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Permanent Residence by Marriage to an American citizen

Customer Question

I am a foreign national with an H1-B visa. I am engaged, and my fiancee is an american citizen. We have already planned our wedding for June, 3rd 2005. We would like to apply for a permanent resident visa for me after our marriage.

The problem is that I just recently left the job with the company that was sponsoring my H1-B visa. My last day as an employee for that company will be May 31st, 2005. So, as I understand, by the day of my marriage I will be out of status.

The main quesiton is: Can I still get married?
Other questions are: Is there any way I can remain "in status" without leaving the country? Maybe a change of status to K1 visa? Or do I need to go back to my country unless I find a new H1B sponsor?
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport replied 11 years ago.
Before trying to research the legal technicalities involved in your
situation -- I can't help but wonder if there may be a simpler solution.



Would your Visa problem go away if you are still employed on the day
you marry?  If yes, might it be possible to negotiate with your
employer to keep you 'on the books' as an employee (listed as being on
unpaid leave, for example) until you are married?  After all, it's
only a matter of one more week.  If that is not possible -- what
about rescheduling your wedding for one week earlier so you are still
employed when you marry?



You may have already considered this possibility but just  in
case... if you have a big wedding planned that cannot be rescheduled --
you could always have a small civil ceremony before a Justice of the
Peace before May 31 -- and then have your church wedding as planned on
June 5.



Let me know if you need more input.  If not, thanks for the
opportunity to assist you... I would really appreciate your honoring my
efforts by 'pushing the button' and Accepting this answer.



Good Luck!



Steve












Expert:  Bill replied 11 years ago.

I have a pair of friends, one american and the other foreign. They met in college and she had to leave after she graduated, but they have kept in touch and plan to get married later this year. He is bringing her into the country about 2 and a half months before their wedding. Officially you get up to 90 days before the wedding. You fall well into that category. More information is here on that.


http://uscis.gov/graphics/howdoi/fianceapp.htm


The only problem with trying the above method might be the limited amount of time before you need the new visa woudl come into effect. Given the long amounts of time governments often take to get paper work filed, you may want to look at Oreports suggestions above of moving up the date, or getting married sooner, and having a seperate church ceremony.

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