I am doing an OPT within an american company and we applied for H1B visa. However, I have been with my US girlfriend for 2 years and if the H1B visa is not accepted I want to be able to stay with her here in USA. Can I married her under a F1 visa? or do I need a fiancee visa (K)? What are the different steps I should respect in order to stay here with her? Do we have enough time before the expiration date (sept 2015) of my student visa or will I need to go back to France? Will I be able to continue to work for my US company while the process? and last question, can the US gouvernement doubt about the sincerity of our couple because of the H1B visa application getting refused?
thank you so much for your help.
If you marry your United States citizen girlfriend she can file a petition for alien relative on you behalf, and you can do an adjustment of status, provided that there are no issues of inadmissibility. The fact that your previously filed an H-1b should not affect you. For a review of the steps to take, and evaluate the best course of action in your case, consult with an experienced immigration lawyer.
If you have maintained legal status and you bona fide marry a US Citizen then you should be able to immediately file for adjustment of status. There is always going to be a threshold of proof of bona fides so it is advisable that the proof provided is double what is expected. (I advise to show more proof then a reasonable couple would have) Good luck.
Legal disclaimer: The statement above is provided by CC Abbott is based on general assistance and not intended to be a legal opinion because not all the facts are provided. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney who is permitted by the state bar within the jurisdiction who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by CC Abbott does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state of Federal law.
Once you are married to your girlfriend, she can sponsor you for a green card.
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.
Mais certainment, you can indeed marry your "US girlfriend for 2 years" (assuming she is a US citizen) and apply for a marriage-based "green card", as long as yours will be a marriage of love and not just to gain "green card" benefits. No need to depart the USA. No need to apply for any "Fiance" visa, which is only for those outside the country, not for those like you already in the USA.
You can apply for the marriage based "GC", i.e. the one-step I-130/I-485 "Adjustment of Status" (AOS) at anytime. There is no specific waiting time requirement or any "perfect time". Anytime is a good time. Before the expiration of your student visa will be as good time as any, and even AFTER the expiration, and that due to this very simple reason: spouses of US citizens are deemed to be "Immediate relatives" ("IRs"). IRs are not required to maintain valid non-immigrant status, and nor are IRs ever penalized for having engaged in any "unauthorized employment".
"Can the US gouvernement doubt about the sincerity of our couple because of the H1B visa application getting refused?" Ceci n'est pas imposssible - both you and your spouse will need to prove, during your upcoming AOS interview at your local USCIS office that your marriage was entered into in "good faith" and not for the sole purpose of procuring a green card. Your oral testimonies during that interview will carry a 50% weight towards that determination, with the documentary evidence presented during the interview (not before!) of your lives together as husband and wife carrying the remaining 50%.
You must understand that the AOS process is full of traps (pieges) for the unwary - make sure to proceed with the help of an experienced immigration lawyer, since any mistake or omission will have the effect of setting you aback by months or worse.
If my answer is "HELPFUL" and/or the "BEST ANSWER" please mark it accordingly. Fluent in 7 languages. Certified Specialist in U.S. Immigration & Nationality Law, The State Bar of California, Board Of Legal Specialization. 22 years of successful immigration law experience. 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.
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