As the spouse of a USC you are considered an "immediate relative". As such, you are not required to "maintain" status. All you need to show is proof of lawful admission to the U.S. (I-94 and or date certain admission stamp on your passport.)
That's it! Nothing else. You will NOT have to pay any "penalty" to anyone..
Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
I agree with Attorney Behar.
Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D 11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280 Houston, TX 77092 713-LAWYER-2 www.MyImmigrationLawyer.info NOTE: Responses are for the education of the community at large and is not intended to be "legal advice." No attorney-client relationship is established by responses or comments.