How to stay in the US. Should I merry my bf?

Asked over 2 years ago - Concord, CA


I'm in the U.S as an Au Pair right now but my Visa is going to expire in the end of april.
I was wondering which kind off options I have to stay here.
I already extended the J1 so its my 2nd year. Originally I'm from Germany.
I was thinking about getting married with my boyfriend but also wondering how this would work with all the papers. Should I do the papers before marriage or after.
Because I heard you are not legal to work right after you got married you need to fill paperwork out and wait around 6month.
I hope you can help me

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Carl Michael Shusterman


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . If you and your boyfriend get married and he sponsors you for a green card, you will get a work permit in 90 days.

    Before you get married, you should watch the following video (link below).

    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration... more
  2. J Charles Ferrari

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There are not enough facts here to answer the question. If your boyfriend is a US citizen and you marry him, you would be able to stay and do the whole process here. If your boyfriend is not a US citizen, then you would not.

    Whether there are other avenues to immigration would depend on your educational background and whether an employer would be willing to petition you.

    You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts and advise you accordingly.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more
  3. Daniel Shanfield


    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Good questions.

    Marrying is only a good idea if you want to be married to the person who is filing your immigrant visa petition. I've seen new marriages turn sour with all the pressure of the green card process, which ruins both the relationship and the chance at US residency.

    Also, beware of the J visa 2 year home residency requirement. It might apply in your case. If it applies you'll need to obtain a waiver of the 2 year home residency requirement. This is not easy.

    If you are eligibile to adjust status, the employment authorization document usually arrives within 12 weeks.

    Good luck!

    (415) 871-0714 Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general in nature and should not be deemed legal counsel,... more
  4. Richard Stephan Kolomejec

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can overstay your J-1 and still apply for a green card through a marriage to a US citizen. The process is very quick--right now it takes only about 3 months to get a green card through a marriage. There is no penalty for overstaying provided that your J-1 is not subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement. Please call to discuss.

  5. Luis Alberto Guerra

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleague.

    Law Office of Luis A. Guerra (954) 434-5800. This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as... more

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