If I marry my girlfriend when she visits the US, can she stay here while her papers are being processed? 13 Answers as of December 12, 2013

I am a US citizen. If my girlfriend was able to visit the US during a vacation and I marry her while she is here, can she stay in the country while her paperwork for citizenship status is being processed? Or does she have to go back to her home country until the paperwork is completed?

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Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
Yes, that plan might work but it is risky because of the timing. It is best to strategize the planning and timing of the marriage and petition with an immigration attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/12/2013
Perez Immigration Law Firm
Perez Immigration Law Firm | Philip Joseph Perez
Your girlfriend can stay in the U.S. while her adjustment of status is pending. However, it is very likely that USCIS will question her about the reason she gave for traveling to the U.S. If they deem that she was not forthright about coming here for some reason other than getting married and filing to become a resident, they could assert that she made a material misrepresentation in order to get into the U.S., and that she circumvented the immigration process.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 11/20/2013
Lana Kurilova Rich PLLC
Lana Kurilova Rich PLLC | Lana Kurilova Rich
Legally, if she is coming as a visitor, she is supposed to go back to her country and you would have to file USCIS form I-130 for her. It is a violation of the visitor's visa for her to use it to come and get married. Her intent has to be to return to her home country. Since you already have the intent to get married, I would not recommend using a B-2 visa. If you do get married while she is here, she should return home and you should file the USCIS form I-130 for her. If you have a plan to get married, you should get her a K-1 fiance visa, rather than a tourist visa.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 11/18/2013
Law Office of Adebola Asekun | Adebola O. Asekun
If you marry your girlfriend while she is in the US on vacation, and you file her papers, she may not have to return to her country to visa process and instead, adjust status(green card) while she is in the US. If otherwise eligible the entire process (from filing to your joint interview at a USCIS office will take about 6 months or so. I must caution that applying for a green card involves your careful consideration of several issues that are too many to be addressed in this forum. I therefore suggest that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney before you file paperwork with CIS.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/15/2013
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
Her paperwork is for permanent residency not citizenship. Yes she can and should remain while it is pending until her travel permit arrives anyway; but her intent in visiting should not be to get married as she must legitimately
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/15/2013
    Law Office of Eric Fisher | Eric Fisher
    If she enters the US with a nonimmigrant visa and without the intent to stay, she can stay while the process is pending. If you marry within the 1st 90 days of her visit, it will be presumed she entered with immigrant intent and that could be a problem.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/15/2013
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
    The best option would have her come and stay. You have to do the marriage proposal after her last entry so that there is no preconceived intent issue. Then once you become a US citizen, you can apply for her green card (even if she overstayed). The entire process takes about 3 months from start to finish if done right.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2013
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    Yes. However, your future wife should not file her application for adjustment of status within 90 days of her entry or USCIS may allege that she had a preconceived intent to remain in the US permanently when she entered and accuse her of committing visa fraud.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/15/2013
    Coane and Associates
    Coane and Associates | Bruce Coane
    Generally, she'd be able to stay and you could sponsor her for a green card.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 11/15/2013
    Law Offices of Linda Rose Fessler | Linda Fessler
    Number one. She does not get citizenship. She would get a conditional green card. But it would be far better, if while she is in her home country, you apply for a fiance visa for her. The INS will be far less suspicious.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/15/2013
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
    Your girlfriend cannot enter the U.S. with a visitor visa with the intent to remain permanently. This can lead to very significant problems. She can marry while visiting, but it would be best if she returned to her native country and sought consular processing.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 11/15/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    Should be able to unless the issue of preconceived intent comes up - but that can be avoided. Don't marry until she is here for more than 2 months. If you can, see an attorney to go over all the facts and issues.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/15/2013
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