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Immigration Law

I'm a permanent US resident. I still have 2 years remaining…

Customer Question
Hi there,I'm a permanent US...
Hi there,I'm a permanent US resident. I still have 2 years remaining to be able to apply for citizenship.
My girlfriend recently came to the US with a visitor visa.
What are our options to get married and apply for a green card for her?
What would be the process? and what would happen if at any moment she stays in the US without any legal status?
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Immigration Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
8/3/2017
Immigration Lawyer: Expert James, Lawyer replied 6 months ago
Expert James
Expert James, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,707
Experience: Write FOR JAMES to get my help!
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Immigration Lawyer: Expert James, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Thank you for your patience. Your answer is below. When you see the option to rate, please do so with a positive rating of 4 or 5 stars. Otherwise, I do not get credit for doing my job. Don't worry, you can still ask related follow-up questions even after you've given a rating. Thank you!

ANSWER: If you get married now and petition for her, that is fine. But she is not eligible for adjustment of status because you are a permanent resident, not a US citizen. That means she would be denied and told to wait until a green card for the spouse of a permanent resident is available (there is about a year and a half wait time).

However if she enters the US legally, and then falls out of status, and then you become a US citizen, she can apply for adjustment of status because she would then be considered an "immediate relative" of a US citizen.

I hope that answers your question. Please remember to click on a rating at the top of your screen and hit the submit button - 4 or 5 stars are appreciated.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thanks for the reply.To be honest I was expecting a more thorough answer.
Can we at least apply to the I-130 form? Can she apply for a EAD while we wait?
What forms de we need to prepare?
What is your advice? to get married now and then apply after 2 years once I'm a citizen?
Immigration Lawyer: Expert James, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Sorry about that. I answer the questions that are posted, and then when customers require more information, they just ask. It's not a problem.

ANSWER: Yes you can file the I-130. That is what I meant by "If you get married now and petition for her, that is fine."

No. The EAD is only available to those who are eligible for adjustment of status. And as I mentioned, she is not yet eligible for that yet. Not until 1.5 years have passed or you become a US citizen.

Getting married now doesn't help her stay. So that decision is up to you. But I cannot tell her to stay in the US illegally. That would be a violation of my ethical duty to advise her to violate immigration laws. What she decides to do is up to her.

In the end, the wait time of 1.5 year to be eligible is shorter than the 2 years it takes you to become a citizen, but she would still need some lawful basis to be in the US if she applied through your permanent resident status. Whereas if she does it when you become a US citizen, she can be int he US illegally (As long as she entered the US legally).

The only forms you can prepare are after you get married, and that is the I-130.

If you get married and become a US citizen, then it is the I-130 and I-485 together.

I hope that helps. Kindly remember that in order for me to get credit for doing my job, you have to go to the top of this page and click on 4 or 5 stars. You can still ask follow-up questions. Thank you!

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Immigration Lawyer: Expert James, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Hi, I’m just checking in to see how things are going. I see you have reviewed my answer but I have not received credit for it. Do you need more help? Please respond so that I know what to do next.

Thank you!

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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