Should I file I130 for my F-1/Opt wife now or wait until my citizenship comes through? 6 Answers as of October 17, 2012

My wife and I got married around three months ago. She is currently on F1 optional practical training. I am a Legal Permanent Resident filing N-400 in one and a half months.

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Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
It is probably best to wait until you are actually a US citizen as the process will be faster that way. Filing now and then upgrading to an immediate relative petition once you are a US citizen will not really be any faster.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/17/2012
Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
Wait until you become a US citizen. Doesn't make sense to file otherwise. Just delaying the process. It will be a 3 month process from start to finish if done right.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/17/2012
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
The answer would depend upon when your wife's F-1/OPT status expires. In order to adjust her status based upon a petition filed by a lawful permanent resident, she would need to wait for a visa to be available. There is currently a backlog of about 2 years for a visa. She would need to maintain her lawful immigration status during this time. She could not adjust her status in the U.S. unless she maintained lawful immigration status. Otherwise, she risks not only being denied adjustment of status but also removal from the United States. However, assuming you naturalize, her petition would be upgraded to an immediate relative petition. This means she would not have to wait for a visa to be available. The naturalization process will take 5-8 months to complete depending upon the jurisdiction you live in and whether any issues arise.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/16/2012
Ben T. Liu Law Office
Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
If your wife can maintain her F-1 status, file for her when you became a citizen. Then she can file her I-485 at the same time. You can file now and convert your I-130 when you became a citizen. Your wife should maintain a low profile if she becomes out of status before she can file her I-485.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/16/2012
Immigration Attorneys, LLP | Robert R. Gard
You can do either, but "clean" naturalization cases are usually completed in 6 - 8 months, and then a combined I-130 and I-485 could be filed, so waiting would be less costly and aggravating.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 10/16/2012
    Law Office of Bijal Jani | Bijal Jani
    As long as her OPT will be extended long enough so that her legal status is not jeopardized, it makes more sense for you to become a US citizen and then file for her so it's faster processing. However, if her OPT is expiring within the next couple of months, you should file the I-130 as a permanent resident, then upgrade the file once you become a US citizen.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/16/2012
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