Skip to content
Home » Other Australians » Green Card by Marriage: A Timeline for an Australian

Green Card by Marriage: A Timeline for an Australian

One of our community members very kindly reached out and said they could write their story of getting a Green Card through Marriage – we jumped at the chance! “This is my experience in the green card process through marriage in Minnesota. This was in total a 7 week process with USCIS, but an 8 month process from getting engaged to receiving permanent residency.”

My Australian expat profile

  • I was an E-3 holder and applied for permanent residency (Green Card) through marriage.
  • I’ve been in the USA since Feb 2019 and have had 2 jobs since moving from Australia. I was currently employed at the time of filing.
  • I live in Minnesota.
  • My American husband is a masters student.
  • We got married in January 2024 and we’ve been dating since 2018.
  • We used an Immigration lawyer – Feist Law & Advocacy. I cannot recommend them enough. They were there every step of the way, even as we transitioned away from my E-3. They worked with us to build solutions and created such a positive experience it was unreal.

My green card timeline

  • July 2023
    • We got engaged!
    • We engaged a lawyer as soon as we got engaged who advised us to pick a wedding date and get back with them.
  • November 2023
    • Got my shots
      • I needed my chickenpox vaccine and that’s a 2 shot dose! Do your research on what shots need what timing if you need them!
    • Set up a retainer with our lawyer as soon as we decided on our wedding date.
  • January 2024
    • Jan 6 – Got married and had a blast!
    • Jan 10 – Did the medical
      • This took 5 hours. I set an appointment 2 months in advance – pretty much as soon as we decided to pursue permanent residency.
    • Jan 12 – Received our marriage certificate
  • Between now and when we filed:
    • We spent hours scanning documents; birthday cards, dated pictures, mortgage documentation, tax documents to build our case.
    • We also spent hours pouring over the paperwork making sure everything was spelled correctly and aligned with our previous information.
  • February 2024
    • Feb 12 – We filed 
    • February 20 – Received the notice of receipt for our case.
    • February 22 – Our checks were cashed and we received a notice to come in for biometrics.
    • February 29 – I started an online account.
  • March 2024
    • March 3 – Rescheduled biometrics for travel reasons.
      • This was painless through the online portal and was approved almost immediately.
    • March 11 – Attended biometrics.
      • This was also painless – make sure you have clear, non-blurry copies of your notices. This didn't happen to me but there were folks in the office who had poor quality copies and were asked to return with clear copies to scan.
    • March 18 – Received Employment Authorization Approval notice via mail. Note; this is not the EAD, just the approval notice.
  • April 2024
    • April 1 – Logged into the online USCIS account and saw the whole case was approved and now closed as of March 30.
      • This included the I-485 approval and I-130 approval.
    • April 4 – Received the EAD card in the mail.
    • April 8 – Received the I-485 approval notice and my husband’s I-130 approval notice in the mail.
    • April 9 – Card was produced.
    • April 11 – Received the official Green Card in the mail.

Good luck out there!


Josh Pugh

Josh Pugh

Josh is a business founding, digital marketing focused, charity driving, community builder from South Australia, living in New York City. After moving in 2017, Josh realized that there was an opportunity to curate and help the community of expats who moved to the United States – and launched America Josh. Josh is also the President of Variety – the Children's Charity of New York, Secretary at The Mateship Foundation, and Founder & CEO at Fortnight Digital.View Author posts

3 thoughts on “Green Card by Marriage: A Timeline for an Australian”

  1. This article was encouraging to see as my timeline is similar. I was told by my immigration lawyer expect 15 months of being landlocked and don’t bother applying for advance parole as it takes 9 months to be approved. My confusion is whether to start ‘the change of surname’ process both here and in Australia then do green card. Can the green card be issued using your new married surname?

    1. I wrote this piece, M, and my lawyer said it was way easier to change it when you get married, then you can apply to the green card with your married name, which will send you a new Social Security card with your new name. It was that simple. Im currently in the process of changing my name in Aus but the US part is done now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *