While American citizens are free to marry foreigners, a non-U.S. citizen is not automatically entitled to citizenship in the United States, according to AllLaw. The immigrant spouse must first obtain a green card.
There are no waiting lists for immigrant spouses of American citizens who wish to apply for a green card. The American spouse must first submit a visa petition on behalf of the immigrant spouse to initiate the process, explains AllLaw. The American spouse needs to present proof that the marriage is not fraudulent as part of the petition.
The immigrant spouse may be denied a green card if found to be inadmissible, notes AllLaw. Grounds for inadmissibility include conviction of certain crimes, physical or mental illnesses, or likelihood of needing public assistance.