C-1 visa (pass through the us going to other destination) not the jumpship thing But i do have i-94 and port of entry. My question is if i marry a us citizen will it help me to change my status? And if its the right way to do , do i need to consult a lawyer first before making any actions? Or just do it right away?im so confused rightnow.i came here last 2009 and obviously i overstayed here in us .
You are correct that those who enter on a C-1 transit visa (not as a crewmen) are eligible to adjust status through marriage to a U.S. citizen although you will most likely have to explain your intent upon entry to the immigration officer. I just had a case like this and it was eventually approved but I had to educate the officer on the law because he thought my client was ineligible to adjust on a C-1 visa, no matter the circumstances of his entry. For a case like this, you should hire an experienced immigration attorney.
I agree with my colleague, C-1 is some instances are eligible for Adjustment of Status. However you need to be much more careful with this type of case, as there are a number of potential issues. For example you mention that you are aware of the jumping ship provision. If your visa was a combo C1-D1 visa you could face a stiff uphill battle. Here is a recent case denying eligibility to a C-1/D-1 that was admitted as C-1.
Though it likely goes without saying, marriage for the sole purpose of obtaining a Green Card is a crime, and immigration will hold you to a very high standard in establishing that your current marriage is in fact for the purpose of sharing your life with your US spouse, and not merely the limited purpose of a Green Card.
Even if you were simply out of status, I would strongly recommend using an immigration attorney. That you entered on a C-1 only strengthens this opinion.
This is one of those questions that even experienced immigration attorneys miss. In general, C-1 visa holders cannot adjust or change status, however there are exceptions. One exception is for a person who can avail himself of the benefits of 245(i). Consult an experienced immigration attorney; better still, two experienced immigration attorneys. Good luck.
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