Can I Be Deported If I Am Married to a U.S. Citizen?

Married couple

Many immigrants consider getting married to a U.S. citizen to obtain a green card. Having a green card can give you a sense of home and security. It allows you to live and work within the United States legally. However, many wonder if you can be deported if you’re married to a U.S. citizen.

Yes, it is possible to be deported. It’s important to remember that being married to a U.S. citizen allows you the eligibility to become a green card holder but does not automatically grant you a green card. Here are some of the possible reasons you might get deported even if you are married to a U.S. citizen.

Why Could You Be Deported?

Entering a marriage does not make you an automatic green cardholder. You can still get deported for not meeting the qualifications needed to obtain a green card or if you commit certain crimes. We’ll dive deeper into each of those topics to understand what precisely will get you deported.

Not Green Card Eligible

To get a green card, you must meet a few different qualifications. If you’re unable to meet these qualifications, you will be deported. Marriage doesn’t guarantee your permanent residency in the United States. To apply for a green card, you need to meet the following qualifications.

• Be in a Real Marriage – You will have to prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS that your marriage is real. The USCIS will test both Husband and Wife through various interviews to confirm the validity of your marriage. They’ll inspect documents and make unannounced home visits to ensure everything you’ve provided is accurate.

• Enter the U.S. Lawfully – It’s essential that you’re entered the United States lawfully and that you did not enter by illegally crossing the border. This can disqualify you for a green card unless you file a special waiver. If this is your situation, it’s essential to contact an immigration attorney to file the proper paperwork.

• Prove Your Income – You’ll have to be able to prove that you can meet a minimum amount of income. The United States does not want to take on another burden for taxpayers.

• Pass A Medical Exam – If you’re a health risk to United States citizens, you won’t be eligible for a green card. You can become ineligible if you have illnesses such as gonorrhea, infectious leprosy, tuberculosis, or syphilis.

 Committing A Crime

Even if you have met all the criteria to obtain a green card or own a current green card, you could potentially be deported for committing a crime. Some examples of crimes that will get you deported include aggravated felonies, possession of drugs, robbery, theft, fraud, or murder.

It is possible to be deported even if you’re married to a U.S. citizen. However, this will only happen during specific circumstances. If you feel like any of these situations might apply to you, it’s best to consult with an immigration lawyer to see what your best options or next steps should be.


Rick Sterger is a licensed attorney practicing immigration law throughout the United States.  His practice, located in San Diego, California represents client before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Executive Office of Immigration Review (Immigration Court), Board of Immigration Appeals, and Circuit Courts of Appeals.  Rick proudly maintains the practice of providing his initial client consultation for FREE.  To schedule a consultation, call (760) 280-7900 today.

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