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.
Hasan Abdullah, Founder of ImmigrationEase: www.immigrationease.com (providing user-friendly do-it-yourself case prep with discounted attorney case review services), and Managing Attorney at the Shah Peerally Law Group: www.peerallylaw.com (for full legal representation), call 510-742-5887. Note: Hasan Abdullah is an attorney licensed in the State of Illinois. The answer provided is informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney/client relationship is created unless an Agreement is signed by the attorney and the client.
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!
13295 Illinois st ste 128
Carmel IN 46032
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A girlfriend? No.
A spouse? Yes.
You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer, whether myself or one of my colleagues, to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.
I've shared your question with Avvo's immigration law forum, where your question may be seen by more attorneys who practice in this area of the law.
*** All legal actions have time limits, called statutes of limitation. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, you will lose the opportunity to pursue your case. Please consult with an experienced employment attorney as soon as possible to better preserve your rights. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer provides information on Avvo as a service to the public, primarily when general information may be of assistance. Avvo is not an appropriate forum for an in-depth response or a detailed analysis. These comments are for information only and should not be considered legal advice. Legal advice must pertain to specific, detailed facts. No attorney-client relationship is created based on this information exchange. *** Marilynn Mika Spencer is licensed to practice law before all state and federal courts in California, and can appear before administrative agencies throughout the country. She is eligible to represent clients in other states on a pro hac vice basis. ***
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.
Legal disclaimer: The above statement is only intended to be general in nature and in no is to be taken as specific advice. A complete consideration of all facts is not possible in this setting and is necessary in order to provide any legal advice. This communication does not create any attorney-client relationship.