Do I have to petition for a green card or can she automatically stay since we are now married? 4 Answers as of September 12, 2014

I was born in the states. She entered legally on a tourist visa. We met while she was traveling. She decided to stay a bit longer and now it’s almost time for her visa to run out (another month). We decided to get married. Do we have to go through applying for new visas and status for her and all that? How long should we wait until we file, or how long can we wait? If we do not petition immediately, what happens when her tourist visa runs out, since we got married before her 6 month visa runs out? What happens if we file say 1 year after her tourist visa runs out? How long does it take to get the results of petitioning for a green card? What happens if they deny us for some reason? Can we reapply? Can she legally stay in the states just by us getting married?

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Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
She has to go home and then you can apply for her.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/12/2014
Morales & O'Connor, PLLC
Morales & O'Connor, PLLC | Myron Morales
You should apply for lawful permanent residence as soon as possible. While she is an overstay, she will be subject to removal/deportation. Residence takes about six months, but she gets travel and work benefits while the application is pending. The marriage alone is insufficient for her to remain in the United States.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/12/2014
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
You will have to petition a green card, or adjustment of status for your wife. Solely being married to a US Citizen does not automatically give her the right to stay in the US, if she's caught by ICE or even the police, she could face deportation. You should file as soon as you can, it usually takes about 6 to 9 months for her to receive the green card. However, once the petition is filed, she will be able to legally stay here until the government either grants or denies your petition.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 9/12/2014
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
Your wife does not get to remain in the United States automatically because she married a United States citizen. You will need to file an immigrant visa petition on behalf of your spouse. Your spouse will contemporaneously file a request to adjust her status to a lawful permanent resident based upon the immigrant visa. You would be best advised to file sooner rather than later. Once your wife's authorized stay expires, she will be out of status and accruing unlawful presence. She could be placed in removal proceedings at any time after she fails to maintain status. You would be best advised to consult an experienced immigration about the process.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/12/2014
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