I am an Australian citizen and I have an optional Practical training F1 Student visa. This is given to graduates who wish to work for 12 months in the USA after graduation. I have been going out with an American citizen for 3 years and wish to get married and reside in the USA. what type of visa do I have to apply for? Or what do you believe is the best option.
If you marry, then you and your spouse can file the appropriate documents for you to apply for permanent resident (green card) status. I suggest that you consult with an immigration attorney about the entire process, to review your past history to see if there are any potential problems, and to prepare the applications, for the best chance of success. Best of luck!
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The best answer I can give you is that you and your fiancé should consult an immigration lawyer first. There are many factors that would need answers first.
Dhenu Savla, Esq.
This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice.
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Your wife can petition you and you could obtain your permanent residency. You would need to be eligible under U.S. immigration law. If done properly, the entire process will take about 5-12 months.
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Once you marry, your US citizen spouse can immediately sponsor you for a green card. You should be getting your green card in the United States within 3 to 4 months of applying. You will both need to appear at the local USCIS district office for an interview.
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In addition to the green card application, be sure to file work and travel authorization requests. Also, your spouse will be required to sponsor you financially and you will require a medical exam. I would recommend you hire an immigration attorney so that you don't miss anything. Good luck!
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Since you entered with a visa, after you are married, you may be able to "adjust status" to a permanent resident (green card). There are various reasons why any person would not be eligible for a green card (or any other visa), however, so before doing anything, it will be important to seek legal advice about your particular situation. Especially because, generally, when someone applies for a green card and is denied, you are sent to Immigration Court. An attorney can also explain the process in detail, so that you know what to expect.
Congratulations on graduation and on getting married :)
*This is not intended as legal advice. Individuals should consult an attorney to review individual circumstances of their case.