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What Is the Difference between 
Marrying a U.S. Citizen and a Permanent Resident?

Help Desk:

What is the difference between marrying a U.S. Citizen and a U.S. Permanent Resident? How long a spouse needs wait for an immigrant visa for each case?


There are no numerical limitations on the number of U.S. Citizen's spouse who can obtain Green Cards. So there is not immigrant visa waiting time for this situation.

On the other hand, if you marry a Permanent Resident of the U.S., you are placed under the 2A Family Preference Category. Spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Permanent Residents are allowed 114,200 Green Cards per year. Because the demand far outstrips the supply of visas, it may take you over 4 to 5 years to receive a immigrant visa or Green Card. 




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