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  • Questions about marriage to LPR/USC

    Hi

    I was hoping to get some initial answers to a few questions I have about getting a permanent resident card through marriage since I just got engaged and my girlfriend/fiancee is not a resident of the US.

    I am an LPR who has been eligible to become a USC since 2002, I just had not submitted the N-400 form until now because I knew I had time and I also was reluctant to pay the fee required. I'm not sure how long the process takes to get naturalized but I'm planning on getting married in 3 months.

    My gf is from a foreign country and arrived in the US legally but has overstayed her visa over a year now. So here are the questions I was hoping to get answered:

    1) Since she has overstayed her visa and is technically considered illegal, is there any risk of her getting deported even after we get married? Do we apply for the AOS after the marriage or before? Is there any reason why her AOS would get rejected?

    2) We are wondering if we should do a civil wedding now and apply for AOS just to get the process started. We still want to wait 3 months for the official religious wedding but we were wondering if there was any advantage to just doing a civil wedding now (for example, like getting her permanent residency sooner) to get the process started to grant her temporary residency. Can we start the process if we just do a civil wedding now?

    3) This goes along with the previous question. I am an LPR at the moment but will become naturalized soon. If we get married before I become a USC, should I apply immediately for AOS for my wife or should I wait until I become a USC? In other words, I know it takes about 2 years to become a PR if you marry a USC and 4 years or more if you marry an LPR but what if she marries me while I'm an LPR and then I become a USC? If we apply for her PR while I'm an LPR will it still take over 4 years for her to get a PR even if I become a USC or will it take 2 years from the point I become a USC or will the time be retroactive so that the 2 years start counting from the moment we do the civil wedding?

    4) How soon after the civil wedding can my wife get a SS#, DL, work? Does the time factor for her to be able to get these matter if she marries me while I'm an LPR or USC?

    5) Finally, I read somewhere that in order for my wife to get LPR status I have to make an income of 125% above the poverty line. However, I am currently a doctoral student and the university does not pay me that much to teach =/ I make only about 110% above the poverty line. Will this really be a problem? I mean, I am a PhD student, will they take into consideration the fact that I will eventually make enough money to support a family? In the meantime, my girlfriend and I are doing just fine economically. So will this be a big and real hurdle for her getting AOS to LPR?

    Thanks for any help you can provide. Answers to any of these questions would be so much appreciated. I'm completely lost by the process so I'd like to just start researching it by getting these questions answered and also reduce my worry that something might happen to her (i.e. deportation). Thanks in advance for any advice.
    03-01-06 Met wife at a salsa dancing club
    07-12-06 Proposed
    08-19-06 Wedding, family and friends attend
    03-01-07 Celebrated 1 year together!!

    CIS local office - Denver, CO
    Service Center - MSC
    02-26-07 Filed for AOS (I-485), EAD (I-765), AP (

  • #2
    Hi

    I was hoping to get some initial answers to a few questions I have about getting a permanent resident card through marriage since I just got engaged and my girlfriend/fiancee is not a resident of the US.

    I am an LPR who has been eligible to become a USC since 2002, I just had not submitted the N-400 form until now because I knew I had time and I also was reluctant to pay the fee required. I'm not sure how long the process takes to get naturalized but I'm planning on getting married in 3 months.

    My gf is from a foreign country and arrived in the US legally but has overstayed her visa over a year now. So here are the questions I was hoping to get answered:

    1) Since she has overstayed her visa and is technically considered illegal, is there any risk of her getting deported even after we get married? Do we apply for the AOS after the marriage or before? Is there any reason why her AOS would get rejected?

    2) We are wondering if we should do a civil wedding now and apply for AOS just to get the process started. We still want to wait 3 months for the official religious wedding but we were wondering if there was any advantage to just doing a civil wedding now (for example, like getting her permanent residency sooner) to get the process started to grant her temporary residency. Can we start the process if we just do a civil wedding now?

    3) This goes along with the previous question. I am an LPR at the moment but will become naturalized soon. If we get married before I become a USC, should I apply immediately for AOS for my wife or should I wait until I become a USC? In other words, I know it takes about 2 years to become a PR if you marry a USC and 4 years or more if you marry an LPR but what if she marries me while I'm an LPR and then I become a USC? If we apply for her PR while I'm an LPR will it still take over 4 years for her to get a PR even if I become a USC or will it take 2 years from the point I become a USC or will the time be retroactive so that the 2 years start counting from the moment we do the civil wedding?

