Avoiding Common Mistakes in Marriage-Based Green Card Applications

by: Attorney Noyes

8/3/20232 min read

a couple holding hands while standing next to each other
a couple holding hands while standing next to each other

When applying for a green card based on marriage, it's crucial to avoid common mistakes that could lead to denial. Fortunately, with the guidance of an experienced immigration expert, you can prepare adequately and increase your chances of success. Understanding potential pitfalls in advance allows you to address them from the outset, saving you from being denied the opportunity to live with your spouse in the United States. Below are some common problems that marriage-based green card applications often encounter:


Certain criminal records and medical issues, such as a history of drug abuse or mental illness, can render either spouse ineligible to apply for a green card. Dishonest or misleading information provided during the application process is also considered fraudulent and will lead to a denial.

In some cases, a waiver of inadmissibility can be sought if the ineligible spouse can prove that their absence would cause "extreme hardship" to their U.S. resident spouse, thus seeking an exemption from ineligibility.

Insufficient Financial Funds

The sponsoring U.S. citizen or green card holder must demonstrate the ability to support their spouse financially. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services requires sponsors to have at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Level to qualify for a green card. Providing copies of federal income tax returns and recent pay stubs are common ways to demonstrate financial capability. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the application being rejected.

Green Card Application Errors

Attention to detail is crucial when applying with USCIS. Common errors to avoid include failing to include translations of non-English documents, not including the required filing fee, and providing digital signatures instead of original wet ink signatures.

Unsatisfactory Proof of Bona Fide Marriage

Proving the authenticity of the marriage is a critical part of the green card application process. A valid marriage certificate is essential, and submitting proof of previous marriages with appropriate divorce or death certificates is equally crucial. Additionally, it's vital to ensure that the place of marriage officially recognizes same-sex or interfaith marriages, as this could lead to denial.

To increase the likelihood of a successful green card application, it's crucial to provide sufficient evidence of the genuine relationship and life shared by you and your spouse.

If you need assistance with your green card application, don't hesitate to contact Noyes & Associates. Our team of highly qualified immigration attorneys specializes in cases like yours, ensuring the best possible outcome for your application. Schedule a consultationwith us today for expert guidance on your journey toward a green card. Reach out to us now to start securing your future together in the United States.