How do I go about marrying an Australian woman with the visa waiver program and temporarily staying in the U.S.? 9 Answers as of February 21, 2014

I met an Australian woman in the U.S. who is staying legally with the Visa Waiver Program. She and I have fallen in love and would like to get married. I am a U.S. Citizen by birth. She says her Australian Passport allows her to stay in the U.S. for 90 days, but she has about 19 days left. If we wed, is there a way to allow her to extend her stay while the Green Card application is under evaluation? If not, how long until she is allowed re-entry? Do we have to wait for the Green Card to be approved or can she re-enter beforehand?

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Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
If you marry your fiancee and file an immigrant petition and adjustment of status application, she would not have to leave the U.S. and would not need any special dispensation to remain here while the application is pending. If she does leave the U.S. before receiving a green card, it will be very difficult for her to come back until she goes to the U.S. embassy in Australia for an immigrant visa interview. She will also forfeit the adjustment of status application fee and lose quite a few months while the system digests the need to switch her case from the adjustment of status process (USCIS, Department of Homeland Security) to the immigrant visa process (National Visa Center, Department of State). If she needs to go back to Australia before she can stay in the U.S. for the months the green card process will take, it might make sense to get married, and hold off filing the immigrant petition until you can bring her back on a K visa. If your fiancee leaves the U.S., she can also re-enter on a visa waiver. There is no specific time she would have to wait before re-entry. However, there is a delicate issue here: if USCIS will later feel that your fiancee re-entered the U.S. with the intent to marry you and take residence in this country, she will be charged with immigration fraud and denied a green card. If she plans to re-enter on a visa waiver, consult an immigration attorney before she leaves the U.S.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/21/2014
Jason Karavias, Esq.
Jason Karavias, Esq. | Jason Karavias
As a US citizen, if you marry, you can apply for your wife's green card right away and she will be permitted to remain legally in the US while her case is processed.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 2/21/2014
Alena Shautsova
Alena Shautsova | Alena Shautsova
You just get married and hire an immigration lawyer who will help your fiance to get a green card here. Once her case is filed, she will be able to travel abroad before it gets approved with advance parole.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/19/2014
Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
Have her leave before her visa expires. Then apply for a fiance visa. Once she gets it, she comes back into the country, you get married and then she gets a conditional green card. If you stay married for two years then you can both petition to have the condition lifted.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/19/2014
Pius Joseph A Professional Law Corp. | Pius Joseph
No unless you get married and file a petition within the next 19 days.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/19/2014
    Law Offices of Rizwan M. Khalid
    Law Offices of Rizwan M. Khalid | Rizwan Khalid
    Yes, you may marry her and adjust status while she stays here. Contact the office if you would like to file for status adjustment. Most attorneys also offer Skype consultations so you can make informed decision.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/19/2014
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
    You would be best advised to meet with an experienced immigration attorney. She may be able to stay in the U.S. depending upon her intentions at the time of entry.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/19/2014
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
    You can marry her while she is here on the visa waiver and she can stay. Once married, she can apply for a green card. The entire process takes only 3 months from start to finish if done right. She will be eligible to receive a work/travel permit as well (while she is waiting for the green card). There will be an interview at the local immigration office to make sure that you guys are the real deal. Please consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before finalizing your wedding plans. The timing of the wedding can be an issue as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/19/2014
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