If you’re married to someone who is already a citizen of the United States, you may be able to use that fact to get a green card. This is one way that the government does try to keep families together. 

That said, you may have heard people use the slang term “green card marriage” in a negative light. What exactly do they mean? 

What they’re talking about is likely a situation where two people are not in love and would not otherwise get married, but they do so only for the convenience of getting the non-citizen a green card so that they can stay in the country. This is sometimes referred to as a “marriage of convenience.”

Does this actually happen? It’s something that the government is concerned about, and they go to great lengths to make sure that it does not happen. Usually, this means that both people have to answer questions and go through an interview process to determine if the marriage seems legitimate or not.

This is often easier than you’d realize. Even simple things like asking when someone gets up in the morning or what their favorite food is would stump someone who isn’t really in a relationship, but they’d seem like very obvious questions to someone who was truly married because of that relationship. So, while people may talk about “green card marriages” as if they are common, the reality is that most people who apply for a green card this way are making a legitimate request. 

However, due to the concern over fraud, this process can be complicated. Be sure you know what legal steps you need to take to protect your future.