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  • Advice requested

    I am in the process to receive F-1 visa.
    I am planning on getting married just after i arrive to the us. Is it advisable to stay married for 2 years and maintain my f-1 status?
    can i work with my f-1 status when i am married?
    Many people told me i shouldn't apply for a conditional greencard cause when you adjust yourself to permanent residence and apply for a permanent greencard it takes a long time
    please anyone who knows this situation advice me!
    have a great day

  • #2
    I am in the process to receive F-1 visa.
    I am planning on getting married just after i arrive to the us. Is it advisable to stay married for 2 years and maintain my f-1 status?
    can i work with my f-1 status when i am married?
    Many people told me i shouldn't apply for a conditional greencard cause when you adjust yourself to permanent residence and apply for a permanent greencard it takes a long time
    please anyone who knows this situation advice me!
    have a great day


    • #3
      You can maintain the F-1 status if you would like, but you will need to get permission through your school before accepting employment. If you apply for AOS, then you can start working in 90 days when you receive the EAD. The total process for marriage based cases is faster than the employment based process. It normally takes one to two years to complete, but you can work and travel in the interim.


      • #4
        Yes, it is much harder to obtain off-campus work authorization (i.e., for non-school-related work) when you are an F1 student. Indeed, in order to be successful with such an applicant, you will need to establish "unforseen economic hardship." If you want (or need) to work, do so when you apply for adjustment of status.

        In terms of applying for adjustment when you get here and get married, your best bet is probably to jointly file I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with your I-485 Application to Adjust Status at you local BCIS District Office. At the same time, you should file the I-765 Application for Employment Authorization and (if you wish to travel during a speciic time period while your adjustment application is pending without being considered to have abandoned your application), an I-131 Application for Advance Parole.

        Please note that processing times can vary considerably depending upon the place in which you will reside. For example, processing times at Albuquerque are relatively short, whereas times at the New York District Office currently stand at 720+ days for adjustment applications (maybe the move to use the Missouri Service Center will help reduce this?!!). There is also a local rule in New York which permits employment authorization applicants to receive their EADs after 90 days, if they have camped out at Federal Plaza overnight and are among the first 100 people to be processed in the morning - otherwise, some applicants I know of have had to wait up to 6 months to get their EAD (maybe, again, the move to Missouri Service Center processing will help?!).

        In terms of your F1 application, be very careful. Remember that section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") raises the presumption that all visa applicants intend to immigrate to the United States. Remember also that section 101(a)(15)(F)(i) INA's definition of an F1 student opens with the words: "having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning...."
        Therefore, in order to get your F1 visa, you will have to provide strong evidence of ties to your home country that would make you appear to want to come home after your period of F1 study has ended.

        Good luck with all of your plans!


        • #5
          Thank you very much for the advice.
          I have one last question. Since i am planning on getting married i will get a conditional greencard. I have been told that to change your status to a permanent greencard it takes years
          please advice


          • #6
            Under section 216 of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), you will become a conditional permanent resident ("CR") if, at the time you become a permanent resident, you have been married less than 2 years and you have used that marriage relationship in order to qualify for permanent residence.

            As a CR, you are subject to the provisions of section 216 INA and the regulations contained within 8 C.F.R. §216. However, notwithstanding those provisions (which you probably can view in the law section of the BCIS website), you will have all of the rights and privileges of any other permanent resident. Thus, you may reside in the United States and take up any legal employment without further authorization by the BCIS. You may also file visa immigrant petitions for close relatives. Moreover, if you continue to reside in the United States after becoming a CR, you will accrue time towards your eligibility for naturalization – this begins on the date that you become a CR (see, e.g., section 216(e), INA).

            Section 216 INA and 8 C.F.R. §216 will require you and your U.S. citizen spouse to jointly execute and file a Joint Petition to Remove Conditional Basis of Alien's Permanent Residence (on form I-751). This form should be filed within the 90-day period preceding the second anniversary of the date that you became a CR with the BCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction over the place in the United States in which you will reside. You should also enclose the filing fee that is stated at that time on the BCIS website (the amount of fees can change, so it is best to check at the time that this piece of information becomes relevant to you).

            Along with your completed form I-751, you should enclose evidence to prove that your marriage is genuine. This may include proof that you jointly own property with your spouse, filed joint tax returns, or you have commingled your collective financial assets into a joint checking or savings account. It can also include birth certificates of any children born to the marriage, photos of you and your wife, and affidavits of those who have knowledge of the legitimacy of your marriage.

            If you do not file within this 90-day time period, your permanent residence will automatically expire and you may be placed in removal proceedings. However, you may file late if you can demonstrate in writing good cause for your failure to file on time...but do not put yourself through any unnecessary problems, and just file on time, if you can.

