How do I marry a non citizen in the US? 21 Answers as of March 29, 2012

I am a US citizen. My boyfriend is here on a current student visa from Africa. We plan to marry soon, having been together for 2 years. How do I go about helping him apply for permanent citizenship so he can stay?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Bogart Immigration Law, LLC | Nathan Bogart
The rules of how to marry a person are governed by each state, so you will need to refer to your particular state, most likely through the county, as to how to go about getting married. After marriage, you can file an I-130, "Petition for Alien Relative" on behalf of your husband. If he entered lawfully, which it appears he did, you can also file the I-485, "Application for Permanent Residence," the I-864 "Affidavit of Support" and the I-765 "Application for Work Authorization" along with the I-130 in one packet. Before you do, you will need to speak with an immigration attorney. The process is not easy, and a good attorney can help you navigate it with little trouble. In addition, you will need to be completely up front and honest with your attorney about every little detail so he or she can evaluate any hurdles you might face, such as bars of inadmissibility and successfully presenting the bona fides of the marriage. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/9/2012
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
You can get married and then file for his permanent residence on the basis of a valid bona fide marriage to a US citizen.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/20/2012
Yahima Suarez, A Law Firm, PL | YAHIMA SUAREZ
You must file a family based visa petition after you are married and must prove to immigration that your marriage is legitimate and not entered into fraudulently just for papers. Your boyfriend, then your spouse, will be able to become a resident of the US. To become a citizen, a person must be a permanent resident for 5 years or 3 years if married to a US citizen to become a citizen. You will need to file a visa petition together with application for adjustment of status and work permit together will all evidence required by the applications and to support the validity of the marriage. The above is only general information and shall not be construed as legal advice. It is always recommend you consult with an attorney to review all the details of your case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/29/2012
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
The first step is to marry. Once you have married, you and your husband will file applications with USCIS. It is important that your husband maintain lawful immigration status by continuing his education in the interim. This ensures he remains in a valid immigration status. It is also important to make sure he is not subject to the 2 year residency requirement. This is typically written on his I-94. You will request an immigrant visa and your husband will request a green card. You will be required to submit supporting evidence and appear for at least one interview. The process takes about 8 months to a year to complete. You should consider hiring an attorney who can help guide you through the process.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 2/20/2012
Philip M. Zyne, P.A.
Philip M. Zyne, P.A. | Philip M. Zyne
You should marry your boyfriend and then you can file an I-130 petition on his behalf, and he can file an application for adjustment of status to permanent residence. I would suggest that you first speak with a qualified immigration law attorney to make sure that you and he meet all the necessary requirements before you file.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 2/20/2012
    Wildes & Weinberg, P.C. | Leon Wildes
    When you marry him you can sponsor him for permanent residence.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    LAW OFFICES OF ALAN R. DIAMATNE APLC
    LAW OFFICES OF ALAN R. DIAMATNE APLC | Alan R. Diamante
    Once you marry you can petition him for residency.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella | Caro Kinsella, Esq.
    You need to file adjustment papers, but you should retain an Immigration Attorney to file the petition on your behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    World Esquire Law Firm
    World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
    Make sure you are 21 years of age and if you feel strongly about him and that you marry him in good faith, then you can file an adjustment of status for him and he will be allowed to stay. Getting married is as easy as going to the appropriate government office and fill out the proper paperwork. Las Vegas, Nevada has plenty of places where you can get this accomplished in a jiffy. I suggest that you hire competent counsel to help you through this process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Fong & Associates
    Fong & Associates | William D. Fong
    As he is in valid immigration status, after you marry, you file the relative petition and he files for adjustment of status. Please note that his F-1 visa for travel will not likely be re-issued after you petition for him. You should consult with an immigration attorney to determine the best timing of the filing.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Baughman & Wang
    Baughman & Wang | Justin X. Wang
    Just go to the county to register your marriage and then file the immigration paper. If you do not know how to file, hire an immigration lawyer to help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C.
    Law Offices of Kenneth Wincorn P.C. | Kenneth Wincorn
    You apply for him by filing an I-130 petition.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Serbinin Law Firm LLC | Igor Serbinin
    You can still marry your boyfriend and petition for his permanent resident status unless he has a residency restriction on his visa requiring him to go back for at least two years prior to changing status. If he does have in fact such restrictions there are ways to request a waiver without him leaving the US. If he does not have a restriction most likely he will be able to adjust by you filing one step petition/application paperwork with USCIS and submitting affidavit of financial support. Prior to filing any paperwork with the government you must be sure that he does not have any inadmissibility or removability issues that could place him in removal proceedings. Your best chance of getting things right is to spend a few bucks on immigration attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
    The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
    After you get married, start the adjustment of status process right away. There are many forms you need to file, they're all available on the uscis website.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
    Good news. It is only taking about 3 months to get a green card through a marriage to a US citizen. You can file in the US and get a work permit even before you get your green card. I can prepare the paperwork, file the forms, prepare you for the interview and represent you at the interview. The entire process only takes between two and three months.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law
    Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law | Christian Schmidt
    Your boyfriend is eligible to apply for permanent resident status as your spouse if entered the United States on a student visa. You should consult with an immigration attorney about the application process because more information is needed to advise you appropriately.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Immigration Attorneys, LLP | Robert R. Gard
    First, even before you get married, make sure that there are no prior existing marriages, and assess your boyfriend's complete immigration and personal history with competent legal counsel to see if he would be eligible for adjustment of status to permanent resident status based on your marital relationship. If there are no apparent impediments to your boyfriend's adjustment of status, get married and file a combined I-130 Petition (your petition on his behalf) and I-485 Application (his application for adjustment of status) with the USCIS. Currently, such filings are done at a post office box in Chicago (operated by, I believe, Chase Bank, as a contractor). Once the "lock box" in Chicago has accepted the filing and processed the filing fees, the I-130 and I-485 filing package will be transferred to the USCIS National Benefits Center in Missouri for further processing, background and security checks, for scheduling biometrics (fingerprinting and photographs), and for scheduling an interview at local USCIS offices. Visit the USCIS website for I-130/I-485/I-765/I-864, G-325A, I-131, I-693 (Medical) forms and instructions.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C.
    Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. | David Nabow Soloway
    In general, a U.S. Citizen may petition for her husband, who entered the U.S. lawfully and with inspection in the F-1 student visa category, to adjust status to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (to get a "Green Card") in the Immediate Relative visa category. The process includes filing an Application for Relative Alien and an Application for Adjustment of Status. With those applications, the couple should file Biographic Information forms, medical examination results, photographs, an Application for Advance Parole (a "travel document") if the husband is now in valid non immigrant status, and an Application for an Employment Authorization Document (a "work permit"). The couple also must provide documentation of the wife's U.S. citizenship, the husband's birth certificate (or similar document), the couple's marriage certificate, and evidence that the couple is living together in a bona fide marriage. While the process might not seem too complicated, there are many hazards for the unwary that can risk significant delays or even denials. It would be wise to engage an immigration attorney to provide assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/17/2012
    Bell, Nunnally & Martin, LLP | Karen-Lee Pollak
    Once you are married you can file a petition for alien relative and adjustment of status application with Immigration authorities. You can also apply for work authorization for him.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/17/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney