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Thread: Visa overstayer married to a U.S. Citizen

  1. #1
    I came to U.S. on F1 visa, graduated from college, worked on OPT for a year and my OPT expired in March 2001. I'm still working and just got married to a U.S. Citizen. Will I run into any problem with the green card process under these circumstances? Should I hire a lawyer or do it myself? Last year, a lawyer offered his services for $2000 and asked for more if I want him present during the interview. Is his rate too high or is it normal for visa overstayers like me? Any advice is welcomed. Thank you all in advance!

  2. #2
    I came to U.S. on F1 visa, graduated from college, worked on OPT for a year and my OPT expired in March 2001. I'm still working and just got married to a U.S. Citizen. Will I run into any problem with the green card process under these circumstances? Should I hire a lawyer or do it myself? Last year, a lawyer offered his services for $2000 and asked for more if I want him present during the interview. Is his rate too high or is it normal for visa overstayers like me? Any advice is welcomed. Thank you all in advance!

  3. #3
    Nop...u wont have any problem... if u have money to spend and u feel safe to use a lawyer ...u can go ahead ..otherwise u can do it by urself also...visit this webpage for more info... good luck...Pasha

    http://www.visajourney.com/faq/index.htm#step 4

    look at section 6

  4. #4
    Pasha,

    The OP was out of status since March 2001 (i.e. over 3 years). What are you basing your statement on that made you say "Nop...u wont have any problem"???

  5. #5
    Hi sphyrapicus ,

    I am not basing about anything....I dont know why u always feel like that.... All I wrote is based on posts I read here and on other boards... I have read experiences of people getting adjusted even if it was more than 5 yrs but they entered USA legally with visa ( and not without inspection). If u want I will find those links and post it here on my day off for ur own satisfaction....

    U need to keep in mind that I m not attorney and I give my advices based on my experiences and knowledge that I have gathered through discussion.... Now you tell me why do u feel he is not qualified for adjusting the status when he is immediate relative of USC and had been out of status for 3 yrs ????? Give me your version.... of course he will face a hard core interview but still u know whats gonna happen in the end waiting for ur reply...plz explain it to me...i will learn something ... Pasha

  6. #6
    sphyrapicus3, Pasha, Jangar,
    Here is what i found on the USCIS Website (http://uscis.gov/graphics/howdoi/lpreligibility.htm#j):
    A non-immigrantin who entered the US with inspection and marries a US citizen may adjust status to LPR while in the US even if s/he overstayed her/his visa. Of course there are some caveats (http://uscis.gov/graphics/howdoi/lpreligibility.htm#k) which dosen't appear to be the case for Jangar.
    Generally speaking, Jangar does not need a lawyer to file his I-485 petition, unless there are other relevant complications that he omitted in his post. However, note that he will have the burden of proving that his marriage to the US citizen is ligitimate and not just for immigration benifits.

    Good luck Jangar.

  7. #7
    Thank you guys for replying. I'm so glad to have people responding to my post. Oh btw I'm female, though my ID may suggest otherwise.

    I haven't omitted anything on my part, my only problem is the visa overstay and employment without a work permit, and the marriage is genuine. However one major thing that's been bothering me is my father-in-law's status in this country. According to my husband, his mom is a U.S. born citizen, but the dad doesn't have a green card and he's been in America since the 60s (actually all his siblings and parents are here as well)

    So, this leaves me very confused (my husband will have to elaborate on this later) and afraid that it may cause a problem for my green card process. I wonder if his supposedly "illegal" status will be revealed during my husband's background check (even on the biography sheet we have to include them, right?) What do you think?

  8. #8
    Thanks a lot malf for providing that info...

    Hi Jangar...

    I think it shouldn't matter as long as ur husband is USC with clear records and does petition for u and supports u with I 864 .... Good luck and wish u all the best in ur married life... Pasha

    P.S. hey sphyrapicus...feel free to correct anything if i provided wrong...will learn something new...since i m not an attorney...take care... Pasha

  9. #9
    Pasha,

    My point is that one must be careful to not be too flippant or cavalier in matters that have serious repercussions. When someone asks me something that is over my head, I respond accordingly rather than "guessing" what might be the case. As you readily admit, you are not an attorney, nor have you first-hand experience with being a visa overstay. I would not want to give the OP the impression that it will be a "walk in the park". Anytime a petitioner or applicant has violated immigration law, they are issues that need to be addressed. The case is not as straightforward as it might appear, given the discourse that we have witnessed on this forum. I always recommend consulting with a competent immigration attorney when the nature of the discourse has such huge life-altering consequences if something was to be overlooked. Most attorneys will provide a pro-bono initial consultation.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    289
    Actually most Immigration attorneys charge for an intial consultation because that is all most clients ever want. Unlike criminal law where most prospective clients go on to hire them, immigration attorneys often have to say "there is nothing that can be done at this time", or "this is how it is done"-- and the client goes off to do it by themselves. But I think it is well worth a consultation, both before beginning, and perhaps later to review the documents. I have never known a person filling out Immigration forms for the first time and didn't have at least 20 questions as to how to answer different items in the whole AOS package. Isn't it worth it not to make a mistake. More importantly- you want to make sure you do not miss a form or send it to the wrong place...

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