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U.S. immigration: Green card for Canadian marrying U.S. citizen

When a resident of British Columbia, or another Canadian province or territory, marries a U.S. citizen, he or she may apply for a permanent U.S. residency. This will be an adjustment of that person’s current immigration status. The procedures under the U.S. immigration laws can be complicated, and legal counsel may be helpful.

The process will require the cooperation of both spouses, starting with the U.S. citizen’s petition for an alien relative to also become a permanent resident in the United States. To ensure that the Canadian spouse does not become a public charge, an affidavit signed by the U.S. spouse will be required to declare that he or she accepts financial responsibility for the foreign spouse. He or she will state that the other spouse will be fully supported and will not expect public support such as unemployment insurance.

At the same time, the Canadian spouse can apply for the adjustment of his or her status or to register permanent residence. If he or she is not in the United States on a valid work visa, an application for a temporary work permit can be filed to cover him or her until the green card application is approved. The person may do the same if there is a possibility that a current work visa may expire before permanent residency is awarded.

To further ensure the Canadian citizen does not become a public burden, he or she will have to submit to a medical evaluation by an approved civil surgeon to determine his or her state of health. By consulting with an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer in British Columbia, additional information can be obtained. This may include facts about the process to prevent fraudulent marriages to take place for the single purpose of getting a green card.

Source:, “Marriage-Based Green Card“, Accessed on Sept. 1, 2017