There are many details to consider and discuss with an immigration lawyer in this situation. The general rule is that in most cases, assuming you are not inadmissible due to past crimes, immigration violates, etc, you should be able to apply for your permanent residency through a USC spouse. Again, there are many issues that need to be discussed however to ensure that you would qualify for LPR status. Further, contrary to the advice you seem to have gotten before (unless there are facts not...
Do not even consider getting into any marriage fraud situation. Marriage fraud is an extremely serious offense which in part has potential criminal consequences equating to up to 5 years imprisonment and $250,000 in fines. You can do additional research by looking at the following regulation, 8 U.S.C. 1325(c). Again, this is not something you should even consider getting involved in.
Hendrik Pretorius, Esq.
More facts would be needed in your case to validly determine the timeline and any potential overstay. I do agree with my colleague that you may have overstayed for a very brief period of time if you failed to respond to the request in a timely manner. Generally a person does not accrue unlawful presence in the U.S. while a valid and timely filed change of status application is pending however after that you do in most cases. Again, speaking with an immigration attorney will help you understand...
Merely starting the process by filing the immigration paperwork will not put you in lawful status right away. You are however eligible to file a case for permanent residency (conditional) if married to a U.S. Citizen. There are other facts that are needed however related to your immigration history and other matters that may affect your eligibility to receive a green card.
Immigration processing is unfortunately a rather unpredictable practice when it comes to the timing of issues. There are often various reasons why the government may take longer to process one case compared to another. Without specific details about your case it is difficult to predict what the cause of the delay may be.
In general the overstay of a validly issued visa, after inspection and admission by the visa holder, will be forgiven if an individual applies for a green card through marriage to a U.S. Citizen. I would speak with an immigration attorney as there are also other grounds of potential inadmissibility that need to be considered so that you can make the most informed decision.
It is not clear but is sounds like he has been removed from the U.S. on more then one occasion? If that is true then there are additional grounds of inadmissibility that need to be dealt with, see INA 212(a)(9) and related language. Options may also hinge on whether he wants to attempt to re-enter on a non-immigrant visa or if he wishes to enter as permanent resident. This case will be very fact intensive and needs to be discussed with experienced immigration counsel.
You can file for a change of your status from F-1 to F-2 in this situation. However, there are certain considerations that need to be addressed prior to any such filing to ensure no issues arise during the USCIS processing. Such issues include ensuring that you have maintained valid F-1 status by attended school as a full-time student throughout your stay.
If you have a valid green card then it should not be taken away when you re-enter unless the USCIS believes that you have abandoned your residency and no longer consider the U.S. your residence. As a general rule, if you are outside the U.S. for more than 12 months and then try to re-enter you will likely be faced with a challenge by the immigration officer and have to prove to him/her that you have not abandoned your residency. If however you have been out for less than 12 months it is...