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I got married to a U.S. woman. How should I apply for my greencard, and can I get a worker's Visa while I wait for it?

Cincinnati, OH |

I entered the US on a Visa Waiver. And as things developed with this person I was visiting we got married. My Visa Waiver expired August 5th. I've been looking everywhere to see what steps we should take now. For instance; how do apply for a greencard, which form is it (I130 etc.), How long is this going to take before I can legally work, and if it takes a long time, can I apply for a worker's visa while I wait for my greencard?

I am 21 years old, originally from the Netherlands. Got married to my lovely wife on August 1st.
I want to go to college (followed by medschool) and work as soon as possible to provide for my family ( two stepchildren)
Help is very much appreciated :)

I have to add: at the border patrol in Atlanta, I gave my information where I was staying (with the woman who is now my wife). I never withheld any information to the officer. I originally came here to meet the woman and go back, but the circumstances changed WHILE I was in the United States. Therefore I did not enter the U.S. on a VIsa Waiver with the intention to stay. I had a two-way ticket. My original intentions were to fly home. Anyway, the forms I need are I-130 and I-485. How do I apply for the workers permit?

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Attorney answers 2


You need to discuss this with a lawyer immediately. You waived your right to removal/deportation proceedings when you entered using the Visa Waiver Program. As soon as you overstayed your 90 days, you gave ICE the authority to summarily detain and deport you.

You can apply for adjustment of status; however your overstay remains an issue and could cause problems at the interview. Don't do this yourself.


I agree with the previous resonse in that you really do need to hire an attorney to get your status legalized. If your paperwork is completed properly by an attorney who has experience in similar situations, you shoul be able to get your permanent residence in the US and a work permit without ever leaving the country. While there is nothing illegal about actually getting married in the US while on the visa waiver program, it is illegal to enter with the intent to remain (which is very strongly evidenced by a marriage to a US citizen.). This issue can definitely cause problems for you at your interview and as you are currently deportable, you need to do this paperwork right the first time. If you are removed from the US you will face a ban of 3-10 years so it is crucial to file everything the right way.