Marriage-Based Green Cards

Marriage-based green card lawyer Dayna Lally offers free initial phone consultations for questions about green cards through marriage.


I am a firm believer of setting clear expectations and the beginning of the process and maintaining open communication throughout. I pride myself on the following set of core values:

  • Organization
  • Efficiency
  • Consistency
  • Transparency
  • Balance
  • Etiquette

As such, I am providing the following information on the marriage-based green card process with Lally Immigration:

Flat Fee

I charge a flat fee of $3,500 to prepare a marriage-based green card application package.

Services Included

The flat fee includes the following services:

  • Preparation and review of all required forms and supporting documents;
  • Filing the necessary paperwork with the USCIS;
  • Tracking the status of the filing with the USCIS;
  • A 30-minute virtual mock interview with Clients up to 2 weeks before green card interview (if scheduled); and
  • Representation at actual interview with the USCIS in Massachusetts (or virtually, elsewhere).

Clients are responsible for the USCIS filing fees ($535 + $1,140), the biometric services fee ($85), as well as the cost of obtaining a sealed medical examination. The total cost is around $5,200.

Note: The USCIS is increasing the filing fees, effective April 1, 2024. See (here).

Payment Plans Available

I offer a payment plan, whereby the attorney fee may be paid at the following intervals:

  • $875 – To being process;
  • $875 – Prior to filing;
  • $875 – When USCIS issues receipt notices; and
  • $875 – Before mock interview (or at time of decision).

Note: The final installment payment of $875 will not be waived if clients are not required to attend a green card interview.

Internal Processing Time

Generally, I can have an initial draft prepared within seven (7) business days after receiving all of the required information and documentation.

Note:never begin the drafting process until I receive written communication that all of the required information and documentation has bene provided. This prevents a significant amount of back-and-forth editing/updating and reduces the opportunity for error.

USCIS Processing Time

The USCIS provides estimated case processing times on their website (here).

The estimated processing times are calculated based on how long it took the USCIS to complete 80% of cases over the past 6 months.

Although the green card application (Form I-485) may be processed in the USCIS Field Office with jurisdiction over your ZIP code, the immigrant visa petition (Form I-130), application for employment authorization (Form I-765), and application for travel authorization (Form I-131), will be processed at the USCIS’ National Benefits Center.

To check the current USCIS processing times, visit the USCIS website (above) and select the following options from the dropdown menus:

Form: I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Form Category: U.S. citizen filing for a spouse, parent, or child under 21.

Field Office: National Benefits Center

Form: I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

Form Category: Family-based adjustment application

Field Office: * Search by ZIP Code (here)

Form: I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Form Category: Based on pending I-485 adjustment application [(c)(9)]

Field Office: National Benefits Center

Form: I-131, Application for Travel Document

Form Category: Advance Parole

Field Office: National Benefits Center

Note: The estimated processing times listed on the USCIS website are generally much longer than it actually takes.

Process Flow

The typical process flow in my office is as follows:

  • Intake (basic questions to confirm eligibility);
  • Legal Services Agreement;
  • Payment;
  • Client Questionnaire and Document Request;
  • Drafting;
  • Client Review;
  • Edits (if necessary);
  • Shipment;
  • Receipt Notices;
  • Biometrics and/or Deficiency Notice*;
  • EAD Approval*;
  • Request for Evidence (if any)*;
  • Immigrant Visa Approval*;
  • Mock Interview (if necessary)*;
  • Actual Interview (if any)*; and
  • Decision.

Note: The order and timeframe in which the USCIS initiates and completes the milestones identified above with an asterisk varies widely from case to case; with no particular rhyme or reason.

Therefore, you may hear of friends or relatives who received their work permit, i.e., EAD approval, the same day that their biometrics were captured, while you wait 3+ months. Some cases receive an “I-693 Deficiency Notice” requested a sealed immigration medical exam, while others receive a similar request via a Request for Evidence (“RFE”).

Some cases receive immigrant visa approval before the green card approval, while others are approved simultaneously. Lastly, some cases are required to attend an interview at the USCIS field office, while in other cases, the interview requirement is waived.

Communication Hours

My communication hours, a time reserved exclusively for client communication (emails, phone calls, and meetings) are from 1:00 – 2:30pm EST, Monday – Friday.

In an effort to maximize productivity and maintain a healthy work/life balance, I generally do not respond to emails or phone calls outside of the communication hours listed above. I also do not offer consultations (virtual or otherwise) outside of these hours/

Preferred Form of Communication > Email

I communicate with clients predominantly through email and a client portalThis ensures that all communication is in writing and easy to reference.

To facilitate fast and efficient correspondence throughout the process, I ask that clients relay all questions/concerns to me in bulleted emails in the format below:


Good afternoon! I have a few questions:

  • Question 1
  • Question 2
  • Question 3

This format encourages clients to clearly articulate any an all questions or concerns. This format also enables me to provide direct, tailored responses. I normally respond to all questions within one (1) business day; generally, the same day (after 1:00pm EST).

Phone Calls

I do not answer unscheduled phone calls. I believe that an effective phone cal (or meeting) requires an agenda. Therefore, I limit phone calls from existing clients to an urgent (or scheduled) basis. Generally, calls must be scheduled 24 hours in advance and occur between 1:00 – 2:30pm EST, Monday – Friday. I do not accept walk-in appointments.

Vacations and Holidays

I plan annual vacations at least six (6) months in advance. These vacation days are updated in the signature panel of all emails sent by me. I will not draft, review, or ship any immigration paperwork when scheduled to be out of office. If clients are scheduled for an interview when I am scheduled to be out of office, I will virtually represent the clients and issue a refund for the final installment payment.

My office is closed on all Federal and State (Massachusetts) holidays.

Mail Processing

I process all incoming and outgoing mail on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Clients must confirm shipment prior to 2:00pm EST for same-day shipment on Tuesday or Thursday. I use USPS Priority Mail® 2-Day Delivery for packaging and shipping. Upon written request from clients, I will use alternative or expedited shipping services. Clients are responsible for any and all additional costs.

USCIS Online Account

highly recommend that clients create a USCIS online account (if/when possible). Creating a USCIS online account enables clients to obtain case status updates and access electronic copies of every notice issued by the USCIS in one, consolidated locationThe electronic copies are generally available long before I receive the physical copies of the same correspondence.

Ownership of Work Product

Upon signing a legal services agreement with my office, clients agree that all information relating to their matter, including, but not limited to: email templates, document templates, discussion of the case, evaluation results, advice, strategy, and draft letters, are work product and the sole property of Lally Immigration Services, LLC at all times, even after the termination of representation. Disclosure of the mentioned information without the consent of my office may constitute breach of our agreement and may lead to termination of the representation and/or legal action to recover damages.

Have an Immigration Question?

If you have a question about immigration or would like to schedule a free consultation for a marriage-based green card application, contact Dayna Lally using the contact form below.

Ready to Schedule a Consultation?

Please use the "Schedule Now" button below to view my upcoming availability and schedule a 30-minute phone or Zoom consultation:

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