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Out of status, getting married to U.S. Citizen

Sacramento, CA |

I applied for F-1 and H1B couple of years ago and both were denied. I have been out of status since then. I would like to get married to my fiancee in good faith, whom I know for few years now. I am very worried if there is any risk involved for me or my beloved fiancee. What should I anticipate during the green card interview process by marrying my fiancee who is US citizen.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. No risk. Marry her and adjust your status in the US.

    Mr. Shusterman's (former INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82) response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


  2. If yours is going to be a marriage in good faith, for love, and not in order to "circumvent" or "evade" immigration laws, then fear not, you are in great shape!
    Your past immigration history counts very little here: the main thing is that you were previously lawfully admitted into the country, no matter how long ago (and have the stamp in the passport and/or I-94 card to prove it.) Here are the good news: once you marry a US citizen, you will be deemed to be an "immediate relative" ("IR"). IRs are not required to maintain status (and really nobody expects them to..) and IRs cannot be penalized for any periods of unauthorized employment. If prepared correctly, with the help of an immigration attorney, your marriage based green card application should be approved within 6 months or so. Within 2-3 months of filing you'll receive your employment authorization card, but be careful NOT to use the travel permit that will be attached to the back of that card and leave the country prior to obtaining your GC, for if you do, your poor wife will need to file an "extreme hardship" inadmissibility waiver to bring you back into the country after a year or so..
    Best wishes, and be happy with your beloved fiancee.

    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.


  3. If its a good faith marriage, there is no need to worry.

    Due to the nature of this forum, I often do not have all the information required to provide legal advice. Accordingly, my responses on Avvo are intended as general and not legal advice.


  4. If you can show that the marriage is bona fide, you should be fine. Consult with an immigration attorney for help.

    Los Angeles Attorney Theodore Huang, Esq. This is not legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is established. Attorney Huang is licensed in MD; practice limited to federal law.


  5. If the marriage is for love and not to circumvent our immigration laws, you will be ok.

    Hire an attorney to assist in the process, there are lots of pitfalls that could end up making you waste lots of time, money, and gray hair.

    Law Office of Daniel M. Wigon This should not be taken as legal advice. Consult with a local attorney before making a decision that could adversely affect your rights.

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