i live in the uk and have been with my girlfriend for 3 years now. we want to marry and live in the US but she only has the green card. Can i apply for a tourist visa and marry her while i'm there and also change my tourist status?
Of course you can marry your girlfriend, but it will not change your immigration status. While she is not a citizen, she can file a petition for you, under Family Priority Category 2A. That will put you in line, which is about 2 yr 4 mo long at this time. When your turn comes, you have to be in valid status to adjust under this category. If/when she becomes a US citizen, your category changes to that of immediate relative, and your then-current status (or no status) does not matter, as long as you were admitted to the US in any status. Additionally, if you enter as a tourist, your marriage within a short period of time may leave a "bad taste" with immigration for so-called "preconceived intent" to marry, and you may have harder time reentering again.
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I agree with everything my colleague says. In addition, I would suggest that your girlfriend consider first become a naturalized U.S. Citizen and then file a Petition for Alien Fiance for you. Hope this helps. Wishing you well.
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1 lawyer agrees
My colleagues are correct: There is nothing in the law that prohibits you from marrying your Lawful Permanent Resident girlfriend while you are here as a visitor, but that does NOT provide you with an immediate basis upon which you would be able to immigrate or adjust your status, as there is a quota backlog of more than 2 years for spouses of permanent residents (this is the F2A category), nor would you be able to extend lawful stay as a visitor once she files an immigrant petition for you. For any future travel as a visitor, if you get married on this trip but she does not file a petition for you right away, it still creates a presumption of immigrant intent.
This is general information only. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship.