The first step toward obtaining a Green Card Through Marriage is for the US Citizen Spouse to file an Immigrant Visa Petition. An Immigrant Visa Petition is a legal document filed submitted to the USCIS and states, inter alia, that you and your US Citizen spouse are legally married to and that the US Citizen spouse wishes to sponsor you for Green Card Through Marriage. Since the spouse of a US Citizen is considered an Immediate Relative, Visa Numbers are always available and the non- may file the application for adjustment of status with the USCIS simultaneously with the Immigrant Visa Petition.
The second step toward obtaining a Green Card Through Marriage is for the non-US spouse to file an application for Adjustment of Status. An application for Adjustment of Status is a legal document filed with the USCIS whereby the non-US spouse is requesting the US government the right to permanently live and work in the United States on the ground that he is legally married to a US Citizen. While you are in the process of adjusting your status you must remain in the United States until the process is completed. You must not leave the US until your green card application is approved. If you leave the United States before your green card application is approved, your green card application will be considered abandoned and may be denied. There are some exceptions to this rule and you may get permission to leave the US, i.e. Advance Parole, for a short period of time in cases of an emergency. All cases of Green Card Through Marriage require personal interview of the husband and wife with a USCIS Adjudication Officer before an approval may be granted by the USCIS.