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Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 108705
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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I am a U.S. citizen, my fiancé is here in the states on a work

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I am a U.S. citizen, my fiancé is here in the states on a work visa. We are getting married Nov 9th and his work visa expires Nov 26th. His employer will file the paperwork to renew his work visa but they charge thousands of dollars to do this. My question is whether or not getting married entitles him to work immediately or how long the application process would take if we have to apply for him to get another work permit. We don't want him to have to interrupt his employment but would like to save the employer sponsored work visa fees if we can.
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Assuming that is it not a J-1 visa or C-1/D visa that he used to enter the U.S. (usually it is an H-1B or H-2B, and those are ok), then after you marry, you will need to file an adjustment package. This includes the following forms: I-130 (Petition for family member), I-485 (application for Lawful Permanent Residency), I-765 (Application for work permit), I-131 (Application for Advance Parole), G-325a (Biographic data - one for each of you), I-693 (Medical exam that a certified doctor must fill), and I-864 (Affidavit of support). You will need to file each form with supporting evidence and appropriate filing fees. You can find these forms at www.uscis.gov/forms.

The supporting evidence that you would file would be birth certificates, marriage certificate, divorce certificates if either of you have been married previously, proof of your U.S. Citizenship, proof of your spouse's legal entry into the U.S., and financial documents to prove your income over the last year at least.


In about 3 to 5 months after filing, he should get a work permit. About 5 to 7 months after filing you should get a marriage interview. If all goes well, a few weeks later he should get a Residency status (green card).

And just so you are clear, once those forms are properly filed with USCIS, it does not matter that his I-94 (work status) expires. He would still be in legal status authorized by the Attorney General as long as that I-485 is pending. He does not go out of status or accrue illegal time while that is pending. So his employer does not have to file anything for him if they do not want to.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thanks for the answer. Just to clarify, getting a work permit takes a few months to after marriage and filling all of the paperwork. So in our situation where we don't want him to have to interrupt working he should go ahead and have his employer renew his H-1B visa?

Well, that is up to the employer because the employer is the only one at risk. Your spouse would not be denied Residency status for having worked illegally, but the company could be fined for having kept him on without proper work authorization. BUT, the risk to the company is very low that ICE will even care. They are after big fish like Walmart and things like that, not smaller employers that don't employ many foreign workers. And even if they were audited, when the employer cooperates, they usually just slap them on the wrist, no fines, etc. IF the employer were to get fined, then it would be anywhere between $250 and $2000. Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. And don't forget that bonuses are always appreciated! Thank you.
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