emailed them several times just to ask questions that I could have found answers online myself. They are very patient and professional. If you want to get great services with reasonable fees contact them!
Amin Bagheri
Amin Bagheri
11:54 12 Oct 17
My husband and I worked with John Dorer from Marc Taylor's office, and his services exceeded our expectations. He was very knowledgeable, responsive, and our Green Card process and interview from start to finish went smoothly. Thank you so much, John, for your dedication to our case and all your help. I would highly recommend USAVISANOW to all!
Sophia Nguyen
Sophia Nguyen
17:26 09 Oct 17
The best law agency I have ever worked with. Very responsive, experienced. I trusted my green process to them and it was done perfectly without and issues in minimum possible period. Thank You Very much Marc, John and others!!!
Hrach Gyulzadyan
Hrach Gyulzadyan
16:38 30 Sep 17
USVISANOW streamlined the paperwork which saved us so much time. This also reduced the stress involved in filling out the paperwork. They also are very understanding and respond very quickly to questions and emails. Jackline is now a US citizen which took less than 5 months. Thank you Mr. Taylor and your team. From Brian and Jacky.
Jackline Osero
Jackline Osero
17:32 12 Sep 17
Mark and team went above all my expectations of an 'online' service agency I went in with very low expectations to match the low cost of the service and was amazed that the experience was no different than going through an expensive attorney. They were very prompt on responses, very patient and also very knowledgeable on every facet of the application (including a follow up checklist). I would highly recommend them considering the low cost they charge and the high risk we take by doing this ourselves
First Dhalsite
First Dhalsite
22:27 01 Sep 17
I am US citizen. We hired Marc's firm for my wife's Green Card process, We are extremely happy with their services.They are one of the best service providers in the country. Price is very affordable. John is awesome. He responded to our queries on time with very useful information. We highly recommend this firm to anybody looking for affordable and the best immigration services. it was an awesome experience working with this team.
Narsimha M
Narsimha M
13:57 04 Aug 17
At first I thought I could have very well gone through the green card application process on my own and saved all lawyer fees. Its funny how some lawyers can charge in excess of 2K for this. However at Taylor and Associates the price seemed more reasonable and felt it made sense to go with one at that price. There were some doubts that arose in our mind which they cleared in a timely manner and seemed very knowledgeable in this area. Its for moments like these when having a professional around helps. While we can get busy with our lives and with laws constantly changing, I would definitely recommend them - a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Callistus Pereira
Callistus Pereira
17:51 06 Jun 17
I've had the pleasure of conducting business with this law firm for the last 10 years. They have been nothing but the best for every aspect of immigration need I had. From F1 all the way to citizenship. They're probably the most affordable, knowledgeable, and most efficient immigration law firm out there. Plus, they always provide responses to questions in a very timely manner. Trust me, other immigration law firms will cost you an arm and a leg for the same or less of a service compared to this law firm. Give them a call, check out their website. You will not regret it.
Andy Glasgow
Andy Glasgow
17:26 27 Mar 17
Because of John and his team my wife and I were able to travel back to the states, get married and have a Green Card without any headaches. John’s efforts were amazing and it shows because my wife and I didn’t have to go to the Green card interview. We had a strong enough case to receive the Green card in the mail. If you’re seeking a Lawyer that will be impartial, he’s your guy.
19:18 23 Feb 17
Marc and John Dorer worked on our case to file for AOS after our L1A was approved.Marc and John are professionals and extremely reasonable-priced. The reason they are able to cut the price is because they don't spend time consulting you or guiding you and will never get on call.All communications are email only, so if you know precisely what you want they will do all the paper-work, follow the trail and get the job done. If you are confused and need advice and consulting, they may not be the right lawyers.But since we were doing our AOS, it worked out perfectly well and they did their job extremely professionally.Would recommend them every time to get the work done.
hardik parikh
hardik parikh
01:58 08 Feb 17
Me & husband went through immigration process which thankfully was made easy with the help and services of Marc Tyler Inc. Our direct contact was John which i want to personally say Thank You ! The service provided was efficient, fast, affordable prompt answers in a timely fashion. I would recommend Marc Tyler Inc to anyone who need immigration done fast, easy, friendly & with no hidden charges.
Aleksandra Stoycheva
Aleksandra Stoycheva
15:27 26 Jan 17
I could not have asked for better service. I will definitely be coming back to get the green card process done. The fees are extremely reasonable and they stick with their clients the entire way. I had so many questions during this process, and each one of them were answered very quickly and with out most professionalism. This firm is a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend them to anyone.
bryan mowrey
bryan mowrey
06:41 25 Nov 16

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