    4) How soon after the civil wedding can my wife get a SS#, DL, work? Does the time factor for her to be able to get these matter if she marries me while I'm an LPR or USC?

    5) Finally, I read somewhere that in order for my wife to get LPR status I have to make an income of 125% above the poverty line. However, I am currently a doctoral student and the university does not pay me that much to teach =/ I make only about 110% above the poverty line. Will this really be a problem? I mean, I am a PhD student, will they take into consideration the fact that I will eventually make enough money to support a family? In the meantime, my girlfriend and I are doing just fine economically. So will this be a big and real hurdle for her getting AOS to LPR?

    Thanks for any help you can provide. Answers to any of these questions would be so much appreciated. I'm completely lost by the process so I'd like to just start researching it by getting these questions answered and also reduce my worry that something might happen to her (i.e. deportation). Thanks in advance for any advice.
    03-01-06 Met wife at a salsa dancing club
    07-12-06 Proposed
    08-19-06 Wedding, family and friends attend
    03-01-07 Celebrated 1 year together!!

    CIS local office - Denver, CO
    Service Center - MSC
    02-26-07 Filed for AOS (I-485), EAD (I-765), AP (

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't know the answers to all of your questions. I know that if you apply for her to adjust status while you are a lpr and you become a citizen while waiting you can "upgrade" the petition. i don't know which is best, to wait on citizenship or not, since she is an overstay. I do know that once you are a citizen and married overstays are forgiven. Have you checked the processing times for your area? I'm assuming she has no criminal record? As for the sponsorship, you can get a cosponsor if you don't meet the requirements alone.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Philosopher,

        I'll try to answer your questions:
        - it takes from 6 to 18 months from the initial filing for naturalization to the oath ceremony. It depends on your USCIS service center and local office. The bigger delays may be caused by background check.

        1. yes, your girl-friend is at risk to be deported until the day she is approved for permanent residency (green card). Some would say she would be safe once she has "pending adjustment" status, meaning I-130 and I-485 are filed.
        - you can not file anything before you are married.
        - AOS can be denied for many reasons...like medical condition, criminal record, sponzorship requirements not met...

        2.& 3. yes, you can start the process after civil wedding.

        As a spouse of LPR, your wife can not apply for AOS immediately. You first file I-130, and then she would have to wait for a visa number to become available. At the moment, that takes about 4 years. After that, if she is and has been LEGALY in the US, she can apply for AOS.

        Visas are immediately available to the spouses of US citizens, and they can do AOS regardless of an overstay.

        As Spring wrote, you can file I-130 for your spouse, and "upgrade the petition" after you become US citizen. You may save some time, as your I-130 will be dated earlier...just be aware of the timing: you should become US citizen before I-130 is approved (takes about a year for that category) and sent to NVC to wait for a visa number. It can be a hassel to have it transfered back to your local office for AOS, once you become USC.

        I am not 100% sure if you two can, once you are USC, send in the papers for AOS if I-130 is still pending or you have to wait for I-130 to be approved first. Pending or approved I-130 by itself does not mean your wife is "back in status". Most common practice is to send the whole package (I-130 and I-485) at the same time. With your wife being oversty, you can do that only as USC, and only that would give your wife "pending adjustment" status.

        4. your wife can get SS# and DL after she applies for adjustment of status. As I tryed to explain, she can not apply for AOS unless you are USC or a visa number is available to her (in 4 years) and she is legaly in the US. She should apply for Employment authorisation document I-765 at the time she applys for AOS (after you are USC). EAD should be received within 90 days. After that she can apply for SSN and so on...

        5. Correct. It is a requirement, and very strict one. Download the form I-864 and see how you can supplement your salary (for example - with savings). Otherwise you'll need a co-sponsor. http://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/i-864.htm

        I hope I did not confuse you even more.

        Comment


        • #5
          You do not have to wait to get your i-130 approved to file your i-485, what i di was i applied when my husband was an LPR, and when he got her citizenship i upgraded and did the i-485 and also did a new i-130 and also let the officer know when we went to file the AOS that i had already filed the i-130 she accepted the form again ,I thought i had to pay to refile it but she said i had already paid the fee for the first form . so everything was fine and i filed for work authorization the same time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Shouldn't even need to file a new I-130. USCIS would just upgrade the first I-130 and tied the I-485 to it (and vice versa).

            Comment

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