What will my status be if I marry my girlfriend? 11 Answers as of January 16, 2011

I came to the US with a B2 visa and I have 6 months entry, I want to get married with my Girl Friend and she is a green card holder, but she made the U.S citizenship test and she passed it and she still waiting for the Oath Ceremony. My question is if I marry her now, what will be my legal status, shall I stay here after the 6 months or get back to my country? What can I do, please advise me?

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Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A.
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A. | Carlos Sandoval
If you marry her your immigration status will remain the same, but she could petition for you once after she becomes a United States citizen.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/16/2011
Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
Normally, the answer on staying or leaving, is to leave. You came to the USA on a tourist visa, which is supposed to be a temporary visa with the promise of returning back to your country. However, the Immigration Act allows you to marry and have your wife petition for you as a spouse-sponsored petition, without you leaving the country. If it is so close in time before she becomes a U.S. citizen, then she can either have you wait before filing the petition, or, if you don't have enough time before the B-2 runs out, she can marry you, file a petition for alien relative at that time, notify the CIS of her change of status to U.S. citizen, and when her petition is approved, you can proceed to apply for adjustment of status, which is the title given to the application for a green card. If you want the assistance of an attorney for this application, then feel free to e-mail or phone me to set up an in-person or phone consultation. Best to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/10/2011
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
Just getting married by itself does not change your status. A green card spouse may file an I-130 (first stage of permanent residency ("PR") ) for their spouse without you leaving the U.S.; HOWEVER, just by filing an I-130 does not give you the right to remain in the U.S to await a current Priority Date and ability to file the second stage of the permanent residency. You will need to continue to maintain some nonimmigrant status until it is time to file the second stage of PR. Another concern is that the B-2 is a type of nonimmigrant which requires you to show nonimmigrant intent - filing an I-130 shows immigrant intent so it would be best to also change to another nonimmigrant classification which permits dual intent.

Issues are complicated and should be discussed in more depth with an immigration attorney to determine the best and safest strategy after knowing your qualifications, goals, etc. You may arrange a consultation by contacting me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/29/2010
The Vega Law Firm
The Vega Law Firm | Linda Vega
Please do not leave the U.S. You may be able to adjust your status without leaving the U.S. Please call our office.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 12/28/2010
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
If you marry, your wife should file an I-130 to sponsor you.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 12/28/2010
    Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC
    Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC | Kirk A. Carter
    So long as when you last entered the US you had proper non-immigrant intent, i.e. you planned to leave at the end of your visit, I would recommend that you remain here until your girlfriend/wife is sworn in as a citizen and then file for adjustment of status, even if you have fallen out of status by a couple of months. This will enable you to obtain your green card much quicker (4 to 6 months) than if you leave and she files for you while you are abroad, which could take up to a year or more. However, if you entered with the plan to get married and not leave, then you should not stay as your adjustment application could be denied on the grounds of misrepresentation, and overcoming this can be next to impossible. In this instance it would be safer to leave and go the slower processing route. If you have any doubts or concerns consult with a qualified immigration attorney who is a member of AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 12/28/2010
    Law Office of Baoqin Wang
    Law Office of Baoqin Wang | Baoqin Wang
    After your marriage and her naturalization, she can petition for you and you can file the adjustment status application before your B-2 status expires. During the adjustment application pending period, you can stay in the US waiting for the final result. With the help of a qualified attorney, you will have the peace of mind.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 12/28/2010
    Pauly P.A.
    Pauly P.A. | Clemens W. Pauly
    Your status will not change solely by marrying your girlfriend. However, once your girlfriend has been sworn in as a US citizen, and you are married, you can submit the I-130/I-485 package in order to apply to have your B2 status adjusted to that of a green card holder. You can find all necessary forms and instructions on the website of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service at www.uscis.gov. Read all instructions carefully and if you still have questions, you should contact an immigration lawyer immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/28/2010
    441 Legal Group, Inc.
    441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
    You can stay until she becomes a citizen, but you would have to be married for her to be able to sponsor you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
    If you marry her and can prove the bona fide of your relationship, you can stay. If you need help to prove bona fide of your relationship, please let us know.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
    You have no legal status by virtue of marrying your girlfriend. Once married she has to file an petition for you, and once she is a U.S. Citizen you have to apply for a Green Card. If your girlfriend becomes a U.S. Citizen you can remain in the U.S. after your B2 status expires and apply for your Green Card in the U.S.. If she does not become a U.S. Citizen, then you will have to depart the U.S.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
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