Published on the World Journal Weekly on November 6, 2016
Q&A 1 2
Came to the U. S. 2 Years Ago, Going to Get Married, What Do We Do Now For Me to Get the Green Card?
I came here on a tourist visa about 2 years ago, have overstayed my visa status which is only good for 6 months, got serious with my boyfriend, and we’re planning a big marriage ceremony next month with all of our families in Chicago. What do we do about getting my immigration status regularized here in the U. S.?
If your boyfriend is a US citizen, you can begin the immigration process as soon as you are married. Since you entered the US with the tourist visa, you would be eligible to adjust your status to permanent residence without leaving the country. Your husband would file form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on your behalf, and you would concurrently file form I-485 Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Residence. The two major forms with all other forms and documents would be submitted to the Chicago lockbox of U.S.C.I.S. If your boyfriend is not a US citizen and only a permanent resident, the process would be different unless you decide to wait until he becomes a US citizen. As the wife of a permanent resident, you are not allowed to adjust status as you have already overstayed your period of legal stay and would likely have to apply for an I-601A waiver of the ten year bar for being in the US illegally for one year or more. The I-601A waiver was begun in 2013 and allows an applicant to have an approved provisional waiver which excuses the unlawful presence bar ahead of an immigrant visa interview at the home consulate or embassy. The waiver would be based upon establishing extreme hardship to your husband if you had to leave the country permanently. The good thing about the I-601A waiver is that you would be able to see the result during the time that you are still here in the US before deciding whether to complete your case by interviewing at your home consulate or embassy for immigration.
How Can My FiancÚ Stay in the U. S. Legally After His J-1 Visa Expires at the End of November 2016?
My fiancé is working at a company in the U. S. under J-1 status which will expire at the end of November. I am a U. S. citizen, but the problem is that I am only 18 and he is 23. We also do not know if we can live together since he tells me that the company policy is that he must stay in the company apartment and he is not allowed to move out and rent to another place. What is our best solution? What should he do after his J-1 expires?
If you are married, you can petition for his permanent residence so long as he does not have a J-1 visa which has a binding two-year foreign residence requirement. If so, he would have to have that removed before he could apply to adjust his status to permanent residence. Assuming that he does not have that type of J visa, you can marry and submit I-130 petition for alien relative concurrently with his I-485 adjustment of status to permanent residence application to U.S.C.I.S. Those are the main forms although the entire list can be seen at the U.S.C.I.S. website at uscis.gov. You are expected to live together at the time that you marry to prove a bona fide marriage, but if there is other convincing proof of the marriage being bona fide and that you both consider yourselves man and wife and hold yourself out to others as such, U.S.C.I.S. may overlook the fact that he must live in the company apartment and not with you if there is proof that this is the company policy.