How long does it take to change a visitor visa into green card? 5 Answers as of February 25, 2013I am a United States Citizen working outside the United States. I plan on moving to the States in about 2 to 3 months time. My wife has obtained a visitor B1/B2 visa. For instance, if she also comes with me to US when I move permanently, how long does it take to convert her status from B1/B2 to I-485? Will she be able to work/study once the change of status from B1/B2 to I-485 has begun?
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
You may not get her in the port of entry, because even with a valid visa, a customs agent at the port of entry (airport) can refuse to admit her, if she suspects that she is actually using the B-2 just to get in the country, but intends to permanently stay with her husband. Just the same, your ability to petition depends on whether you have been in the U.S., or your job did not mean you were relinquishing her address. She will only have the ability to work once her I-485 is filed, after coming to the U.S. with you.
Answer Applies to: California
Mayo Mallette PLLC | Thomas J. Rosser
If you and your wife have been residing abroad for at least the past six (6) months you should consider filing for her immigrant visa and I-551 "green card" via consular processing through the US Consular Section having jurisdiction over your current residence abroad. Because of the problem of "immigrant intent" based upon her marriage to a US citizen, she will not be allowed to enter in B-1/B-2 under the circumstances you describe when you opt to return to the US permanently. You should consult with an experience immigration attorney to guide you through the process of obtaining her lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Law Offices of Alicia M. Heflin, PLC | Alicia M. Heflin
Because your wife is married to a U.S. citizen and plans to adjust her status to that of a lawful permanent resident upon entering the United States, entering on her visitor visa (B1-B2) would be considered fraud because her intent is not to visit but to immigrate.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Hanna Legal, LLC | Jen Hanna
Bringing your wife in on a tourist visa with the intention of having her stay permanently is immigration fraud. While you may be able to get her permanent residence with no trouble, if USCIS realizes she entered fraudulently there are VERY serious consequences. You should discuss your situation with an immigration attorney to figure out the best way to get your wife here, but most likely you'll need to file Form I-130 to petition for your wife while she is still out of the country. She can visit you on the tourist visa while the I-130 petition is processing since the fraud issue only arises if she enters on a temporary visa with the intention of staying permanently .
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin