Can I get a green card if I overstayed my visa but am going to marry? 8 Answers as of June 02, 2011

I entered the U.S in 2009 (September) on a F-1 visa student for a 3-month program. I then met my American fiancé and decided to stay. However, afraid of overstaying my visa and thinking we would get married right after, I left the U.S to come back in February 2010 under the visa waiver program (I'm French). But my fiancé decided he wasn't ready financially for marriage then and we waited. Is it still possible for me to get a green card if we marry soon??

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World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
It may be possible but keep in mind that when you overstay on a VWP you are in the US without a status since you exceeded the authorization granted to you under the program. I say possible because you were inspected when you entered the US. So, there is hope. You in fact, did not need a visa to enter the US so long as your stay was going to be no longer than 3 months. I would consult competent counsel before applying for status in the US. You see, you must have a status in order to adjust status or jump to a different status. Here, you have no status whatsoever. I would consult an attorney and strategize about how to go about doing this. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/2/2011
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
You may qualify for a green card after you marry an American. The visa waiver program allows you to visit the United States with a minimum of procedure. There are some restrictions with the visa waiver program, for instance, you are not allowed to change status while you are in the United States. To qualify for the green card, since you have no visa, you must leave the country and re-enter either on a fiance visa or on a family-based immigration visa. Since your fiance has already stated his financial worries, you would do well to determine whether he qualifies to sponsor you. If his income is not sufficient, you may need a second affidavit of support.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/2/2011
Law Office of Christine Troy
Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
It sounds from the facts presented that you can apply for a green card in the US as long as you made that decision after your last entry. However you really need to make a full consult appointment with a competent immigration attorney to analyze all facts of your case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/2/2011
Verdin Law Firm, LLC
Verdin Law Firm, LLC | Isaul Verdin
Yes, you can still file for your green card after you get married.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/2/2011
Fong & Associates
Fong & Associates | William D. Fong
Yes, if you marry, you can still get your permanent residence here in the US without needing to apply at your home consulate. There is a section of the Immigration Act that allows for a forgiveness of the immigration violations of visa overstay and unauthorized employment. There is no monetary penalty either. You are close to one year of unlawful presence, which will result in a 10-year bar from entry to the US, so you need to deal with this problem now. Please review the attached information and call me to discuss the details and a timeline to get your green card approved. Thank you.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/1/2011
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella | Caro Kinsella, Esq.
    Yes you are eligible to marry if you entered under the visa waiver program and have proof you were lawfully admitted into the U.S.. furthermore your spouse must be a U.S. citizen.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/1/2011
    Immigration Law Offices of Misiti Global, PLLC.
    Immigration Law Offices of Misiti Global, PLLC. | Nicklaus Misiti
    Assuming you are in the US and entered legally, you should be fine. Speak with and retain an immigration attorney to be sure. For a free consultation you may contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/1/2011
    Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC
    Lyttle Law Firm, PLLC | Daniella Lyttle
    Yes! Your case is called Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status. There are many requirements that need to be met, and you will be best served by hiring an immigration attorney. But yes, it is possible for you to get a green card. Meet with a lawyer to avoid making mistakes that can prevent you from getting a green card in a timely fashion.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/1/2011
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