            It is possible for you to be outside the United States at the time that the I-751 is filed, although you should return for an interview (if one is scheduled) and, in any event, you should be careful not to remain outside the United States for too long (over 6-12 months) when you become any kind of permanent resident, just in case you are considered to have abandoned your residence.

            Unfortunately, the processing times for I-751 Joint Petitions is hopelessly protracted - check on the processing times link on ILW.COM to see the latest information posted by each BCIS Service Center for I-751 applications. For example, the Vermont Service Center is currently dealing with applications filed on 3/1/2002(!)

            In the initial adjudication, the Service Center staff will rate each application with a fraud probability factor. Those couples with marriages that are considered suspect are required to attend an interview. However, interviews are also scheduled in the case of apparently legitimate applications for quality control purposes.

            If you are among the lucky few who do not need to go for an interview, you will be informed of that information by the Service Center and directed to the local BCIS Office for the issuance of a new I-551 resident alien card.

            If you must appear at an interview, both you and your spouse should attend - it will be similar to you initial I-130/I-485 interview, where you must show the officer evidence of your continued marital bliss (with the provision of the kind of documentary evidence I mentioned above that should be filed with the I-751).

            As far as I recall, the kind of criteria that the BCIS will use in adjudicating Joint Petitions is contained within 8 C.F.R. §216.4(c). I think (although please check this!) that the BCIS has no choice but to grant the waiver of the conditions if: (1) the marriage was valid in the jurisdiction where it took place; (2) the marriage was entered into in good faith; (3) the marriage was not judicially annulled or dissolved during the two year period of conditional residence; and (4) if no fee was paid to anyone induce the filing of the I-751 (this does not include the payment of fees to an attorney to prepare the I-751). In determining whether the marriage was entered into in good faith, the central question is the parties' intentions at the time that they got married, although any subsequent marital difficulties may be relevant to this issue, too.

            Theoretically, the BCIS must adjudicate the Joint Petition within 90 days of the interview, and if any negative evidence has been developed, you should be given an opportunity to rebut it. If the Joint Petition were to be denied, your CR status will be terminated effective the date of that decision and you will be obliged to surrender your green card and depart the country. You may make a motion to re-open or reconsider this decision pursuant to 8 C.F.R. §103.5, but in reality, you would probably be placed in removal proceedings pretty quickly, whereupon you could seek a review of the denial before the immigration judge.

            I hope this helps and that everything goes well. All good wishes!


            • #7
              applying for a f-1 visa when your intention is to get married here and circumvent the condition etc. etc., is visa fraud for which you can be removed then you attempt to corect your visa type later on. the burden of proof that you did not intent to marry when you arrived here on a f-1 visa is on you and BCIS has a very easy game in prolonging the case even if you were proper in all your steps


              • #8
                Yes, you do have to be very careful with the F1 application.

                An alien who seeks to procure, or has procured, a visa or other benefits through fraud or material misrepresentation of a material fact is inadmissible. See, section 212(a)(6)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"). If you are found to be inadmissible, you will not be permitted to enter, or remain in the country and will have to apply for a waiver (under section 212(i) INA) to "forgive" this ground of inadmissibility.

                Therefore, you must not lie to the consular officer at your F1 interview (or anywhere else on your F1 application about your plans to immigrate. Indeed, suspicion may be aroused on the part of the Embassy by your answers to the DS-156 Nonimmigrant Visa Application (for example, question 37 asks if you have a fiance(e) who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident living in the United States). However, by the same token, you are not obliged to divulge information about which you are not asked.

                If your F1 application fails because of section 214(b) INA (failure to offset the presumption to immigrate), you could always seek admission as a K1 fiance. Alternatively, if you choose to marry in your home country, your new spouse could file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative and then petition for you to come over on a K3 visa (whereupon you would then apply for adjustment of status).

                By the way, it is not necessarily fatal to your adjustment of status application if you do succeed in gaining admission to the United States as an F1 student. It is possible that your putative adjustment application could be denied because you really had the "preconceived intent" to immigrate when you applied for and obtained admission on your F1 visa. However, the "special equity" of a bona fide relationship with a U.S. citizen should usually outweigh any negative factors. (See, for example, the rather old case of Matter of Arai, (BIA 1970).)

                You should always remember that adjustment of status is always a discretionary benefit - in other words, no-one is entitled to adjustment of status, even if they meet all of the requirements of section 245 INA and 8 C.F.R. 245 - hence the process of weighing positive and negative factors in any given application.

                Nevertheless, if you are admitted as an F1 student, you marry and apply for adjustment of status, and your adjustment application is deni


                • #9
                  Nevertheless, if you are admitted as an F1 student, you marry and apply for adjustment of status, and your adjustment application is denied, you will have to leave the United States and obtain an immigrant visa via consular processing. You then will be allowed to re-enter and obtain your resident alien card upon arrival.


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