The process to begin a marriage visa once you marry a U.S. Citizen first starts with the completion of form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form which is submitted to USCIS, is filed out by the U.S. Citizen which is known as the Petitioner. The immigrant spouse is known as the Beneficiary. This application will tell USCIS that you entered a bona-fide marriage and if approved, you will have achieved the first step toward obtaining your marriage green card. The second step of this process is to file form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Resident or Adjustment of Status. This application which is also filed with USCIS is needed to complete the process. Once approved, USCIS will issue a green card to the immigrant spouse. In some instances, you can concurrently file both the I-130 and I-485 forms.
It is important to note that the marriage green card could be considered as conditional, if at the time it is filled the marriage is less than 2 years old. This means, that your Green Card will be conditionally valid for 2 years. At least 90 days before its expiration date, you will need to file an application with USCIS in order to “remove the conditions” and receive a permanent green card which is valid for 10 years.
This is just a brief summary of the marriage green card process. It is highly advisable to consult with an experience attorney since this a complex process which involves different types of applications and documentation. In some instances, it might also include an in person interview with a USCIS Official.