Moving on next question comes from Marlin. “And I’m currently in the United States on a student visa and want to marry my boyfriend a US citizen. What visa do I need and how do I get it?”
If you’re in the United States on a student visa and want to marry your U.S. partner, the most straightforward approach is to use the Adjustment of status (AOS) process to adjust your visa to a green card.
To use AOS, you must have entered the United States on a valid visa or the Visa Waiver Program. If you’re marrying a U.S. citizen you can use AOS even if you overstayed on a visa, as long as you originally entered the United States with a valid visa or visa waiver.
If you use the AOS process, you must be careful not to trigger the 90-day rule, which means to wait at least 90 days after last entering the United States before applying to adjust your status to a green card. An important caveat to this is that filing Form I-130 does not trigger the 90-day rule but that filing Form I-485 does. However, as these are typically filed at the same time for AOS cases, make sure that the 90-day rule doesn’t apply to you at time of filing.
After you marry your partner, you need to file the following forms — typically at the same time:
- Form I-130 — completed and signed by your spouse who is a U.S. citizen
- Form I-485 (officially called the “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status”) — to be completed and signed by you, the F-1 student
As long as you married your U.S.-citizen spouse “in good faith” — that is, you did not marry for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card, which you’ll need to prove to the U.S. government — you should be able to receive your green card within 10 to 13 months from the time USCIS receives your application package.
Finally, you will have to provide biometrics and you might also have to be interviewed by USCIS.
While your Form I-485 is pending, you must not travel outside the United States until you have a travel permit. Otherwise, the U.S. government will consider your marriage-based green card application “abandoned,” and you will need to start the application process all over again.