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What steps do I need to take to marry someone on a f1 visa?

New York, NY |

I am a US citizen, my girlfriend of 3 years is here on a f1 visa she is now on a OPT. It was in our future to get married after buying a home. We recently found out her OPT expires soon. And I would like to know how I go about making her legal. I live in PA and she lives in NY.

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Attorney answers 4


You seem to have 2 choices as follows: (1) Marry her and have her become an immediate relative of an United States Citizen or (2) Have her change status from F1 to H1B or another dual intent visa (she would still have to get a "green card"). It would be prudent to seek either my legal advice or that of one of my colleagues to get, at a minimum, a "game plan". Retaining an attorney is a GREAT investment in your TIME and MONEY. I can be reached at either (770)955-1785 or via e-mail at Hope this helps. Wishing you well. THINK IMMIGRATION - THINK IMMIGRATION.

This communication does not create an attorney client relationship. If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me at any time at either (770)955-1785 or (678)576-9394 or via e-mail at THINK IMMIGRATION - THINK BOB BEER


Marry her and then concurrently file Forms I-130 and I-485 (and G-325 and I-131), as well as the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, Go to and carefully read the instructions for each Form for what evidence must be included with each. I strongly recommend that you do not do it on your own, for the smallest mistake or discrepancy could delay you by months to say the least, or lead to the ultimate denial of your wife's case, with the resulting loss of al the fees you'd be paying USCIS.
Seek the services of an immigration lawyer in your area to explain the process to your and handle the case on your behalf. That way your future wife will obtain her green card within 5 months or less.
Best wishes,

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that 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.


You can file for her as your spouse, after you get married, but timing is everything here. Some folks will do it on their own, but mistakes can be costly, so our general advice is to have a professional handle it. Whether us or another experienced immigration attorney, it is a good investment. Congratulations, and good luck.

If you need representation, call us at (530) 758-8317 or email Our replies to Avvo questions should not be considered specific legal advice to any individual, and no attorney-client relationship is formed with you. Our aim is to provide general principles that may be useful to the Avvo community as a whole. You should seek individual legal advice pertaining to your specific factual situation, and the laws applicable to your jurisdiction. If you want that advice from us, contact us at


Marry her and hire an attorney to file the paperwork. My firm handles these types of cases.
Nicklaus Misiti
Law Offices of Nicklaus MIsiti
212 537 4407

Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general in nature, 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.

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