Skip to main content

How much long it take to change visa status from F1 (Student) to Permanent Resident.

Los Angeles, CA |

I'm a F1 student who is planing to get marry my girl friend who is US citizen. My question is, how much long it take to change my status from F1 to legal resident of US (not a PR, Greencard or Citizenship). I just want to know whether I can stop being attend to classes as a F1 student right after my marriage or still I need to continue it. If it is, how long I need to maintain my F1 status as a student after marriage?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2


OK, you need to speak with an attorney to clarify your question a bit. Usually, "legal resident" "Permanent Resident" and "Green Card" are all taken to mean the same thing. A "Legal Permanent Resident" is the technical term, with "green card" being the accepted slang. Marriage to a U.S. citizen would in most cases permit you to become a Permanent Resident/Green cared holder, though it isn't automatic as soon as the marriage happens - you need to go through a process.

If you are otherwise eligible, the process normally takes five or six months from filing. While in theory the filing of an Adjustment of Status case - one part of a typical marriage-based case - should protect your status here, I have seen situations where F-1 students with Adjustment of Status case pending let their F-1 status lapse, and the SEVIS system automatically reports it- they then have ICE agents at their door and end up in removal proceedings (winnable ones, but puts them in a bureaucratic nightmare).

So, think carefully before letting the F-1 lapse - even though tuition is expensive.


Please consider Mr. Reich's previous response, as it informs you as to "real" risks relative to some actions you describe possibly taking in your question.

It is recommended you consult with an Immigration Attorney, and retain one to assure that this marriage-based case be handled properly. Hiring an attorney may cost you additional money, but it may end up saving you a lot of money if actions taken on your own lead to the execution of a Notice to Appear and referral to Immigration Court and/or penalties/delays in your school tuition applications should you allege to be a legal resident of California when you are not.

Good luck!

Mario S. Zapata, Esq.