I was on H1B. My employment with a company ended on 1st August 2012. Since then, I have been out of status and actively looking for employment. I haven't left US because my girl friend (US Citizen) is here and wanted to try my best to find employment before I leave because she is working for an Organization and is committed until Aug 2013. So, she cannot go with me if I left.
I decided to leave in January if I can't find employment. In the mean while, my girl friend asked me if there is anyway I can change status while in US that could potentially be sponsored by her and would allow me to stay longer.
Since my arrival in US as a student, this is the first time I have ever been out of status.
When I contacted an attorney, she assured that I am out of status but not illegally present.
There are many details to consider and discuss with an immigration lawyer in this situation. The general rule is that in most cases, assuming you are not inadmissible due to past crimes, immigration violates, etc, you should be able to apply for your permanent residency through a USC spouse. Again, there are many issues that need to be discussed however to ensure that you would qualify for LPR status. Further, contrary to the advice you seem to have gotten before (unless there are facts not provided herein that I am missing), if you no longer work with the company that sponsored your H-1B you are most likely unlawfully present and accruing unlawful presence at this time which have their own set of specific rules to consider in making this all-important decision. I would suggest contacting an attorney in your local area whether our firm or another immigration attorney.
If she marries you, then the process is relatively straightforward to file an immediate relative petition along with an I-485. If not, then you'd better not overstay and leave after being out of status for 6+ months, or else you'll trigger a 3-year bar of inadmissibility.
You may click the link below to find some useful free attorney-prepared self-assessment tools relating to these cases.
You should check with an immigration attorney to find out about the unlwful presence issue. I do not see enough inormation in your post to agree with what you were told by another attorney. Please seek private consult instead of putting your personal information on a public forum. Best Wishes!
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